The person concerned had to train to practice his new profession. Paramedic at the Saint-Bernard ambulances, in Royan, his desire for change led him to a skills assessment and an evidence. “I have a passion for animals. The idea of creating a company around different services such as walking, guarding, transport or even capture came to me quite quickly,” he confides.
But lassoing wandering stray dogs has little to do with driving sick people to medical appointments. “I passed the ACACED (Certificate of knowledge of domestic animals) and I was trained in TAV (Transport of live animals), among other things”, he underlines. Today, it works with a dozen municipalities in the Pays Royannais with which it has signed an agreement (Vaux, Saint-Palais-sur-Mer, L’Éguille-sur-Seudre, Les Mathes, Nancras, Royan, Breuillet, La Tremblade, Corme-Écluse, Le Chay, Saujon, Meschers-sur-Gironde).
A useful remedy
Is considered to be in a state of wandering any dog which, apart from a hunting action or the guard or the protection of a herd is no longer under the effective supervision of its master or which is far from its owner or of the person responsible for it for a distance exceeding 100 meters. It is also about any abandoned dog, delivered to his only instinct and that it is demonstrated that his owner did not refrain from doing everything to find him and recover him.
For felines, this concerns any unidentified cat found more than 200 meters from dwellings or any cat found more than 1,000 meters from its master’s home and which is not under his immediate supervision, as well as any cat whose owner is not known and which is seized on the public highway or on the property of others.
This dog was so pissed off he broke his teeth biting my pole”
“In these cases, I cannot intervene directly. You first have to contact the municipal police or the gendarmerie, who then call on me,” explains Nicolas Foulques, who carries out between one and three interventions a day. Not long ago, for example, he intervened in Royan to capture a Malinois that had become uncontrollable and dangerous for its owners. In such a situation, he is harnessed like a deminer. To take no risks, he must put on a Kevlar suit. His mission: catch the animal with a metal lasso. “This dog was so angry that he broke his teeth biting my pole,” recalls the person concerned.
“In this job, you have to put fear aside. Otherwise it’s not worth it, ”warns the one who has already been bitten several times. “But with the combination, it passes. Finally, they are the most cantankerous cats. With their small canines, they manage to pierce the leather of my gloves. Felines are indeed also part of his daily life. Contacted for a small stray tomcat stashed under a car, last week rue Gambetta in Royan, he took it twice to coax and catch him. “I struggled,” he admits. Once recovered, the animals are transported to the Friends of Animals refuge or to the veterinarian.
A man with a sensitive heart, the hardest part of life for him in this job is finally seeing the number of abandoned animals. “I see immediately those who are in this case. They wander with a dangling piece of rope. It really hurts. With the arrival of summer holidays and the presence of many tourists, I expect to have a little more sustained activity. His schedules already have enough to scare the less courageous. Available twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week, he is ready to respond to emergencies.
To join Nicolas Foulques in his “pet sitter” activity (sitting, walking and ambulance transport of animals), call 07 49 08 23 51.