Millau: the new SPA shelter is progressing step by step

The movement is moving forward slowly but surely. Fifteen months after signing the purchase of the new land, the SPA is calculating the future of the future site, which the animals are eager to inaugurate.

In September 2021, Millavoise SPA (Society for the Protection of Animals) signed to buy land in Aguessac with the aim of relocating its center, which was considered very dilapidated. Fifteen months later, the project is slowly progressing. “For now we just opened the architecture competition a few days ago, it will last until April-May, then we will decide what to do.”comment SPA national president Jacques-Charles Fombonne.

After the firm is selected, the tenders will be launched and the work will begin at the end of the year. “If we inaugurate in a year and a half, we will be at about a logical time”hopes for the president.

Twice as much space for animals

With 337 cats, 136 dogs and 13 NACs (New Pets, Editor’s Note) welcomed between January and November 2022, the furballs were rolling over each other. “The shelter was built in 1976 with animal welfare standards that were not the same as today’s”says Pauline Dreno, Millavois site manager. Thanks to one and a half hectares of new land, the animals will have twice as much space.

“We have rows of dog crates on the current site, which is huge prison. There we will build life parks, the dog will have a plot of land with a shelter and a heated bed, Pauline Dreno explains. They will have more room to run and play than in 10m² boxes.”

Once agreed, tomcats will not be forgotten “to create small colonies, because the cat does not like to live with its own offspring. We only have one cattery there, so there are fights. In the future project, there will be many small rooms. maximum of twelve cats, the manager continues. These will be divided according to their age, health condition…

“The living conditions of our workers are unacceptable”

In addition, discussions have been started with the surrounding owners for the expansion of the acquired land area. But the negotiations did not work, and the SPA will have to do without. “We would have been interested in a part that was a former dog grant, but on the other hand, we had land that people had hunted that we would like to get back, but they asked us too high a price, so we didn’t get it. Jacques-Charles Fombonne explains. Unfortunately, this would suit us because 1.5 hectares is not big for a large constituency like Millau, but we will do what we have.

Not enough to discourage the president, whose priority is to build a new site. “We must completely abandon and rebuild Aguessac because it is intolerable in terms of the demolition of buildings, the living conditions of our staff are unacceptable and access is impractical”.

Indeed, the existing facility has no access for people with reduced mobility. “It’s also not attractive to people who come to adopt, there’s a sad side to this community that I don’t want to see anymore.”Jacques-Charles Fombonne is furious.

The future project will, among other things, a reception room for the publicmeetings and breaks for volunteers, changing rooms for employees. Not forgetting the cattery, the hospital and the pound. “It will change our lives in terms of convenience for workers, the public and the animals.”, Pauline Dreno smiled. Long live 2024!

Building educational pathways

If the comfort of animals and workers is the cornerstone of the new project, the creation of educational courses for the public is also important. “We want to educate visitors to the shelter about adoption, animal abuse, sterilization.”Pauline Dreno says. Because, according to animal agents, some adoption projects are poorly designed. “If we can intervene upstream to avoid impulsive buying by explaining what adoption means. Some tell us that “You opened my eyes, the dog is not for me”it saves leaving later”the boss continues.

Raising awareness, especially for young people. “We want young people to discover animal protection, to discover that animals are neither toys nor objects, in order to plant the seed of animal protection in the minds of the younger generations.”, emphasizes Jacques-Charles Fombonne. However, attitudes in society are changing, especially regarding animal abuse. “We talk about it more and more, but legislation is very slow to follow. At least people are becoming more aware that animals are living beings with physical needs. Pauline knows Dreno. Whereas before, an entire village could be aware of the abuse and not say so because it was normal. The mentality is slowly but surely changing.

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