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They too will come with us

2011.08.01

Vacations pose a logistical decision which is sometimes difficult to resolve for the majority of those of us who live with pets. Should they come with us on vacation or not?

Traveling with pet animals is a problem in Spain given the lack of facilities which those of us who do domestic tourism find. If we go with our dogs, cats, etc in our personal transportation, the only question is providing the necessary elements for them (fresh water, water dish, harness, leash, a toy or treat with which they can be distracted) and make regular stops which, in addition for the driver’s own rest, allows the animals to do their necessities. I will not remind you here of the importance of not leaving them in the car due to the threat of heat stroke; this we already know. On the other hand, if we have to use public transport, we come across a sea of difficulties. In our website we have collected and updated the regulations which exist with regards to this topi [1]
, which I suggest that you read carefully what is said there in case of any doubts [2] . The result is somewhat dispiriting and the question arises whether the current legislation is oriented toward facilitating traveling with pet animals, or oriented toward dissuading us from the idea. I’m inclined to believe in the second option, although with the certainty that this has to change and that the change will not be long in coming.

Housing is a separate question. Hotels and other establishments which accept per animals in Spain are still the exception, but, I have to say, in all truth, that those that accept animals offer all types of facilities. Over time, I have collected some addresses, which I am not afraid to share [3]-, where we have always been well received and for this reason we have returned. In this respect, you must realize that no unifying regulation exists in Spain; hotel establishments accept or reject pet animals in their branches, a right of admission which they retain; in certain cases they must comply with the pertinent local or autonomous level regulations regarding prohibitions relating to animals, in concrete in public establishments. These prohibitions do not, of course, affect guide-dogs.

When hotels refer to a supposed sanitary regulation which prohibits them from accepting animals in the establishment as justification for rejecting pet animals in a hotel, it is useful to know that this regulation is non-existent. As such, it is a question of culture, of habits, of seeing the situation of a traveler with his pet as something normal [4]. Pet animals living with humans as an urban phenomenon is something relatively recent. Traveling with them is still infrequent. However, if we look at Europe as a whole, the situation is exactly the opposite. In all of Central Europe travelers with animals are, in general, well received in transportations, hotels, restaurants and bars. What’s more, it is not surprising when the heat rises for pet animals to be offered a dish with fresh water, placed placidly below the table. There are thousands of experiences which could be retold on this topic.

Setting off on a trip with our pet animals is a fascinating adventure. They love coming along. The rite, at least in our case, begins when they see the bags appearing. I remember one of my dogs who, whenever I opened a bag on the bed in order to start packing, would put himself inside and would look at me, taken-aback. To calm him down, I took out his bag and put it in an easily visible place. He never stopped circling it, never stopped pushing it with his nose, he would sit on top until his things too were inside.

I hold out hope that future European legislation on pet animals creates some standards on this topic [5]. In the meantime, it seems to me that we should promote a movement with the slogan: THEY TOO WILL COME WITH US or something similar. We would all come out ahead.

THE EDITOR
Teresa Giménez-Candela
Department Chair in Roman Law
Animal Law Profesor
Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona


[1] Search in the database, under the words “Public Transport”.
[2] Just as an example, you can look at the ban of pet animals in public transportation in Leon, ““The Municipal Ordinance regulating the ownership and other animals” ”, in article 11; aas well as in Valencia, “Municipal Ordinance of the city of Valencia on the ownership of animals",in article 6 (links in Spanish)
[3] Among others: La Hosteria del mar, in Peñiscola; el Hotel Meson del Cid, in Burgos; el Hotel Convento Las Claras, in Peñafiel ; el Balneario Caldes de Boi.
[4] LThe website of the Fundacion Affinity offers an updated list of hotels and rural houses which admit dogs in their “2011 Guide for traveling with animals” (link in Spanish).
[5] For now, you can look at Regulation of the EC Nº 998/2003.

keys vacations, establishments , prohibitions , animal

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