Holidays used as excuse to dump pets

Some 60,000 pets end up in refuges every year but many tens of thousands more die

Animal dumping figures peak every summer, Reha Hutin, president of France’s leading animal charity, the Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis, tells Samantha David – but they are working hard to reduce this sad problem

“Abandoning an animal is utterly cruel,” says Reha Hutin, president of France’s leading animal charity, the Fondation 30 Millions d’Amis.

“A pet lives with a family for years, shares their lives, loves them and then suddenly one day, they find themselves alone in a cage. How can they understand what happened? And pets are still thrown into bins, sometimes with their newborn offspring. It’s abhorrent.”

The charityis France’s largest supporter of animal shelters and rescue groups, campaigns on all animal protection matters, and has a monthly magazine. Until last year, it also produced what was one of France’s longest-running TV shows, having first aired in 1976 it ran until January 2016. It is now on  YouTube but a petition to reinstate it is circulating.

Ms Hutin says: “All this lobbying and awareness-raising about animal rights has had an effect. Twenty or 30 years ago, 400,000 pets were abandoned every year in France. Now it’s socially unacceptable [although ...

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