Bonn/Troisdorf More people have gotten a pet in the Corona lockdown. Now animal shelters and animal welfare advocates from Bonn and the region are seeing the pendulum swing back and animals being surrendered or abandoned. The concern is that the situation is getting worse.
Time and again, animals are abandoned by their owners when joy gives way to overwhelm over their new roommates. Most recently, the animal shelter in Bonn discovered a tethered dog and a box with five pigeons on their fence. Much to the annoyance of the staff, because abandoning animals is a criminal offense, the shelter announced. This worries the shelters in the region: Animal surrenders and abandonments are piling up and are expected to continue to increase.
During the Corona crisis, many people had acquired a pet when they were forced to sit at home in the lockdown. Requests had also increased at local animal shelters. Now the pendulum is swinging back, warns the Bonn-based German Animal Welfare Association. The feared delivery wave of "Corona animals" is slowly emerging. Animals, which were acquired without due consideration during the Pandemic through the Internet, with the breeder, in the zoo specialized trade or with illegal dealers are being abandoned. The animal shelters would have to prepare for a flood of new admissions, warns the animal protection association. In Tierheimen there are already admissions.
"Animals are delivered or abandoned are accumulating now", says Julia Zerwas of the animal shelter Albert Schweitzer in Bonn. She is not worried about the animals she has placed herself. "We animal shelters have paid attention to tightened placements during the pandemic," Zerwas says. The inquiries for domestic animals had exploded in the Corona time properly. As a result, he says, more attention has been paid to whether prospective buyers are suitable keepers. Nevertheless, Zerwas also expects that the situation will continue to worsen. This is due to the fact that many more animals than usual have been bought through puppy breeders, classified ads and abroad. "There has been a real flood of puppies, and some breeders are sold out in advance by the fourth litter," Zerwas says.
"Sooner or later, this will escalate"
The animal shelter in Troisdorf says it is taking in more small animals and cats in particular. "Since the end of the lockdown, it has increased," says Bianca Jurisch, deputy shelter manager. A few days ago, she says, the shelter discovered a crate with six guinea pigs. The day before, a man had called to drop off six guinea pigs. Because the shelter now had space problems for the small animals, they refused, says Jurisch. The animals were then apparently abandoned. Many people are uninformed when they get animals and then quickly overwhelmed. While animal shelters pay special attention to the suitability of a keeper, that is not the case in the commercial trade, he says. "During the lockdown, the situation was much calmer," Jurisch says. She expects many more animals to be surrendered, she said. "Sooner or later, it will escalate," she says.
For animal shelters, abandoned animals in particular mean more work. There is almost always a lack of medical history information, she says. The animals would then have to be thoroughly examined and vaccinated as a precaution. For the animals themselves, the new living situation is often even more difficult. "They no longer understand the world, and unfortunately we don't have as much time for them here as we do at home," says Zerwas from the Bonn animal shelter. The shelters therefore appeal to common sense: anyone who acquires an animal should inform themselves thoroughly beforehand and think carefully about whether they can meet the animal's requirements.
Original text: Andreas Dyck
Translation: Mareike Graepel