“The problem with the summer period is that people adopt a lot less because they go on vacation. And at the same time, we are facing more requests for abandonment, at the moment we have at least one every day, ”adds Fanny Buchakjian.
Valuable help from volunteers
Outside, the dogs get excited as she walks past their crate. But they don’t have very long to wait before the volunteers from the shelter arrive for the hour of the walk. “Every morning, the volunteers come to take care of the dogs before 11 a.m., otherwise it’s too hot,” she says.
Because the heat wave does not spare anyone. Garden hoses as misters overhang each cage to relieve the animals when it is over 28°C and several swimming pools are available. In the center of the shelter, Rex, Ghost, Jumpse and Osco are in larger boxes outside, because “they are dogs with special needs. But it is also for their safety and that of the agents who enter the boxes to feed them or treat them”.
Back inside the cats side. A room, where you have to go in with overshoes, is dedicated to kittens who have not yet been tested or vaccinated. “Some are not even two months old so we wait before putting them up for adoption to be able to wean them,” says the team leader. Here they are fourteen little kittens who should be adopted soon enough. Some are very fearful, but others are already players.
In all, nearly fifty cats are welcomed by the shelter. “For cats, it’s special, there are as many at the shelter as at the relay families”, specifies Léna Falléry.
“It’s like musical chairs”
Relay families are homes that mainly take in cats, to try to relieve the lack of space in the shelter. “Right now, we have about ten families with three or four kittens each,” says Fanny Buchakjian. For five years, these families, very often also volunteers in the association, have been a real relay. Léna Falléry has been a volunteer and relay family for nearly seven years. “As soon as there is a need, I am available. »
In addition to her seven cats and two dogs, the volunteer welcomes a cat and her six babies. “And then when they are adopted, I will welcome others, it’s like musical chairs, it’s spinning all the time,” she jokes. The interest of the relay families is also to begin the socialization of the animals. At Léna Falléry, once the quarantine of the kittens passed, the latter were able to begin to frequent the other inhabitants of the house. “This facilitates the moment when they arrive with the family after the adoption, on average a month and a half later”, comments Fanny Buchakjian.
A follow-up is also set up with relay families, with visits from volunteers. But here too, the SPA has great needs, which is why the shelter regularly makes calls on their social networks.
Go to the source of the problem
Despite the help of relay families, the needs are still very present. “Each year, it’s critical during the summer, but in general we are always overloaded”, laments Fanny Buchakjian. As of June 30, the shelter had 349 abandonments for 298 adoptions. “Our solution to us is awareness on social networks, but also at the time of adoption,” she adds. On the SPA’s Youtube channel, a video posted a month ago entitled “The reasons to love it” has now totaled more than 50,000 views.
“Each year, it’s critical during the summer, but in general we are always overloaded”
“But our real objective is to get to the source of the problem,” says Fanny Buchakjian. For cats, the problem comes mainly from kittens born from stray cats. “Each year, we offer sterilization vouchers to town halls, in addition to our own campaigns, to limit this uncontrolled reproduction. But unfortunately it doesn’t work with all town halls,” says the team leader. “Despite everything, there are free cat associations which are very effective, let’s say that we are fighting for the same cause”, adds Léna Falléry. This mutual aid is also visible between the different “SPA or not” refuges, specifies Fanny Buchakjian.