Corona loneliness, boredom, or just time to finally fulfill the long-cherished wish of having a pet? The Henstedt-Ulzburg animal shelter (in the state of Schleswig-Holstein- Germany) has never had so many inquiries as it does now.
When she opens the door to the cat station in the morning, the animal shelter carer Philine Bestehorn is greeted by a meow – but by a much quieter one than she is used to.
Because normally around 40 cats are waiting for a new home at the Henstedt-Ulzburg animal shelter.
At the moment the cat Rufus lives here all by himself. And there are already interested parties for him too.
The cat “Rufus” – he will also be picked up in a few days.
“We really never had that here before, normally all rooms are always occupied,” explains Philine Bestehornthe, the animal carer. Hardly anyone is currently giving up their animal. And the demand has never been as great as in Corona times.
Endless animal inquiries
“The phone doesn’t stand still all day,” said Philine Bestehorn, commenting on the ringing while she was cleaning Rufus’ litter box.
Then the dogs get their food.
The animal caretaker strokes the little mongrel male Kayro.
“He’ll be picked up today,” she says.
And there are already applicants for almost all of the other seven dogs here.
The animal shelter employees are critical of the great interest in animals:
“We are a little bit scared of the big wave of sales after the lockdown,” says animal shelter manager Katja Vogel. Because when it’s over, people suddenly don’t have that much time. And the animals may not know how to be alone. Then it can be that dogs start barking or whining or cats pee in the apartment in protest. And the animals end up with us again, “she fears.
Animals against Corona loneliness
Philine Bestehorn distributes carrots in the rabbit enclosure.
The food round is done quickly at the moment. The zookeeper has a lot less work than usual with the few four-legged friends – but all the more with the applicants.
“We have to make sure that animals are not only taken in because people are lonely and bored, but that they are aware of their responsibility.”
The hurdles for interested parties are therefore high.
The shelter employees have everyone fill out a self-assessment, want to see photos of the possible new home, and have conversations.
They always ask the question of why the decision is made to take in an animal right now. And then decide based on a mixture of facts and gut instinct.
They also carry out follow-up checks on a random basis. Today Philine Bestehorn is skyping a young couple who recently recorded a hangover.
“How’s Travis doing?” She asks.
Its new owners guide through the new home, show the scratching post, relaxation areas, and even their own playroom. The two of them wanted to get a second cat for a long time and use the time in the home office to get Travis used to it. Philine Bestehorn is satisfied.
“Unfortunately, not every animal is hit that well.”
Young animals with charm factor for the children
“Many callers ask whether they can borrow a dog for the time they are at home – preferably an uncomplicated one,” says Philine Bestehorn.
“Of course, we strictly reject such requests, because the animals would then have to cope with another loss after the lockdown.” The shelter employees are also skeptical when asked about animals that are as young as possible with a charm factor.
Never before have there been so many people interested in baby cats since the lockdown, although the time is not at all right now.
Puppies are also more popular than ever. That is why the illegal trade in dogs that are too young and sick is currently flourishing.
Expensive trading in puppies on the Internet
The shelter employees regularly follow the offers on the Internet. According to Bestehorn, dogs are offered for up to 4,000 euros that cost less than 1,000 euros before Corona:
“The prices are rising because the animal shelters are empty. We no longer have the puppies that people would like to have. In this respect, they are becoming more and more expensive. Mixed breed puppies are also rising in prices.”
Confiscated animals end up with them. And often do not survive because the illegal traders save on vaccinations, the dogs are separated from their mothers much too early and are kept in poor hygienic conditions.
The waiting list for a cat
It looks like in Henstedt-Ulzburg in most animal shelters in Germany. Some even have long waiting lists for those interested in animals.
At the moment there are 18 confiscated puppies from illegal trade in the animal shelter in Lübeck, Germany, which are in very bad shape.
And even the first carelessly purchased animals are already coming back in many animal shelters.
Philine Bestehorn and her colleagues hope that this will remain an exception and that the big wave of taxes after Corona will not come.
And I mean: We do not need to put the question of what happens when the corona lockdown is over.
In the summer of 2020, and especially during the holiday season, there were record numbers of abandoned animals in Germany.
Precisely because in Corona times, many people thoughtlessly bought an animal through commercial trade, from breeders, or online. Many of these animals were released again in the 2020 summer season because it is often inconvenient to take them with you or because there is no friend to look after.
Then the buyers’ love for animals made in Corona is quickly over.
And there is nothing worse for an adopted animal than to lose the home which it has loved and trusted.
A nice animation video from PETA on the subject
Yes, we are of the same opinion! adopt, don’t buy.
And never betray the one who loves and entrusts you.
My best regards to all, Venus