Animal abandonment, what consequences? | ECHOSCIENCES

An increase in the number of abandoned animals has been observed for several years. Indeed, there are nearly 100,000 each year with 16,894 cases canceled between May and August 2021, following confinement.

When we talk about abandoning the animal, the first instinct is often to condemn the immorality shown by the old masters. We will all agree on the indefensible nature of these acts, but too little is said about the consequences they can have on an animal. This is the but of our article today.

Abandoning an animal is like overwhelming it with wounds.

The consequences for animals

It is necessary today to realize that the distress felt by an abandoned animal is immense, the consequences are psychological and physical. He suffers both the brutal loss of his attachment beings and must also adapt to a new environment that is unknown to him. The main emotion felt will therefore be stress.

Left to his own devices, he will have to adapt overnight to a wild environment. Being domesticated, the animal will not be able to learn quickly to feed itself by hunting or to look for water to quench its thirst. In addition, forced to integrate into a new atmosphere overnight, a dog just like a cat risks being injured and being attacked by other animals. It is also likely to get infected with insects such as fleas. The abandonment of an animal thus entails a number of physical consequences, but also moral ones.

It will first create a state of anxiety in the animal which can cause chronic psychological stress. This depressive syndrome can be characterized by sleep disorders, tremors but also eating disorders such as bulimia or anorexia. This can then lead to the appearance of “hepatitis”, that is to say, inflammation of the liver.

You should know that while some ailments can be cured, others are more difficult to treat and have long-term repercussions. The abandonment can for example cause secretions of hormones which damage the organs in a permanent way.

An abandoned animal is a stressed animal
An abandoned animal is a stressed animal

Overcome abandonment

The abandonment that an animal undergoes is followed by multiple consequences which can vary between each according to the conditions, the place of the abandonment and the time or the animal remained left to itself. This experience very often turns out to be terrible and creates trauma in the animals. It is still possible for them to repair all these wounds, even though it is a very long process and some never succeed. Human behavior will influence healing, that’s why you have to show a lot of patience so that the animal trusts the man again. All it takes is a sudden gesture, a dull noise or even approaching the animal too abruptly for its traumatic memories to come back to it.

Adopting an animal with a history of abandonment is often not easy. Therefore, it is necessary to reward him as soon as he does a good deed, to take the time to take care of him. He must relearn to live normally gradually and will need a calm and suitable habitat.

The animal shelters dealing with this type of case also play a major role in the reintegration process. They must ensure that the next adopter takes care of the animal properly and does not repeat the same mistakes. For this, they ask for certain essential information so that the animal is welcomed into a home with optimal conditions. In addition, the behavior of the animal can change following its trauma, it can no longer support cohabiting with other animals. Contact with children can also be difficult.

It is possible to heal them, step by step
It is possible to heal them, step by step

Testimonies collected

Today we are going to focus on the testimony of Ms. Françoise Mariani, a volunteer from the association outside the walls who agreed to share her experience with us and answer our questions.

Have you had an experience with an abandoned animal?

Not one in particular, but for example I adopted an abandoned Malinois 10 years ago. She was inaccessible, and she bit. It took me a year to decide to do something. So she went to an educator for 3 years and I went to see her 3 times a week. It was a stressful time because she was threatened with euthanasia. Finally today it’s better, even if it’s still difficult she is progressing.

do you track adopted animals?

With the association we carry out a follow-up, the association has existed for 7 years and we always receive photos and news of the first animals adopted.

Do people who left their animals have any news?

If someone leaves their cat in a shelter to be adopted, then they can hear from them.

How to define the behavior of an abandoned animal once adopted?

An abandoned cat or dog if he finds himself in a benevolent family, everything will be fine! If this is not the case, it will logically be difficult at first if there has been an act of abuse. In these cases, it usually takes a month to adapt and everything goes well.

What are the different consequences on the animal?

It is observed that the abandoned animals when they arrive in the shelter are mentally hyper-stressed, with a particular behavior, they happen to urinate everywhere, they rarely trust people. We also notice behaviors such as itching, they bite their tails, tear off the tips of their legs, they eat less and let themselves in quotation marks “die”.

These consequences vary under what conditions?

California vary Fr function from privilege with the first adopting, by example if the discuss was age when he to return Fr refuge package that her where son owner was too age, it is more during to pay them. This is too more during Fr function of the acts of abuse if they have summer attached, hungry, locked up in the black.

What are the legal consequences?

When you abandon an animal that you don’t leave in a shelter, the owners can be sentenced to a prison sentence of 3 years and a fine of 3000 euros. It depends on the severity of the consequences of abandonment and abuse. But overall the justice does not do much and the owners come out without any real consequences, sometimes small fines, even a symbolic 1 euro… The associations have the impression that the justice is protecting itself by not ruling on all these cases.

How can you be sure it won’t happen again?

In a case of abuse where the animal has been removed, people no longer have the right to adopt, but there is no follow-up on this and therefore they often readopt. It is therefore up to the shelter to ensure the reliability of the adopters because there is no file where they can be found.

Do you have a word for future adopters?

An animal is a living being endowed with sensitivity, it is not a toy or a stuffed animal. When you adopt it’s for life and if for some reason you can’t keep it, you have to go through an association or a shelter. If you adopt an animal, it becomes part of your family.

Françoise Mariani from the association outside the walls


We will now focus on the testimony of Mrs. Duboeú, veterinarian from the Clinique des Alpins in Grenoble, who agreed to share his experience with us and answer our questions.

An experiment with an abandoned animal?

The abandonment that has marked her the most is the abandonment of her own current animal that she has taken in and to whom she has offered a home. She found him on the side of the road and decided to take him with her.

The behavior of the animal once reproached?

The first nights were difficult, he cried a lot. He had surely been separated from his mother during the abandonment. In general, when an animal is abandoned young, there is a greater chance that there will be behavioral consequences in the future. In these cases, the animals are going to be wilder than those that were abandoned a little older. It will take time for the animal to adapt and therefore time to approve it.

The different consequences of abandonment on the animal at the physical and psychological levels?

Abandoned animals can suffer from dehydration and malnutrition. They can be found in a disadvantaged physical condition with fleas, dirty hair etc.

They can cry and develop a fear of humans, their environment, etc.

What can you do as a veterinarian to treat them, to restore their confidence, etc.?

As far as care is concerned, grooming can be performed on animals that need it, i.e. dirty animals, which will have problems with their hair, etc. Then at the medical level, the care will vary according to the animal. For example, if he is malnourished and/or dehydrated, the veterinarians will inject water into his veins or under the skin so that it reaches the animal’s body and they will give them to eat.

To restore their confidence, it is important not to impose yourself on them because it will only intensify their fear. On the contrary, we must let them come to us little by little and give them time to get used to our presence.

Mrs. Duboeu, veterinarian at the Clinique des Alpes

The consequences of animal abandonment are therefore multiple. Indeed, many factors come into play and cause trauma in the animal that can remain for life. To fight against this, many actors are mobilizing to offer animals a better life, in good conditions by providing them with care, love, patience and above all by offering them a stable home.

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