Entry ban for new arrivals: Corona animals fill animal shelters

Stop accepting newcomers
Corona pets fill animal shelters

From fertilization to burden – a fate shared by many newly acquired pets from the Corona period. The owners are confused, the animals are socially weak and therefore sometimes aggressive. Small dogs and “difficult” breeds in particular are increasingly being sold.

When the kennel door opens, there is a deafening barking. Several dogs enthusiastically run up and down behind bars. On the other hand, Romeo immediately disappears through an opening inside the dog’s wing. “He’s very anxious,” says Tanya Schnabel, who runs an animal shelter in Nuremberg. She could only guess what this three-year-old had experienced. The dog was found an animal: it was tied up in a residential area for three hours before someone brought it to the animal shelter. And Romeo is not alone.

The Nuremberg Animal Shelter currently houses about 60 dogs, about 120 cats and even more small animals. “We’re full of surface,” Schnabel says. As a result, the shelter could no longer accommodate more animals. According to the German Animal Welfare Association, the situation is similar in other animal shelters in Germany. “The many animals being looked after are bringing staff to their limits,” says President Thomas Schroeder.

Mainly because many dogs are difficult to handle and need a lot of care. So later a nurse will go for a walk with Romeo. You cannot entrust such an animal to the volunteers who usually walk dogs in Nuremberg.

Amazing number of small dogs

“The assumption is that these are the effects of corona,” Schnabel says. That’s what Beate Kaminski of the Berlin animal shelter believes, too, where a notable number of puppies of larger, more demanding breeds were abandoned last year. “People may have innocently brought small dogs home during the Corona pet boom, but they weren’t doing the necessary grooming work,” she says. “By the time puberty started, the little dog was completely overwhelmed by them.” The animal shelter has since imposed a freeze on animal entry. There are more than 80 dogs on the waiting list alone, which owners are willing to give up.

Currently there are not only a lot of dogs in the animal shelter in Saarbrücken, but also a large number of small dogs. Otherwise, the older animals would be abandoned, says Frederick Goldener. Many dogs behave strangely. “They don’t know how to communicate. They react aggressively and bark at strangers.” Others suffer from musculoskeletal disorders. “This makes it difficult to move the animals,” Goldner says.

Nobody takes a German Shepherd who has already had hip problems since one year. Udo Kaepernick of the German Dog Association (VDH) also notes that the Corona period has left its mark on young dogs. Dogs already suffer from a disability. They had grown up by the time I moved into a cocoon,” he says. They were used to being taken care of around the clock and had little contact with dogs and other people. As owners months later when they had to go back to work in the home office, problems arose because they couldn’t take them The dog is with them, but they do not want to be alone or to be taken care of by others.

The illegal puppy trade is booming

Another problem is the illegal puppy trade, which has flourished due to the high demand for dogs in the Corona crisis. Last year, 170 puppies freed from illegal transport ended up in an animal shelter in Nuremberg alone. Kaepernick says many puppies are too small to be separated from their mother and siblings. “When they are puppies, they are not seen to miss a crucial step in their socialization. But this becomes evident when they reach puberty. Dogs become aggressive, and there are biting incidents in the family.”

According to Kaepernick, diseases affecting young dogs reported by the animal shelter in Saarbrücken can also be traced back to questionable breeders who did not conduct proper health checks on the parent animals. “It’s all about mass and making money fast.”

Animal shelters often find it difficult to find a new home for such dogs – especially now that Corona’s pet boom has faded. “At the moment, there are seldom any orders for our animals. Perhaps it is because people no longer want the animals,” says the animal shelter in Salzgitter, Lower Saxony.

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