Info Flash N° 14

May 2014

Nos Amis Les Animaux 85480 is a registered association (W852002671/SIRET 538 773 193 00015) for the protection of animals. Often called simply NALA we have members of many nationalities but mainly English and French.

We were set up in September 2010 and since then have placed about 200 animals, mainly cats, with loving, new owners. We have obtained the French equivalent of charitable status so that donations are tax-deductible.

What we do:
 we are lobbying to improve the treatment of stray and unwanted animals in France.
 we provide an adoption service for people who are no longer able to take care of their pet. If possible the pet stays with the owner until a suitable new owner is found.

We don't have an animal shelter, so can't deal directly with stray or found cats. We do have some foster families (and would welcome more, hint, hint) who can look after animals if strictly necessary.

Top stories for this month :

  • Famous People and Their cats or Famous Cats and Their People
  • The mills grind slowly...
  • First NALA Petition: More than 5.000 signatures for better stray animal welfare in France
  • A second petition:  No, to the power of the maire to capture cats on our private property
  • Programme 2014
  • A little hello from our adoptees

Famous People and Their cats or Famous Cats and Their People

You cannot become famous without loving cats and having at least one in your home! Don’t you believe me? Search on the Internet for « famous people and their cats » and you will soon be convinced. Above all, you will never succeed as a writer, poet, artist, musician or actor without having been inspired by your cat…. 

There is a photo on the Internet entitled: “Bob Dylan, A Genius and His Cat, or A Genius and His Human Minion.” On the physical side, most of the exercises designed to keep us fit, such as Yoga, are derived from cat stretches. Scientists too have always been dedicated cat lovers: Dr Schweitzer, Einstein, the list is as infinite as the universe. It all goes to show that it is the cat that is the genius and that it uses its human as an instrument of expression. We compose, write, paint, discover, invent under the spiritual guidance of the cat. The cat is the soul. The Dalai Lama would not refute this. He too has his cat.

 « Bob Dylan, A Genius and His Cat, or A Genius and His Human Minion »

The British Government cannot function without its cat. At number 10, Downing Street, the British Prime Minister’s residence, there is always a cat on rat patrol. (No rat poison at number 10, if you please! We are too sophisticated to use such disgusting stuff!) The most famous of the Downing Street cats was called Humphrey. Published by Harper Collins, David Brawn’s book: A day in the Life of Humphrey the Downing Street Cat, describes his typical working day.

It follows that if France is now in dire straits, politically and economically, it is obviously because her men (and women) at the top have no respect for the feline species and so are not listening to the advice of a little pussy cat to keep them on the right tracks. It was not the case in the 19th century, from which dates the French expression « donner sa langue au chat » (Give your tongue to the cat), which means that it is up to the cat, guardian of secrets, to reply to your question. The cat’s word had considerable weight.

 Humphrey the Downing Street Cat (Photo BBC)

In the Middle Ages, the Church, anxious to suppress free spirits in order to maintain her power over the people and keep control of the coffers, persecuted cats, particularly black ones which were accused of being “the devil’s  advocates” and their mistresses, especially if they were women with a craft that gave them financial independence, were accused of witchcraft. France has not evolved much since medieval times. Those who dislike cats and continue to persecute them, thus proving their own small-mindedness, are precisely those who are afraid of independence and open-mindedness.

The black cat and hit magnificent look  

One day, we will certainly discover the Meaning of Life, the Universe and Everything. The answer, indeed, has already been identified as the number 42 by Douglas Adams in The Hitchhiker’s guide to the Galaxy, but I feel sure that Einstein himself would agree that the mystery of that unique, enchanted and enchanting being, the cat, whatever the colour of its coat, gracing this world of filthy lucre, will never be revealed….

By Suzan Kershaw


The mills grind slowly...

We've had the idea of doing a sterilisation campaign for cats for a while and it's turned out more complicated than we envisaged...

Our original idea for the sterilisation project was to have two days a year when people could take their cats to a vet for sterilisation at a reduced rate. We had a number of vets already on board when one of them suggested that we ask the Ordre de Veterinaires for advice. So we spoke with the head office in Paris who didn't see any problems, but suggested that we contact the local office for their opinion. We did so and had a meeting with them. Although they were, in principal, in favour of the project, they were worried about running foul of the laws on competition, so suggested a more complicated procedure which would involve us bring the cats to the vets in order to avoid any contact between the owner and the vet. We didn't find this a satisfactory solution as it would involve a lot of work for our volunteers, it brought the risk of cross contamination between animals, the vet wouldn't be able to contact the owner directly in case of an emergency and, once the animal was back with its owner, the owner wouldn't be able to contact the vet for advice.

