Dog photographed in front of the County Council Building , Source: Ionel Arsene on Facebook

Citizens can take their pets when they visit the Neamț county administration

Citizens can take their pets when they visit the Neamț county administration

The pet-friendly policy was initiated by County Council President Ionel Arsene, who knows how sad pets can get when they are away from their owners

Yesterday, Ionel Arsene, the president of the County Council in the Romanian County of Neamț announced that the council building will become ‘pet friendly’. This means that citizens that have to visit the administration can go into the building together with their pets.

President Arsene explained in a post on social media that the move was provoked by his own experience as a pet owner and his understanding of the pets’ suffering when their owners are not around. He continued by saying that pets are welcome in the county building when citizens need to solve various administrative issues.

The new decision is aimed at everyone, but especially at people that have pets suffering from separation anxiety. He explained: "I know from my own experience how much these wonderful non-speakers suffer when they are not with their masters. So I urge you to make them happy to be with them as long as possible."

Neamț County Council President Ionel Arsene petting a dog,
Source: Ionel Arsene on Facebook

Separation anxiety and the mental health of pets

Separation anxiety is a broad psychological term that refers to someone who experiences severe bursts of anxiety when they are separated from a particular person or group. What is particular about the condition is that the anxiety is disproportionate to the amount of time the people will be separated.

A good example is a child being left at the kindergarten who cannot stop crying. These feelings can be experienced by adults, and as it turns out also by pets.

In the case of pets, this could look like a dog that starts to howl, bark or jump at the door, the moment the owner leaves. It could also look like a dog greeting the owner like they have not seen each other for years, after a five-minute trip to the grocery store.

Pets with separation anxiety also tend to be quite violent towards the house furniture, as some of the symptoms include: chewing, digging, jumping, urinating and defecating, as well as coprophagia. Although sometimes these can just be signs of bad behaviour, they could also be the result of separation anxiety.

According to the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), a good way to judge whether your pet is experiencing mental health problems is to leave the apartment and stick around listening at the door. If the dog is suffering from separation anxiety, usually the howling, barking, digging will start immediately.

Luckily, a good way to treat the condition is to desensitise pets to spending time alone, helping them enjoy that time alone more. However, the ASPCA say that that process takes time and patience.



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