French cities lead in animal welfare initiatives

Care and protection of animals: some towns have distinguished themselves thanks to their commitment in this regard and have received special recognition. Here are the common friends of animals, a laudable initiative launched by a French region

Signs indicating feline colonies, free-roaming cats, and programs promoting adoption and preventing abandonment are some of the initiatives being undertaken by the most progressive French cities in terms of animal welfare.

These cities are labeled “animal-friendly,” with signs posted at the entrance of the town. This wonderful initiative was launched by the Île-de-France region, which recognizes municipalities’ commitment to animal welfare.

Recognizing animal-friendly cities

These titles have been awarded annually since 2020, recognizing the animal protection policies implemented by individual municipalities. Any municipality in the region can apply, submitting documentation of their efforts.

To become an animal-friendly city, the candidate municipality must commit to promoting:

  1. Respect for animal welfare, such as by creating a special police force or improving lost animal services.
  2. Creation of animal-proof spaces, like dog parks, dog daycares, and pet cemeteries.
  3. The role of pets in supporting vulnerable citizens, through initiatives like solidarity pet stores, senior facilities that welcome pets, or veterinary mutual aid.

Judging criteria and process

A jury composed of activists and animal protection organizations carefully reviews each application based on various criteria, including the creation of animal-proof structures, the approaches taken, and the results achieved.

The judges do not just decide on the certification but also assess the effectiveness of all proposed initiatives, awarding a score from 1 to 3 paws. These points are represented by dog paw prints, shown in red on the sign below the words “Ville amie des animaux.”

Promoting animal welfare

The aim is to improve animal welfare in cities while also raising awareness among residents. The initiative has been very successful, and the number of animal-friendly towns has grown.

New names are appearing alongside towns that have distinguished themselves over the years for their pro-animal campaigns. Among these is Mennecy, in the Essonne department, which boasts 3 paws and unique signs of strolling cats.

Source: Île-de-France

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