By Oisin Sweeney • 23 December 2020 • 12:44
FRANCE’S ‘first dog’ Nemo is the star of a new campaign urging people to adopt abandoned animals “with awareness”.
The black Labrador-Grifin was adopted by President Emmanuel Macron and his wife Brigitte from a Paris animal shelter in August 2017, continuing the French tradition of a Presidential “first dog”. He had been abandoned by his previous owners in the Correze region of southern France.
Nemo is now the star of a new French video campaign to coincide with a proposed bill to deter animal cruelty. “My story begins with abandonment… like me, 100 thousand animals are abandoned every year” reads the video’s caption.
“So, at Christmas, adopt them. But adopt with awareness” the video continues. The French parliament is currently debating a bill that would see 20 million euro spent on improving the country’s animal shelters among other reforms.
It would also require prospective owners to have an “awareness certificate” highlighting animal welfare guidelines, and would give veterinary insurance subsidies to pet owners without the means to afford care themselves.
Nemo is named after the mysterious seafaring protagonists of Jule Vernes’ adventure classic Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea, reportedly a childhood favourite book of President Macron.
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Oisin is an Irish writer based in Seville, the sunny capital of Andalucia. After starting his working life as a bookseller, he moved into journalism and cut his teeth as a reporter at one of Ireland's biggest news websites. Since joining Euro Weekly News in November, he has enjoyed covering the latest stories from Seville, Spain and further afield - with special interests in crime, cybersecurity, and European politics. Anyone who can pronounce his name first try gets a free cerveza...
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