During these three weeks of intense heat, the SCPA preserved its animals as best it could, despite the age of its premises, built in Berriac in 1949.
Patricia Dandeu claims not to have “no difficulty” : “We have not received any notice from the prefecture imposing restrictions on us”. Nevertheless, despite autonomous management, the SCPA must “walking on the economy, we added fans to avoid spraying the dogs with the same frequency as we did, the water for them to drink is used for the swimming pool, we save as much as possible”. The air conditioning only works in the infirmary and the cat flap, and despite the fans and misters installed in the boxes “dogs are always at risk of getting overheated, even if the temperature drops in the box”‘.
The age of the premises is also a problem, “the refuge is old, the boxes are concrete and measure 5-6m2“, continues the manager. “They are little shaded, the temperature can rise there up to 35, even 40 degrees, the dogs are completely amorphous. The sickest and weakest animals are placed in the infirmary and the cat flap, for the rest we have no choice”. By way of comparison and denunciation, Patricia Dandeu affirms that “even the hunters’ kennels have rooms with corrugated tiles, it’s much cooler down there. We benefited from the recovery plan but we only have a few boxes of this type, it’s not enough”.
On top of that in this period we have fewer volunteers, so fewer people on the ground
Patricia Dandeu also explains that the staff is exhausted. “We have to work in this heat and we have to cool the dogs, take them to shady parks, give them time to rest and cool down before putting them back in their box… In addition to that in this period we have fewer volunteers, so fewer people in the field. Being a volunteer with us means half a day a week: it’s not much and even if you come twice a month, it’s already huge for us”.
Financially, the SCPA is not flinching either. “With this economic crisis, donations are becoming scarce, in addition to the summer context, people are on vacation and they sometimes leave their dog abandoned at home for a fortnight with a large packet of kibble… We have to manage the Also alert, these dogs are asking for veterinary fees and they are being added to our staff. This year, the shelter has risen to an occupancy rate that exceeds its capacity by more than 15%”.
As for donations, a leetchee pot is set up on the SCPA website. Contributors can donate 1 euro or 5 euros per month, “which equals two coffees”. “Unlike 100 euros in profit at once, monthly donations allow us to project ourselves, we would feel supported and not isolated: we need them for our vet costs, electricity, etc.”.