Man’s best friend

Tierhilfe nah & fern eV supports pet owners in need with food and equipment. There are currently issue offices in Lichtenfels and Kronach, and soon there will be a mobile animal board. But for this, Dieter Erler and his team need donations.

Peter is 62 and recently lost his kitchen ladle job due to the pandemic. When he returns home, there is a feeling of loneliness, depression and frustration.

and Charlie. Only Charlie. stop him. But how does he pay for his dog’s food?

eight volunteers

So that people like Peter can take good care of their pets and not have to give them up, the Young People’s Association Tierhilfe nah & fern has set up the Animals Board. The eight current members serve on a voluntary basis. They accept donations such as animal feed, blankets or clothing, sort goods and bring them to distribution points. One of them is the Lichtenfels plus board.

“I am very happy to have such a project. For many clients, the pet is the only person they can connect with,” says manager Joanna Ballull, whose team distributes merchandise at low cost.

Another point of contact for people who, due to their financial situation, are no longer able to adequately care for their pets is the “Lädla” welfare shop in Kronach. Either way, staff and volunteers know that due to people’s financial situation, they are allowed to shop at both places.

In other cases, they have to apply for funding to the association and – after approval – can get additional food for their care once a month at the animal aid camp near and far from Burgkunstadter Straße in Horb. In special cases, subsidies may also be made for veterinary costs for animal operations or the like.

“We personally visit all donation recipients to get an idea of ​​the situation and also to make sure that the donations are used to care for the animals. Of course, we treat people’s personal stories in the strictest confidence,” confirms Dieter Erler. “We have a good relationship with many animal owners. This has also led to us making real friends.”

The prerequisite for financing is that the animal was already living in the house before the need for assistance arose. A maximum of two to four animals per household is supported – mainly dogs, cats and ferrets. “Many animals have become family members. And if people aren’t already doing well, they shouldn’t see them suffer or even lose them.”

More nurseries are needed

But Dieter Erler, who works full-time at a sawmill in Kronach, and his partner are also dealing with other problems: for example, the growing need for nursing homes, especially for dogs rescued from unworthy living conditions abroad and now waiting for a home. Or the free breeding of many domestic cats in the area and beyond. “The obligation to castrate cats outdoors will be about time. Only in this way can all animals live well.”

On the other hand, the association is already actively supporting this mission in Romania. Dieter Erler became acquainted with the animal shelter “Leben für Engel” in Targofest through private contacts. This organizes a large-scale castration campaign for street and stray animals there. “A drop in an ocean, but we’re doing our part.”

Dieter Erler does more than that: Two years ago he lived with the dog “Liese”, a “scared dog” of this area, which today has visibly lost heart to its owner.

The association also sees the growing need to support animal owners in the villages of the Franconian forest who are not mobile, and therefore want to purchase a minivan for a “mobile animal table”. He is currently delivering needed fodder and other animal husbandry supplies in his own vehicle. Last week, about 80 kilos were transferred.

The Animal Care Indoor Flea Markets, which will take place again May 7th and 8th at the Horb location, are aiming to bring in donations. One hundred percent of these are handed over to the association. However, membership and financial and material donations are welcome for any other occasion and in everyday life. “Our thoughts are with the animals and people who always do their best to reduce the suffering of the animals around us. We need support for our projects and are grateful for any help,” says the dedicated helper.

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