Since October 2017, the city of Cambrai, in Northern France, has launched an innovative initiative to help break loneliness in old age: allowing older people to take a dog or a cat home without really adopting it. The older person may go to a shelter and choose among all the animals waiting for adoption, for free, in return of good care.
If the income of the person is low, the municipality provides the kibbles, in case of hospitalization or need for medical care, the shelter takes care of it, because it remains the property of the animal welfare association.
Denise, aged 88, benefitted from the programme and welcomed Flora, a 4-year old female dog. Denis is really pleased with her new campanion: "I am no longer alone, the house is alive again, because it comes and goes, there is movement, I have company and it brings a lot. I didn't do well with rhinopharyngitis, she was taking good care of me."
View Denise’s testimony in this video (in French)
Jack Pluvinage, President of the SDA (Société de Défense des Animaux, in French), is so satisfied with the programme that he is thinking of extending it to other municipalities.