Flooded roads, fields and forests: The habitat of many animal species has been destroyed by the floods and also claims many animal victims. Animal protection associations, animal shelters and animal owners in the flood regions are also badly affected.
The German Animal Welfare Association expressed its dismay at the extent of the devastating storm on Friday. He fears that animal shelters and animal lovers will face enormous challenges that are currently hardly foreseeable.
The fire brigade started a special evacuation campaign in Trier yesterday. On Friday night, she brought more than 60 pets to safety from the flooded Ehrang district. Pet owners who had to leave their homes quickly on Thursday because of the flood would have feared for their pets, said Prime Minister Malu Dreyer (SPD) in Trier on Friday.
[Jetzt noch mehr wissen: Mit Tagesspiegel Plus können Sie viele weitere spannende Geschichten, Service- und Hintergrundberichte lesen. 30 Tage kostenlos ausprobieren: Hier erfahren Sie mehr und hier kommen Sie direkt zu allen Artikeln.]
“I can really understand that because it is an animal that you just love to have and that is part of life,” said Dreyer. The city spokesman said that firefighters had drawn up a list and then went into the appropriate houses with rubber boots to fetch the animals. In some cases, a wheel loader was also used.
Dogs, cats and other four-legged friends are now temporarily housed in the Trier-Zewen animal shelter. The Rhineland-Palatinate head of government said of the rescue operation: “It is important for people that they simply see that their very personal concerns are also being looked at.”
Ponies rescued from the floods
The Essen Animal Rescue also pointed out yesterday on their Facebook page that pet owners at all times could contact the control center in Essen, so Pets or farm animals should be trapped due to the mass of water and must be evacuated or rescued. They went out on multiple missions.
In the night from Thursday to Friday, for example, a worried pony owner in Linnich, Düren district, alerted the Essen animal rescue service. Around midnight, she asked for the evacuation of her nine ponies, trapped in the flood, waist high. Around three o’clock in the morning, two ponies were spotted in the paddock about a kilometer away and brought safely to shore.
The strong current made it no longer possible for the animal rescuers to save more ponies from the flooded paddock. The remaining seven ponies, however, could have saved themselves on a hill where they were safe at the time.
[Wenn Sie aktuelle Nachrichten live auf Ihr Handy haben wollen, empfehlen wir Ihnen unsere App, die Sie hier für Apple- und Android-Geräte herunterladen können.]
Hans-Joachim Erbel, dhe president of the German Equestrian Association, expressed his shock at the prevailing conditions: “The reports and the pictures that we get from the floodplains are staggering. Torn away stable buildings, drowned horses: the need is great. And we want to help. ”The equestrian and breeding associations are currently receiving numerous calls for help.
Even wild animals in dire need
As the German Animal Welfare Association announced, many wild animals are also in great need. There are currently many young animals who cannot get to safety or cannot get to safety quickly enough. In addition to small animals such as rabbits, hares and young birds, larger species such as deer are also affected.
This is also shown by a case of the Essen fire brigade: On the way to a mission in the beer garden on the Ruhr, comrades noticed a fawn that was struggling weakly against the water. “It was pressed against a fence by the masses of water,” said a fire department spokesman on Thursday. After the rescue, the deer was covered with foil to prevent it from cooling down.
The Animal Welfare Association asks walkers and dog owners to stay away from the water and the banks if possible, because the hiding places there for the wild animals have become smaller or no longer exist. This could lead to deer or other wild animals fleeing into the water in a panic and, depending on the current and the environment, ultimately drowning, although they can actually swim well.
Zoos and animal enclosures also affected
Since Wednesday, the water masses have also made their way into the animal enclosures and zoos in the flood regions. At the Gertrudenhof adventure farm in Cologne, the animals stood knee-deep in the water: „As if Corona hadn’t already bothered us enough! The storm yesterday flooded the entire area. Thank goodness we were able to bring all the animals to safety! ”It says on their Facebook page.
Thomas Schröder, President of the German Animal Welfare Association, announced that some animal shelters in affected regions could not be reached due to power outages. “One thing is clear: after last year, this flood is affecting our animal shelters, which had to consume a large part of their financial reserves due to the corona pandemic and are currently struggling with the consequences of the domestic animal boom, all the harder.”
As the umbrella organization, the German Animal Welfare Association would now do everything in its power to be able to help in the best possible way. In addition, they hope for the support of animal lovers across the country. “The solidarity and helpfulness that we can already experience among animal lovers, moves us very much,” said Schröder.
Animal shelters that are less affected by the flood disaster have already started aid campaigns at short notice and offer other animal shelters and evacuated animal owners to temporarily take in their four-legged friends. (with dpa)