Construction of shelters for stray cats, dog park, daycare, creation of an association for the defense of animals financed by the town hall, sponsorships, the municipality of Villers-sur-Mer works for animal welfare, in all its forms .
How does Villers-sur-Mer work for animal welfare?
“We plan to develop a real policy in favor of the animal world“explains Thierry Granturco, the mayor of Villers-sur-Mer. “It has been broken down into several actions, including the creation of the AVA, the Villersoise Association for Animals”.
Created on the initiative of the municipality, this association finances actions in favor of animals, supervises them and provides logistical means. For the rest, the mayor relies on his constituents and volunteers have not been lacking. The Villersoise Association for Animals (AVA) was created in early November, along with a first shelter intended for stray cats from the community. “Stray cats are a real topic here“notes Thierry Granturco, how many are there?” it is a number with 3 figures, a lady of the commune took care of it alone until then, on her own funds “ . She gave them food, captured some to be sterilized. A situation that could not last. “Today she is a member of the board of directors of AVA “. The town hall estimates that it will take at least two years to stabilize the stray cat population, via trapping and sterilization. A second shelter is planned, a citizen has just offered the use of his land for 10 years to accommodate cats.
Other projects are underway, a partnership has been established with the association La Dame Blanche, which heals the fauna of the swamp and 30 million friends. The municipality undertakes to take into account respect for animal life in all its actions and decisions (such as the use of gentle method to keep pigeons away, for example). So, the ban on circuses with animals is already effective in the town, the mayor had made a campaign promise.
Initiatives in favor of animals and also their owners
The town hall guarantees a pet sponsorship : it assures elderly or sick people who so request that their animals will be adopted by a sponsor, in the event of temporary or definitive unavailability on their part. “If the sponsor does not or cannot keep his promise, the town hall will do so“explains the mayor of Villers-sur-Mer.”Two-thirds of the population is over 65 ”. One of the city councilors met elderly people in the course of his work who were reluctant to take back an animal for fear that he would be left alone afterwards. This is where the idea of sponsorship was born.
It helps to break the isolation of people and avoid abandonment of animals.
“For sponsorship, we want to be able to pay veterinary fees because the dogs will be old and we are currently looking for partnerships with pet food companies “, explains Delphine Manoury, AVA Vice President and City Councilor, “we prospect the manufacturers“.
The city councilor said to herself “ quite amazed at the extent that the Facebook page “ AVA, which has thousands of likes and already 727 subscribers (the town has 27,000 inhabitants). “If in this way, we can spread these ideas to other municipalities … “
In project: the creation of a dog park and a daycare during the holidays
In Villers-sur-Mer, the beach is accessible to dogs, except during the summer period when walks are only allowed early in the morning and late in the evening. For summer and in any season, “on want to create a dog park“explains Delphine Manoury,”a place where the dog can be let loose. It will also allow us to do education, that the dogs are kept on a leash in town and let loose in the park. It will also be a place of conviviality with benches for the masters, a place of exchange for the owners. We also want to create a kind of nursery for the summer, so that the masters can go to the beach, on visits. “
These initiatives are rather well received in the municipality. “But you don’t have to do this to be loved but because you have convictions. It should not be done for political reasons. We are a little mocked“, admits Thierry Granturco.
Would he be doing too much for the animals? “On all social aspects, we do a lot in the town ” says the mayor, “you know, this is the famous argument that we could never do anything for animals because there is so much to do for humans. Finally, it is quite a recurring argument. At one point, we can say that we can do both, we have the right. I find that it often goes hand in hand, it is a generalized benevolence“.
For all these projects, the municipality of 2,700 inhabitants plans to invest around 25,000 euros out of an overall budget of 13 million, or 0.19% of its budget.
What is animal welfare?
According toWorld Organization for Animal Health, animal welfare is based on 5 principles:
- the animal must not suffer from hunger, thirst and malnutrition,
- he must not suffer from physical and thermal stress,
- be free from pain, injury and disease,
- have the opportunity to express the normal behaviors of their species,
- be protected from fear and distress.
Animal welfare covers all animals, farm animals for food as well as pets.
In France, there are over 63 million pets, defined by the Rural Code (art. L. 214-6) as an “animal held or intended to be kept by humans for their convenience”.
The relationship between man and animal has evolved in recent years with the recognition of increasing rights for animals. Since 2015, the Civil Code has given them the quality of “being sensitive”, a more protective legal status than before, where they were considered as movable property …
The animal remains an “object of law”, an object that one can own or use, but its sensitivity places it above non-living objects.
Animal abuse is condemned by law. The penal code punishes serious mistreatment and acts of cruelty committed against animals. The abandonment of a domestic animal is thus assimilated to an act of cruelty and can lead to a sentence of two years’ imprisonment and a fine of 30,000 euros.