Dogs wait to be adopted at the Animals Without Home shelter south of Paris in Montgeron, France, in August 2010. France is among the European countries with the highest number of abandoned pets during the summer months, when people take long vacations.
Credit Joel Saget / AFP/Getty Images
A volunteer takes an abandoned dog for a walk at the Animals Without Home shelter in 2010.
Credit Eleanor Beardsley / NPR
Claire Brissard runs an SPCA shelter outside Paris. She says too many French equate a pet with a stuffed animal — to be thrown away when they get tired of it.
For Europeans, it's not uncommon to take a whole month of vacation in the summer. But the season can be a deadly time for the many pets left behind — permanently.
The abandonment of domestic animals by vacationers is a scourge in many countries across Europe. And in France, this summer isn't likely to be different despite campaigns by animal-rights groups against the practice.
Today at All Things Considered, we continue a project we're calling NewsPoet. Each month, we bring in a poet to spend time in the newsroom — and at the end of the day, to compose a poem reflecting on the day's stories.
A "For Sale" sign hangs outside mostly empty apartment blocks in the Madrid satellite town of Sesena in February. Banks are trying to sell billions of euros worth of property left by bankrupt developers. This is attracting bargain-hunting investors from abroad.
Back in the day, Madrid's Palace Hotel was Ernest Hemingway's old haunt, or at least the bar was. Now, rooms at the posh hotel just down from the famed Prado Museum go for up to $6,000 a night. And gathering in its lobby these days? An altogether different type of foreigner: the kind in expensive suits.
"Probably they are institutional investors, hedge funds, sovereign wealth funds," says Federico Steinberg, an economist at Madrid's Elcano Institute.
There's a lot of cash around the world, he says, and a lot of people looking for bargains.
More than 35,000 Syrians have sought shelter in Turkey. Most of the refugees at the Kilis refugee camp in southern Turkey are women and children.
Credit AFP / AFP/Getty Images
A member of the Free Syrian Army stands near a medieval castle outside Homs, a flashpoint for much of the recent fighting, last month. The Syrian army continues to wage offensives against the rebels in many places, but the rebels say they can move back and forth between northwest Syria and southern Turkey.
At this isolated part of the Turkish border, there's just one Turkish guard, a fence and, beyond an olive grove, Syria.
The Syrian side is just a short walk, perhaps 10 minutes. The area looks completely calm and there is no sign of the Syrian military.
Abu Amar, a rebel who has fought in Syria for five weeks, walked across this field from the Syrian village of Atma, which is now serving as a rebel headquarters. He says much of the northwestern province of Idlib is now controlled by the rebels, and it has become easy to move back and forth between Syria and Turkey here.