July 5, 2006
Defense et Protection des Animaux, Refuge de Thiernay
Unable to walk on his two front legs, "Lucky", as they call him, was anything but. He had been tied to an abandoned stove on a three-foot leash for more than a year in his owner's backyard. His muscles atrophied over time and eventually gave out. Lucky suffered day by day because of the severe neglect of his owner.
Princess Elizabeth de Croy* and her staff at the Refuge de Thiernay, outside of Nevers, France, often deal with cruelty cases like this. Despite an idyllic view we might have of the French countryside, life is brutal for many animals in the region. Cruelty and neglect is common, and the Refuge finds itself overwhelmed with animal abuse and abandonment cases. Thanks to the pioneering and compassionate spirit of Princess Elizabeth, these animals have somewhere to go.
The Refuge de Thiernay cares for as many as 250 animals at any given time. It serves as the local shelter, animal control body, adoption center and humane education provider for the area.
Since 2000, Humane Society International has sponsored and participated in annual week-long spay/neuter clinics at the Refuge, sterilizing approximately 200 animals each year and helping educate the the local people about animal overpopulation and pet care. International teams head the projects, with veterinarians and technicians coming from many European countries.
HSI continues to support the Refuge de Thiernay and its entire staff.
Défense et Protection des Animaux and Refuge de Thiernay became an HSI Animal Advocate in 2001, and Princess Elizabeth was presented with the HSI Award for Extraordinary Commitment and Achievement in April 2006.
*Princess de Croy passed away in 2009.