pour circle. Young animals are always cute. Dogs, cats, rabbits etc. are on the wish lists of many children, especially at Christmas time. Or adults think they can make their elderly parents happy with a new housemate. Giving a four-legged friend a new home is a very responsible task that is not only time-consuming but also cost-intensive. Many people underestimate this. Especially when everyday life starts after the relaxed holiday season, they realize how difficult it is to take care of an animal. At best, the new roommate will then be brought to an animal shelter.
The fact that fewer and fewer four-legged friends have been brought back in the past few years is due to the fact that many animal shelters made a placement stop during the Christmas period. After all, animals are living beings and not toys that you simply give away. The Gießen animal shelter does the same. « We close before Christmas and only open again in the new year, » explains Astrid Paparone. Only animals that have been in discussion with their new potential owners for a long time are allowed to move in the run-up to Christmas. For this reason, the Gießen animal shelter did not get any animals back this year.
House visit in advance
Moving always means stress for an animal, the expert emphasizes. Especially at Christmas, when there is more hustle and bustle than usual, it is not advisable to buy a new house mate. Towards spring and summer, more animals would tend to be taught. But here too it is carefully examined whether the interested parties are suitable for the respective animal at all. In the case of difficult animals, a home visit takes place beforehand.
« We are very careful about the placement in the run-up to Christmas, » emphasizes Ilse Toth from the « Tieroase » in Heuchelheim, which also has no returns. « ‘My grandma would like a cat’ – we can’t do that. » Over time you get a feel for whether a family or a person is able to take care of the respective animal sufficiently. In addition, preliminary checks would always be carried out. « If it doesn’t fit, we’ll take the animal back with us, » emphasizes Toth. Questions are clarified in advance, such as how long the new owners are at work, what happens to the animal when a vacation is due or whether there are other pets.
Another reason that hardly any animals are returned in the weeks after Christmas is that most hardware stores no longer sell living beings. The children’s eyes lit up here and the hearts of the parents softened in the run-up to Christmas. Because while a visit to a shelter is always planned, you can see the animals passing by in the hardware store. « It’s like having sweets at the checkout in the supermarket, » complains a mother, whose daughter was determined to take a hamster with her.
The animal protection organization Peta already revealed in 2015 that a large part of the pets sold in specialist shops came from breeding facilities that were cruel to animals. Rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, mice and reptiles were particularly affected. If you want to give an animal a new home, you should think carefully about which four-legged friend suits you and always be aware that this companion – if everything goes well – will be preserved for many years.