‘Coronavirus dogs’ pose problems for animal shelters

‘Coronavirus dogs’ pose problems for animal shelters

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The dogs are waiting in their boxes at the shelter. During the Corona period, many people seem to have bought dogs without treating them properly. © Oliver Dietze/dpa

During the Corona period, many people seem to have bought dogs without treating them properly. Animal shelters are now feeling the effects.

Saarbrücken/Trier. Animal shelters in the Saarland and Rhineland-Palatinate are increasingly suffering from “coronavirus dogs”, that is, those animals that were thoughtlessly bought during the pandemic and are no longer needed by the owners. However, animal rights activists are concerned not only with the number of given dogs, but also with their behavior.

“Most of those given in the last eight months are one-year-olds and completely unsocialized,” said Frederick Guldner, spokesman for the 1924 Saarbrücken Animal Welfare Association and the Bertha Bruch Animal Shelter. “They know neither other animals, nor people, nor machines, nor external influences. And if the door slams shut, they’ll be scared.”

The animal shelter in Saarbrücken is currently filled with 60 dogs. There are always questions, but mediation is problematic: “They’re just not the most social dogs because they haven’t been worked with. This complicates the task,” says Guldner. And if, during the first test walk, dogs bark directly at other relatives, then this is a “direct deterrent” for many interested parties.

behavioral problems and need for therapy

This problem is also known to the German Animal Welfare Association Rhineland-Palatinate. “What is particularly challenging right now is that many animals have behavioral problems,” said Andreas Lindig, chairman of the regional association. “Not necessarily about aggressiveness, sometimes it’s very simple things.” For example, dogs are afraid, cannot be left alone, break things in the apartment, or do not want to walk on a leash.

“These animals need extensive therapy,” Lindig said. Animal shelters often fail to do this because they don’t have the money or the staff. Result: “Dogs sit in houses for a very long time and thus block the places for others. And the rooms fill up fast.”

Animal rights activists have previously warned

This is exactly the effect that animal rights activists have repeatedly warned about. Many families kept animals during the pandemic without thinking about what it would mean in the long run.

The problems were exacerbated by the fact that they were also bought online by dog ​​dealers who would no longer accept the animals back. With the current easing of the corona pandemic, the short work and home office period has also come to an end for many owners. Guldner: “Now you understand that such a dog also needs time, money and workload.”

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