Do you know who Terpta is? This French charity organisation has recently found itself a new goal: making sure that owners and pets don’t have to be separated when the owner has to go into a retirement home because they’re not well or are very old.
This is a lovely project that is trying to make sure that an elderly person will never have to know the pain of losing their four-legged friend.
This project, that is in the midst of being implemented, was created by the French charity organisation known as Terpta (which stands for 'Tu es responsable pour toujours de ce que tu as apprivoisé', or 'You’re forever responsible for what you have tamed' in English, which was a quote originally written by the famous French writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry).
The idea? Helping retirement and care homes to develop structures and supports so that they are able to welcome cats and dogs belonging to their elderly or sick residents.
The RSPCA estimates that 44% of households have pets in the UK, and it is also estimated that each year, 10,000 people who go into retirement homes have to leave their four-legged friends behind them.
And as for the abandoned animal, it gets a lot worse. If it isn’t possible for the elderly resident’s family to take the cat or the dog, it could end up being put to sleep or spend a long time in a shelter waiting for a new family.
Therefore, abandoning dogs or cats in shelters after their owner goes into care is a social reality and it is important to take steps to reduce how often this has to happen.
And these people obviously never want to abandon their pet after they also lose their independence; but rather the contrary, this is just as traumatising for the elderly residents who also have to leave their homes so they can be better taken care of.
In a large majority of cases, retirement homes don’t allow pets, be it for personal, budgetary, hygiene or security reasons.
The Terpta association is suggesting a turnkey solution to allow retirement homes to accept animals that are in the best of conditions and proposes that there be a trial period with one retirement home that will for the time being welcome nine animals.
A care home has signed an agreement with the charity which will deal with the exterior facilities necessary for welcoming dogs and cats that are in the best possible conditions (electricity, heating, food, bungalow…)
This space will then become an area where the elderly residents will be able to visit their pets. This space will also be able to receive visits from vets who will look after the animals while the workers at the homes take care of the elderly residents.
But it is also necessary to raise money for this project. Terpta is also currently looking for donations, sponsors and other partners to work with.
Let's hope the project is a success and that we can have something like this in the UK too!
Check out the video above to find out more about this beautiful project!