Animals: the SPA opens its doors this weekend… here are our 6 tips for choosing your new companion

the essential
After another summer that was made difficult by drop-outs, the SPA is organizing its “open days” on the weekend of October 8 and 9. On this occasion, La Dépêche du Midi gives you some advice for adopting a new companion.

On the weekend of October 8 and 9, the SPA organizes its “open doors” days, which follow a summer marked by many abandonmentswith 16,457 animals collected by the association between May 1 and August 31.

However, adopting a pet is not a decision to be taken lightly and many criteria must be taken into account before taking action. Pauline Dreno, manager of the SPA refuge in Millau, in Aveyron, gives you her good advice.

1/ Think about the budget

The first question to ask is whether you have the budget to take care of an animal. “You have to take into account food, veterinary costs, accessories, litter …”, details the specialist. “It also depends on the breed. A 40kg Doberman will cost more in kibble than a Chihuahua”.

According to the association’s website, it takes about 500 euros per year to meet the primary needs of a cat, and 700 euros for a dog.

2/ Take into account the lifespan of the animal

Another important point: ask yourself how long you are committing to. “If you adopt a rabbit, you commit for 5-6-7 years, a cat or a dog for 12-14 years. After that, everything also depends on the age of the animal you adopt”.

3/ Think about time and involvement

We must also ask ourselves about the time we will have to give it. An animal asks that we be available for it, to take care of it, feed it, take it out, play with it or wash it.

“You also have to ask yourself if the whole family is involved in the adoption process. If there are not already dissensions within the family with someone who does not want an animal. And define in advance who will take care of it”.

4/ Do not forget the holidays

Another crucial question: how am I going to organize my vacation with him? If I don’t take him, how do I keep him?

Several solutions exist. “For cats, for short absences, of 3-4-5 days, the easiest way is to ask neighbors or family members to come and feed and take care of the animal at home. If they are longer absences, it is possible to board them. For dogs, it is easier to bring them everywhere with you, even if you have to check that the place where you go welcomes the animal. Canine pensions exist, as do pet-sitters.

5/ Ask yourself questions about your accommodation

“Regarding housing, it depends more on the lifestyle of the adopter than on the type of animal”, explains Pauline Dreno. “We can place a large dog in an apartment if they are active young people who go jogging twice a day for example”.

Also note that a large dog will generally be calmer than a small dog. “A Great Dane is much calmer than a Jack Russel. You shouldn’t rely on size alone.”

However, having a dog in an apartment will be more restrictive for the adopter because you will have to take your animal out morning, noon and evening, even when it is raining or cold. “In summary, the dog can adapt to a house as well as an apartment, as long as he is out.”

6/ Think about the age of the animal

“The age of the animal depends on the composition of the household and what the adopters want too.” Thus, the elderly will generally be directed towards a cat that is already adult and calm. And families with children towards a kitten.

“All these questions are things that we check at the shelter with potential adopters when they come,” the head of the Millau SPA tells us. “We discuss with them and we make them fill out a questionnaire. If we consider that their adoption project holds water, we then direct them to an animal that corresponds to them. But we may have to refuse an adoption project if it is estimated that people do not have the financial means or the time. Or refuse such an animal, and redirect them to another.”

Schedule your visit

It is recommended to look ahead at the animals offered for adoption on the SPA website. And it is especially advisable, the rest of the year, to contact the refuge by email in order to establish a first contact. “We then have an adoption questionnaire filled out, which the adopters fill out quietly at home, and send back to us. We can then give them an appointment, in order to devote time to them to find the animal that suits them. also makes it possible to verify that the animal they fell in love with on the site is indeed there during their visit, and not, for example, on a walk with volunteers”.

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