At the Steinatal animal shelter, its manager Anja Fuchs and her team usually have a lot to do after Christmas. Because not every animal that ends up under the Christmas tree as a gift is really welcome, and animals are repeatedly abandoned or brought to the animal shelter for other reasons. Usually. Because the corona pandemic has changed the situation in the animal shelter.
The animal shelter with its six employees, three apprentices and two mini-jobbers benefits above all from the help of many volunteers throughout the year, explains Fuchs in an interview with this newspaper.
Their tasks are varied, among other things, they take care of the pets as walkers and cat pats. But the corona pandemic is also leading to contact restrictions in the animal shelter, so that currently only regular walkers can do their voluntary work.
The regular opening times, when those interested can come by and look at animals, have also been eliminated. « In the past, ten to 15 people often came at once, so we were pretty busy, » says the animal shelter, describing the situation.
Employees have more time for the animals again
Above all, the current allocation of appointments to get to know each other brings with it a positive thing. « At the moment we employees have much more time to deal with the animals ourselves, which is of course a great thing. »
Another positive aspect is the number of animals placed. While an average of 200 cats were placed in previous years, according to Anja Fuchs there were an estimated 250 velvet paws who found a new home in 2020. One possible reason: “You could feel that a lot of people have used the opportunity of more free time or home office to get an animal. Because it takes a lot of time to get used to it. «
Normally, the Steinatal animal shelter offers a temporary home for a maximum of 15 dogs, 50 cats and 15 small animals. But not only the many cat referrals mean that there are currently only 20 animals on site, explains Anja Fuchs. She reports that very few dogs have been given up or abandoned by their owners throughout the year.
On the one hand, she is surprised: « Suddenly nobody has an allergy or moves away, that’s strange. » On the other hand, she suspects that many owners were unsure whether the animal shelter was even open and that the animal owners wanted to limit their contacts as much as possible.
Financial losses due to Corona
But despite the positive aspects of more time and fewer animals given up, the past year « on the whole did not go well, » says Fuchs. An important financial pillar of the animal shelter is the animal boarding, which was hardly in demand. For the year 2021, she is therefore back on vacationers and wishes for more activities and events.