At the height of the corona pandemic, animal shelters in Germany could hardly save themselves from inquiries. With the return to normal, a wave of taxes threatens. Some of the animals are sold again on the Internet. So what’s to become of these so called “corona dogs”?
They were such a comfort for many people during the pandemic. With the return to normality, the “corona dogs” have now become a burden for many people who now have to return to work. How are Bavaria’s animal shelters coping with the situation?
The Pets industry was the fastest growing industry of the pandemic
The number of dogs, cats or budgies and other animal roommates in German households rose within twelve months by almost one million to just under 35 million, as the Industry Association for Pet Supplies (IVH) and the Central Association of German Zoological Companies (ZFF).
Since the start of the pandemic, puppies, cats and small animals are in greater demand than ever.
“Our breeders can no longer cope with the large number of inquiries,” said VDH spokesman Udo Kopernik. IVH boss Georg Müller also emphasized: “The trend towards four-legged friends, especially dogs and cats, which has persisted for many years, was certainly reinforced in 2020 by the special home office circumstances during the Corona crisis.”
(L)VDH spokesman Udo Kopernik – (R) IVH boss Georg Müller
Meet “Corona dog” Silwa
At the age of seven months, the terrier hybrid Silwa has already seen a lot. When she was 14 days old, she was found on the street in Bosnia with her siblings. Actually far too young to be separated from her mother. She came to Bavaria and was placed with a young family with children and cats. Silwa was the new family member in the dreary Corona time. But the bitch quickly became a nuisance, did not get along with the cats and had to leave.
Silwa’s fate stands for many young dogs that were acquired during the corona pandemic and have since been given back. The nickname “Corona dog” fits the many puppies and young dogs that get annoying when they return to the office or school. “There are even more dogs coming back,” fears Petra Greißl. The computer scientist runs a sanctuary in her free time. Up to eleven dogs can find shelter on their property in Kastl in the Altötting district.
“Corona dog” Silwa had to go: The terrier mix is now living in Altötting
Terrier mix Silwa has recently been living on Greißl’s farm. With her organization “Dogs in Need Bavaria” she helps dogs across Germany and cooperates with various animal welfare associations. Older dogs or fearful animals are just as welcome at Greißl, who is also a trained animal healer, as are the so-called corona dogs.
“Corona dogs” are starting to be sold on the
Most of the very young pets are sold in various sales portals, file sharing sites or on social networks such as Facebook. This not only brings in the purchase price, but also saves the animal shelters’ fees, says Gassner.
▶ Dog taxes: The risk of dogs being abandoned is very low in Germany. A dog is taxable and can easily be assigned to its owner.
▶ Another reason is the social pressure: It is noticeable when a dog is suddenly gone.” The neighbor, colleague or acquaintance would ask about the dog if they have not seen it for a long time. No home has yet been found for Silwa. Until then, Greißl will remain her replacement home.