Tierheim, Hausvaterweg, Falkenberg, Lichtenberg, Berlin, Deutschland *** Animal shelter, Hausvaterweg, Falkenberg, Lichtenberg, Berlin, Germany

Because the facility is heavily overloaded, the Berlin animal shelter announced an immediate stop on Friday. “Unfortunately, we have to pull the emergency brake now,” says a statement from the shelter. Only animals that have been secured by veterinary offices, found animals and other emergencies can continue to be admitted.

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Initially, it is not unusual for capacity utilization to increase in the summer. Especially in the holiday season in summer, more found animals are given away. This year, however, the high utilization of what it claims to be the largest animal shelter in Europe is also due to the corona pandemic: “The fact that travel is possible again after two years has significant consequences,” says the animal shelter.

In addition, the situation has been exacerbated by the pet boom that the pandemic has triggered. The animal shelter writes that it is mainly pubescent dogs that were bought as puppies and now overwhelm their owners due to insufficient training. For the time being, these can no longer be handed in at the facility in the Lichtenberg district of Falkenberg. But advice is still available. “Very often, the first thought is to give your animal to the nearest animal shelter,” says Eva Rönspieß, chairwoman. “Of course, that is commendable, but it is forgotten that the animal can also find a new, loving home with family, friends or acquaintances.” The employees of the animal shelter would support this private placement.

4,200 pets are handed over to the animal shelter in Berlin by private individuals every year – significantly more than the latter has capacity. There are currently 1400 animals housed there. “Our cat and dog houses in particular, as well as the areas for small animals and birds, are bursting at the seams,” writes the facility.

There are currently more than 80 dogs on the waiting list whose owners want to give them up because of bite incidents, among other things. If you bring an animal to the shelter, you have to pay an admission fee, which varies depending on the species. Anyone who abandons their animal somewhere instead risks a fine of up to 25,000 euros.