Germany: "Soup kitchen for animals"
As the consequences of the global economic crisis become more apparent in Germany, animal shelters are faced with overcrowding. Pets are being abandoned when owners can no longer afford the costs of adequate care, and impoverished people and their companion animals are refused at veterinary clinics if they’re unable to pay in advance.
IFAW has been working to bring critical assistance to those who cannot properly care for their companion animals by supporting Tiertafel, the "soup kitchen for animals" in Germany.
In 2008, IFAW helped Tiertafel purchase a van to assist in the distribution of food to needy dogs and cats at 25 distribution points around the country. By supplying pet food to individuals who show documentation of low income and extreme financial distress, Tiertafel helps to ensure that beloved pets won’t be abandoned or go hungry.
Building A Strong Future
In a groundbreaking new partnership with IFAW, Tiertafel is now able to add veterinary care to its offerings. Just as with the impoverished communities in which IFAW works around the world, we now offer life-saving veterinary support and emergency care to those animals in Germany for whom poverty would otherwise cause them to suffer.
IFAW now provides an "Emergency Case Fund" for Tiertafel clients to help ensure that the high cost of medical care won't hinder a pet in distress from receiving the treatment it desperately needs. This emergency fund has already made an impact, rescuing over 40 poverty-stricken animals from life-threatening situations. Additionally, a veterinarian at Tiertafel's Berlin location offers medical assistance, including vaccinations and surgical procedures, every two weeks.
Eventually, the provision of medical assistance will be extended to other major Tiertafel distribution-points across Germany. IFAW is planning to set up veterinary teams in five cities, starting in Berlin, providing essential care and treatment to Tiertafel clients.
Veterinary students help expand pet services
As part of this effort, IFAW is partnering with local veterinary universities and utilizing student volunteers to provide basic check-ups and preventative care. These teams will also take part in micro-chipping events that help reunite owners with pets that have gone lost or missing.
Additionally, IFAW will sponsor a professional vet from the community to lead and oversee the students, as well as provide treatments that require full veterinary qualifications.
Without IFAW and Tiertafel, microchipping, veterinary treatment and even food would be out of reach for many animals in Germany. We recognize that sometimes you need not go far to find animals in crisis, and our work with Tiertafel in Germany is an important part of IFAW's efforts to aid and support communities and their animals all over the world.