At the Lotois dog shelter, in Montat, places are expensive. The hunting dogs saturate the boxes. Victims of prejudice, they do not seduce adopters.
At the Lotois dog shelter, places are rare. On the one hand, dogs adopted during confinement are now left behind with their masters who return to work and no longer have time to take care of them. On the other, the complicated adoption of hunting dogs.
“Dogs should be chipped”
In February, a group of 5 hunting dogs landed at the refuge. “We assume that they got lost. Nobody claims them”, explains Virginia Paschall, president of the association, and impossible to find their masters. The reason: none of them is chipped. However, it is mandatory to identify your pet. For dogs, this should be done before they are 4 months old. “They absolutely have to be chipped. There is no control over that. In the Netherlands, hunters have to pay for a license to have a hunting dog,” explains the president. In France, the law will change from 2024-2025 to toughen up slightly, and introduce an expensive hunting dog license. “If this is done, we will have a wave of abandonment of these working animals, that’s for sure”, confides, worried, a volunteer from the shelter, already saturated and where the waiting list for abandonment is overflowing.
Not good enough, too scared or too old
If it happens that hunting dogs get lost or run away, they are above all victims of abandonment. Before, they were on their own at the start of the season, if they weren’t good enough or too fearful. Indeed, these are breeds that can sometimes be frightened by gunshots. At the end of the season, when the dog is too old to hunt, it can be abandoned. But this is rarer at the Lot refuge. “Right now, the oldest hunting dog is only 7 years old. The youngest is 2 years old,” Virginia Paschall sadly says.
The president of the association notes that there is no longer a period when the abandonment of hunting dogs is increased. Today, they come all year round.
To beat the prejudices
And their release date is unknown. Zeus, abandoned in November 2020, has still not found his new family. “He has osteoarthritis, it’s starting to be urgent to have him adopted”, regrets Virgina Paschall.
Hunting dogs are victims of prejudice: they run away, they pull on a leash, they are not friendly. “However, they are just very shy and fearful dogs. Often, they have not lived in a house. But when they discover the pleasure of the sofa, they adopt it!”, jokes the president of the shelter.
Of five of the dogs who arrived in February, four are adopted. Martin leaves in two weeks for Italy. For others, it’s heading to the Netherlands. Dutch shelter volunteers post the dogs up for adoption and translate them into English. “Adoption abroad is more complicated, but if it allows the dogs to have a family, that’s the most important thing”, optimizes Virginia Paschall. For a dog to be able to leave, it takes three weeks, but above all to vaccinate it and provide it with a passport.