The first pet owners are already waiting in front of the door of the “Magdeburger Tieranker eV”. Many of them have bags and trolleys with them. Now these foods must be filled again with wet and dry food – and there will certainly be a few rewards for the four-legged friends.
Now it’s Ines Rachel’s turn. One-year-old Jack Russell is waiting for the girl from Magdeburg at home. You get the feed rations for the next three weeks for an email.
Vet fee schedule updated
Reichel counts on the nonprofit “Tieranker”: “I receive a disability pension because I can no longer work due to illness,” she says. Money is tight, but she does not want to do without Emil. The animal gives her a lot of affection and security. “I’d rather go outside and beg before I leave my dog.”
Some days, Society President Christina Bowker’s phone doesn’t stay still. Pet owners call, usually meekly asking for help. “When I hear the desperation in their voices, I can’t help but help them,” she says. More and more people in need from the state capital and the surrounding area are turning to Tieranker — for good reason: They lack the money for food and check-ups at the vet to take care of their four-legged friends.
Due to inflation, animal feed prices are increasing. Furthermore it. Pet owners will also likely have to dig deeper into their pockets for treatment at veterinary practices from October. The fee schedule for veterinarians will be comprehensively updated for the first time since 1999. “It’s not an increase in fees per se, but a change. Of course, examinations alone are more expensive, but there are also treatments like X-rays that are cheaper for pet owners,” reports Anne Catherine. Witzlak, President of the State Association of Veterinarians Practitioners in Saxony-Anhalt.
Pets are often the last emotional hold on many owners
For pet owners, who have to turn over each euro twice, sometimes high prices for veterinary checks are noticeable in their wallets. But what do you do if you do not have money for your beloved animal? Giving up is not an option for most people. Because for people in financial distress, their pets are often the last emotional support – the anchor, so to speak.
For such life situations there is an “animal anchor”. For more than ten years, the association has been supporting people with pets in need — more and more mentally ill owners have recently joined, Böker reports. There are more and more people who have become unable to work during the Corona pandemic and are receiving psychological treatment since then.
Every three weeks, the Böker team opens their release office on Friday afternoons in Akerstraße. The association includes about 80 pet owners. As the club president says, two to three new faces are added for each release date. “We suppose we’ll have to look after a few animals this fall.” Even if this presents challenges for the club, Böker does not want to lose confidence.
Abandoning more pets to animal shelters
What doesn’t make the current situation any easier for the animal berth is food donations. Food in their camp is enough for three cases. But if a few new goods arrive, things will get tight. In addition, according to Booker, willingness to donate has recently declined. In some cases, large corporations – unlike in the past – no longer help with checks for donations.
From time to time, food banks in Saxony-Anhalt receive donations of food. According to Andreas Stebohn, president of the Tafel Regional Association, this is an exception: “Of course, this is not the main business of the Tafel,” he admits. However, donated food is also given to those in need who have pets.
In animal shelters in Saxony-Anhalt, which are already at the limit anyway, new animals are constantly ending up these days. It is usually not clear why they are abandoned. “I can’t say if it’s due to increased feed or maintenance costs. Many people are not honest when they give up their pets,” says Rudolf Gersch, president of the Saxony-Anhalt Association of Animal Welfare. They don’t donate it when money is tight.”
Veterinarian Ann Katherine Witzlak also explains that people affected by poverty need to think carefully about whether they can buy a pet. “Acquisition is not usually the problem. It only becomes a problem when you visit the vet and the animal has potential complaints.” Preventive checks and vaccinations should not be neglected. Hence the expert advice: always put money aside for unplanned interventions.