In the meantime, there had been a case in the east of France where the Competition Commission had intervened on a similar matter, so the head office in Paris was now no longer in favour of our project. Time to put our thinking caps on again... and now we think that we've found a plan that will work. We will give a subsidy to owners who get their cat sterilised or sterilised and identified. The subsidy will be up to 20% with a maximum of 10 Euros for the sterilisation of a male, 20 euros for a female and a maximum of 10 euros for identification. We have reserved a budget of €1000 for this year, so if you're interested please apply soon. All you have to do is send a request with a copy of an estimate (devis) from a vet to We suggest that you ask more than one vet as prices can vary enormously. If your request is approved, we will send you a confirmation showing the amount of the subsidy. Once the operation has been carried out you have to send us a copy of the bill and we will send you a cheque for the amount of the subsidy.

And if you don't already have a cat...why not adopt one from us. Contact Sue (who is responsable for the adoptions) at 02 51 00 53 80 or 07 70 31 54 59 or by email or look on our website Animaux à adopter
Overview of the cats looking for a loving home


First NALA Petition: More than 5.000 signatures for a better welfare of stray animals in France

More than 5,000 people are asking that animals are not euthanized in pounds without good reason and without written advice from a vet. They also ask that animal pounds are up to standards, they are managed in such a way that the animals therein remain healthy and associations that do not have access to a shelter can adopt animals in France. According to current legislation only associations that have access to a shelter can take animals from pounds. These are the demands of our first petition that we sent by registered letter (9th April) to Mr Stéphane Le Foll, Minister of Agriculture, Agri- Food and Forestry.

In our letter we make a summary of the rules and mention how stray animals are treated in France and breaches of animal welfare standards. We offer solutions by changing the legislation, giving ideas on how central and local authorities could take seriously their responsibilities to improve the system and we conclude that the functions "capture and animal pound ", for the sake of integrity, should only be managed by non-profit organisations.

Neighbouring countries seem to have found ways to manage the proliferation and abandonment of pets. Why not France? 5,000 signatories think it is high time that the situation in France changes rapidly regarding the protection of stray animals and that animal pounds are improved and, where appropriate, expanded to meet the increasing number of abandoned and stray animals.

You can read the letter in French here 


A second petition: No, to the power of the mayor to capture cats on our own property

Nala has launched a second petition the end of march 2014. We ask Mr Jean - Pierre Bel, President of the Senate and Mr. Claude Bartolone, President of the National Assembly of France  to modify the legislation so that a mayor no longer has the right to be able to catch cats on private property without the consent of the owner of the cats, without prior notice and without a court order.

Why this petition? 

Last summer ( 2013 ) a mayor in a small village in the west of France, together with the City Council took the following decision ( arrêté ). On 14th June (2013) traps were to be placed in the garden of an octogenarian couple who had about 30 cats, which some neighbours claimed were a nuisance. Once captured, identified cats would be taken to a pound about 40 kilometers from the residence of the couple. The owners would be able to claim back the cat after paying the usual pound costs. The unidentified cats (and most were ) would be euthanised on the spot by a vet.

The decision was put in all the neighbours' mailboxes to ensure that they were informed and could keep their cats inside. The couple was not informed of this decision and only got a visit from the mayor. The couple feared the worst but the mayor reassured them and told them that all the cats would be brought to the pound. The mayor did not mention, of course, that some would be put to sleep .

Quite by chance we heard about this plan and fortunately, along with several other associations, we were able to convince the mayor that there was another solution to this problem. The couple were eventually allowed to keep five cats. The rest have been safely rehomed.

Problem solved you might think . So why this petition ? Because we had doubts about the legality of this measure, we have asked several authorities (regional and national) to explain the legal basis of the ability of a mayor to take such a measure. Even after numerous phone calls and many letters neither the Prefect nor the ministry have given a straight answer. You can read the correspondence here. However some lawyers from other associations in France have said that it is legal and the mayor does have the power. We find it unacceptable that a mayor can decide to trap your cats on his own initiative without any oversight. We therefore ask the President of the First and Second Chamber in France with this petition to modify the laws so that the mayor no longer has this power.

This is a the text of the petition in french. Please note the contradiction, cats 'without owner' and the mention of a postal  address. You can sign the petition here. Please share the petition with your friends and family. 


 Programme NALA 2014

  • NALA Walk NALA with or without your dog

Sunday 4th of  May, start at 10.00 AM on the parking of the town hall  of La Chaize-le-Vicomte

  • Nala will have a stall at the Vide Grenier 
Thursday 8 th of May in  La Châtaigneraie
  • Summer Fair 

Saturday 28th of  June, from 10 to 7PM, Château Puybelliard, Chantonnay with Jim's Siberian Huskies, demonstration of dog training and ' toilettage ', Food and drinks available, Braderie, Chocolates, Tombola, Face painting, 'pêche à la ligne', photo competition and even more ...

For information and/or to reserve a stand please contact: Mrs. Maeve Hoffman

Tel. 02 51 48 19 35 / 06 42 00 27 96 



A little hello from our adoptees


Come and join Nala; together we are stronger!

 photo lunapic_136775552142051_12.gif

For those of you who haven't yet renewed their membership, please fill in the form here

Or if you want to call us first for information: Tel nr. 07 70 31 54 59 or email

© NALA 85480, May 2014, Bournezeau 
Tél.  07 70 31 54 59
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