Summer Adventures - Art by Nicolas Amiard

French “Summer Adventures” comics campaign highlights plight of abandoned pets

Summer Adventures - Snoopy - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard

Art director Nicolas Amiard has taken a creative approach to highlight the plight of abandoned animals in his native France, borrowing some globally-recognised comic characters for awareness-raising non-profit project he’s called “Summer Adventures“.

It’s estimated more than 100,000 pets are abandoned annually in France, with numbers rising in the summer months, in part the result of pet owners going on holiday and simply abandoning their pets rather than pay out for kennel fees. While rescue organisations capture and try to re-home some 40,000 a d year, thousands more are left to roam the streets, or end up in pounds, and euthanised.

Numerous awareness- raising campaigns have been run in France to highlight the problem of abandoned pets. TheSauver Protéger Aimer is currently running its summer campaign to highlight the plight of abandoned pets .

To highlight the issue, Nicolas has created “Summer Adventures” – thought-provoking images showing globally-famous comic characters such as Tintin, Obelix (from Asterix the Gaul) and Shaggy (from Scooby-Doo) abandoning their companions such as Snowy, Dogmatix and Scooby-Doo forever.

Summer Adventures - Asterix - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard
Summer Adventures - Tintin - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard
Summer Adventures - Boule & Bill - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard

Pet abandonment a problem not unique to France of course – in 2017, Britain’s RSPCA received more than 10,000 calls about animals being abandoned during just three months of summer – a 50 per cent rise compared to colder months of the year. They  received reports of cats being tied up in bags and left on the streets, sick horses left by the side of the road and dogs thrown away like fly-tipped rubbish.

in 2018, there were 56,043 stray dogs across the UK, according to Dogs Trust’s Stray Dogs Survey report, based on data gathered from local councils. While the number of strays collected by local authorities in the UK is at its lowest level in many years, and was 15 per cent down on last year, the charity says more needs to be done to prevent these dogs from becoming strays in the first place.

Cats Protection estimates that there are nine million stray cats and one-and-a-half million feral cats in the UK. Last year, the charity launched the first-ever “cat census, Cat Watch, to help identify where the largest populations of homeless felines are living through information gathered using a downloadable app, unveiled the programme alongside one the nation’s biggest neutering drives in a bid to control the number of strays wandering the streets.

The cat welfare charity told I News the number of unwanted cats is high, and the number of potential homes has plummeted. Shelters throughout the country are running out of space and pet owners report that “gangs” of feral cats are invading neighbourhoods, often fighting or breeding with domestic animals.

Summer Adventures - Mickey Mouse - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard
Summer Adventures - Scooby Doo - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard
Summer Adventures - Pokemon - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard

In the United States, the ASPCA estimates approximately 6.5 million companion animals enter animal shelters nationwide every year. … Each year, although the number of deaths has been reduced, approximately 1.5 million shelter animals are still euthanised  – 670,000 dogs and 860,000 cats.

Summer Adventures - Lucky Luke - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard
Summer Adventures - The Simpsons - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard
Summer Adventures - Up - Art by Nicolas Amiard
Art by Nicolas Amiard

Based in Paris, Nicolas Amiard is Art Director at the Advertising Agency BETC, and some downthetubes readers may recall how his previous Star Wars photo montages of ships from the franchise crash landed in cities across the world captured imaginations, and how he inserted popular gadgets into GIFs and gave them a futuristic feel.

Let’s hope his canine-inspired “Summer Adventures” campaign captures people’s thoughts in a similar way, and encourages them to act better towards their pets – and for others to step forward and adopt a stray.

Nicolas Amiard is online at nicolasamiard.com | Behance

• As part of their mission to free dogs from threat of unnecessary destruction, Britain’s Dogs Trust have an annual Stray Dogs Survey Report to investigate the UK’s stray dog population and to create a better understanding of what happens to these dogs. The 2017 – 2018 Survey is here (PDF)

Cats Protection Cat Watch – Download the App

• In France, the Sauver Protéger Aimer does a lot of work in saving animals, including adoptions and is currently running its summer campaign to highlight the plight of abandoned pets

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John Freeman

The founder of downthetubes, John works as a comics editor, writer, as Creative Consultant on the Dan Dare audio adventures for B7 Media, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. Working in British comics publishing for over 30 years, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Star Trek Magazine and Babylon 5 Magazine. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War and “Dan Dare”. He’s the writer of “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz, published on Tapastic; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood for digital comic 100% Biodegradable.

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