Germany bans animal shelter adoptions in the run-up to Christmas

Arguably other countries should follow Germany’s example in banning adoptions from animal shelters in the run-up to Christmas to stop unwanted dogs and cats being dumped after the holidays. Is this a good idea? I think it is but others might disagree (see poster below).

Promoting adoptions at Christmas from animal shelters
Promoting adoptions at Christmas from animal shelters. Is this a good idea?
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We all know that some people buy pets at Christmas as a present. And most of us realise that this is not the best way to go about adopting a cat or dog or indeed any other companion animal. There is too high a percentage of animals being abandoned at shelters when the holidays are over. Animal shelter workers at shelters in Lower Saxony, Bremen and Berlin in Germany have noticed a peak in the number of cats and dogs and other small pets being abandoned in January.

The Daily Mail also tells us that shelters in Ireland have embarked on a similar policy. The country’s largest dog welfare charity Dogs Trust is suspending all adoptions from next week.

They found that the month of January was the highest for people giving up their dogs. The pause in companion animal rehoming takes place from December 16 of January 5. Some shelters will remain open to allow people to view the animals for adoption in the future during 2019.

The Executive Director of Dogs Trust, Suzie Carley, said: “Each year we are saddened and worried by the number of people looking to relinquish their dog, especially in the first few months after Christmas.”

This is the first time that I’ve seen such a policy being instigated at a number of animal shelters. It seems that Germany is leading the way in trying to reduce the number of relinquished cats and dogs after Christmas. There is still this attitude by, I hope, a small minority of people who think that it’s a good idea to adopt a pet for Christmas.

The adoption of a companion animal should take a lot of consideration; the first of which is can the potential adopter afford to maintain the animal over his or her lifetime? These costs could amount to somewhere in the region of £15,000 depending upon the animal and the country in which they live. There are other issues such as whether the person is able to devote enough time to being a companion for the animal.

Many lifestyles are unsuited, in truth, to being a companion animal guardian.

Counter argument?

P.S. The picture on this page is a promotion encouraging pet adoptions at Christmas; the exact opposite of the policies described on this page. Do they think that the people who created the poster believe that they will still gain in the number of adoptions over Christmas even if there are more cats and dogs abandoned after the holidays? I think this is the thinking behind it.

6 thoughts on “Germany bans animal shelter adoptions in the run-up to Christmas”

  1. I think all countries should do this. Too many humans think that furkids are objects to be purchased and discarded like a piece of shit! Talk abut a mind fuck for the cat or dog or even rabbits etc..They are a lifelong commitment! They are not cars, furniture to discard because you pop out a kid or get tired of feeding him or her or caring for their health! I’m so sick of humans being assholes and not loving them for life! So yes, I completely agree with this!!

  2. Considering that the holiday season is a time of extra stress, I’ve never thought it was wise to add a new pet to this mix. I’m surprised that the shelters don’t give this any thought. It seems like a “no brainer” to me. Obviously, they’re not thinking beyond the “adoption”.

  3. Festive times are the very worst times to welcome a new companion into a family.

    I’m with Albert on this.

    Well done Germany, Ireland & The Dogs Trust!

    I wish all rescue organisations would take up this policy.

  4. It’s hard to argue with the numbers. If pets bought as presents at Christmas are then abandoned in January, I’d at least initiate a policy to grill the buyers big time before allowing the purchase. People get nutty with present buying and while gifting and adopting are nice gestures, an animal companion shouldn’t be lumped into that. They are a family member. I even bristled at a stupid video on Facebook which showed a woman wrapping a cat in Christmas gift paper, which got me banished from the group for “being rude”, which I wasn’t. Think of how children treat their presents in general: playing with a toy a couple of times then forgetting about it… I’d rather a cat spend another month in jail than risking that on them.


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