Germans scramble for pets

Companion to epidemic: German domesticated mobs

Animal shelters collapse under adoption requests and families that sometimes pay little attention to the origins of puppies and kittens: Germans have filled the isolation imposed by the epidemic in search of four-legged companions.

Marcus Salomon, a 53-year-old biologist, fell in love with a young bastard with spotted black and brown hair, the joy of his two daughters, aged 9 and 14.

“He is very dynamic, naughty, sensitive” and brings a welcome distraction during school hours at home, says Anneli, the eldest, as schools have been closed again for most of the year in Germany . ‘

“You can’t do a lot, you can’t go on vacation, you can’t go to meet friends or family. But you can walk, go to the woods, and a dog is perfect. For her”, the father’s attention. keeps. family.

The Germans, deprived of months of restaurants, sports clubs, and more recently to smaller shops, however, can wander as they please, without any epidemic-associated restrictions.

According to the dog association Deutsche Hendensen (VDH), in 2020 the number of dogs sold in the country increased by a “dramatic” 20%.

With cats and dogs at the top of the list, approximately one million additional animals have entered German homes, where there are about 35 million furry, feathered and other turtles and fish. For a country of 83 million inhabitants, according to estimates. German Pet Products Federation (IVH).

– emotional support –

The enthusiasm is global. The Kovid-19 epidemic has exploded requests for animal adoption in many countries.

In Berlin, the Tierheim Animal Shelter says it recorded a record 500 requests over a weekend last weekend at the onset of a health crisis.

The animal feed and goods sector saw growth of 5% last year, reaching EUR 5.5 billion

In a recent survey conducted by the German pet site Wamiz.de, 84% of dog owners said that their pets not only provided distraction during the epidemic, but also much emotional support.

“Pets are negotiators for many people, especially those living alone”, analyzes Frank Nestman, specializing in human-animal relations at the Institute of Technology Dresden.

The other side of this craze: According to the German Association for the Protection of Animals, the number of dogs sold illegally in Germany more than doubled between 2019 and 2020.

These dogs are often banned abroad under poor conditions, proving, once sold in Germany, ill or not very manageable, which leads to their abandonment.

– Illicit trade thrives –

“Demand is high and animal welfare organizations are hardly any other animals. This means that the illegal trade is flourishing”, observes Annette Rust, Tierheim Asylum spokesperson.

She takes the example of Marty, a two-and-a-half-year-old Staffordshire terrier who is illegally imported from Romania, then kept locked in a cellar before being brought to the shelter, where he is treated for many health problems and ‘balanced ‘Is done for.

People are often drawn to puppies like Marty because of the “beautiful colors that are so popular on Instagram,” but they may be unable to deal with them when they grow up, he says, adding that dog behavior therapists at the shelter Says Xenia Katzurke.

Many caught an animal without thinking what would happen when the epidemic would end and their lives would return to normal.

This should not be a problem for Marcus Salomon and his family, who are already used to seeing Ushi stealing food from his litter box, barking during their conversation, and hopping on the table at mealtime.

And when life returns to normal, allowing them to travel again, they already see themselves everywhere carrying furballs with them.

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About the Author: Hanley Mallin

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