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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