How you can help strays on vacation

You will meet them on the beach, on the streets and sidewalks, but mostly in hotel complexes and in front of restaurants: street animals that often run around hungry, looking for something to eat. In the tourist season, their excursions are often crowned with success. Travelers love to feed animals and pets.

But once the festive season is over, so does the hospitality towards the animals for the most part: the animals are left to their own devices, frightened away or even transported to killing stations where they await their end.

Photo: Adobe Stock / webster4003

The biggest problem is that local people cannot or do not want to spay or neuter their pets. This creates a new batch of cats and dogs every year who end up on the streets and have to fight for their survival there. Many charities do their best to take care of these animals, give them medical treatment and, most importantly, neuter their furry friends and velvet paws to prevent the birth of more street animals.

As a tourist how can you help street animals?

Donate, Donate, and Donate: Organizations always need money for things like vet visits, spaying, neutering, food, and personal care items. Every penny counts, especially for local charities. They are always dependent on supplies – especially in the poor countries of eastern and southern Europe.

In addition to money, we always welcome in-kind donations. Small organizations in particular always use it. If you’re there as a tourist, you could, for example, go to a supermarket or pet store on a quiet day, get food, brushes, gloves or the like there and donate to local animal rights activists.

You can also ensure that animal rights activists are better known and supported by telling those around you about different organizations and perhaps even sharing their posts on social media. Unfortunately, most local animal rights activists often have neither the time nor the money to generate donations and access their marketing campaigns.

Feeding time for stray cats
Photo: pexel / Betul Balcı

Sure, it’s time off and I’m not around to work – but if you enjoy it, offer to help animal rights activists for a day, for example through group meals. Your support may also be needed to build a shelter. It is often helpful to give street animals entertainment and affection.

In general, treat the little rascals well and do not bother them. If you find an injured animal, find out your local emergency numbers and get help.

What should you never do with street animals?

Above all, do not adopt an animal out of pure compassion. Killing stations in particular depend on tourists like you buying animals out of pity. This is how they make their money and instantly replace those saved with another.

Bringing this cute kitten or puppy home with you seems very tempting. But animals are not holiday gifts! Such an adoption takes a lot of time and thought.

cat under tables
Photo: pexels / Meruyert Gonullu

However, if you are intent on adopting a street animal, first consider these points:

  • Do you give the animal a reputation for doing this? Will you fit in in your own home, in a completely new and unfamiliar environment?
  • Is a fur nose healthy? If she suffers from an infectious disease, then there is a good chance that you will not be allowed to bring her to Germany, as it may pose a danger to you and other animals.
  • Does a four-legged friend have all the necessary vaccinations? Above all, rabies vaccination is required for import. If this is not available, it will take several weeks before the animal is allowed to go to Germany.
  • Do you have enough time after vacation to help your new roommate settle in? Are you generally able to take care of him? Too many rescued animals end up in German animal shelters: these too have limited capabilities.

If you are still intent on giving them a new home after these considerations, you have to overcome a lot of hurdles and paperwork.

Photo: Rottmann Photography

There are many ways to help the stray outside and not all of them require much effort. Sometimes just giving them some affection is enough. Almost every fur ball is happy to hit it. If they don’t want it, they’ll show it to you. Take her and leave her alone.

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