WATCH: Germany's Tiertafel vet clinic, a table full of food and medicine for animals

I am sure it must have been fate that IFAW’s regional partner organization, the Tiertafel, was using the same slogan as IFAW: “A better world for animals and people”.

When I spoke to Claudia Hollm, founder of the Tiertafel, for the first time five years ago, it was clear immediately that our philosophy is very similar – despite our working within different scales.

As in a well-working relationship we have a lot of targets in common but we also have our own strengths which may be an advantage for the business partner.

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Thus Tiertafel’s way of working – in the communities and with a lot of volunteers – is an advantage for IFAW as it makes it easy for us to get into contact with people.

On the other hand the Tiertafel is glad to have such a big and global partner.

We supported the Tiertafel with sponsoring some vans which they use for distribution (to about 20 distribution points) and pick-up of large quantities of pet food. All vans are branded with IFAW’s logo – making sure that the animal welfare scene in Germany gets to know IFAW and Tiertafel are partners.

More than 10,000 people with far more than 21,000 animals profit from these pet food transports and the distribution. In 2013 in Hamburg alone 3,633 kilos of dog food, 2,814 kilos of cat food and numerous centers of small animal food were distributed.

Without our vans such logistics would not be manageable – and poor people’s pets would go without the free food. We also started a project introducing badly needed veterinarian support for the poorest. 

First in Berlin the IFAW vet has been opening her practice for the Tiertafel-animals twice a week for three years now. Within those three years we were able to help about 1.840 animals – through emergency operations, treatment of chronic or acute illnesses, injuries and infections.

Because the vets in general are forbidden by law to provide their medical services for free someone has to pay the bill. Deprived pet owners in Germany are giving whatever they can but too often it is not enough.

But registered at Tiertafel they can get help at the IFAW vet practice. Here no companion animal has to die because the lack of money. 2013 we opened a new IFAW vet practice in Hamburg - the second biggest city of Germany. The people are so grateful for our help and together with Tiertafel we can support so many pets and people.

This is a great help for people in need and their beloved pets. We are very happy about our successful collaboration with Tiertafel and especially thankful to our fantastic vets who commit so much of their time and compassion to their patients and their owners.


Your support of IFAW efforts in Germany means that no animal registered with Tiertafel has to die due to lack of funds.

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Cynthia Milburn, Director, Animal Welfare Outreach & Education
Senior Advisor, Policy Development
Jan Hannah, Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Campaign Manager, Northern Dogs Project
Kate Nattrass Atema, Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Program Director, Community Animal Welfare
Shannon Walajtys
Manager, Animal Rescue-Disasters