Anybody who has friends living in Europe has heard about how much vacation time they get over thereoften an entire month during the summer. Sounds fabulous, doesn’t it? However, there seems to be a dark side to this system: a troubling report on NPR describes how many French dog owners actually abandon their dogs in order to take that month off. As a result, the ranks of shelter dogs swell, putting lots of pressure on those who have to care for the now homeless animals. This behavior does not sit well with France’s dog lovers:
With 61 million domestic animals, France has the most pet ownership in Europe, and nearly half of all households have a pet member. “The large majority of French are horrified by the thought of abandoning their pet,” says David Chauvet, vice president of Animal Rights, a group that advocates stopping sales in pet shops until the shelters are empty. “But there are people with no scruples, much like child abusers.”
According to the report, countries such as Spain and Italy have a similar problem with dogs being left behind when their owners leave town.