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The reasoning behind this seemingly pet unfriendly policy may help you understand their policy better…

Bremen animal shelter in Berlin, Germany – one of the largest animal shelters in Europe implemented a “No adoption during the Holiday season” policy.  Want to Know why?

Bremen houses 500 dogs and cats and was the first one to adopt this policy.  

The ban on adoption from mid December to the end of the year is now followed by other major animal shelters in major German cities including Berlin, Hanover & Bremen as reported by The Independent UK.

Why this seemingly animal unfriendly act from the very people who volunteer their time animal welfare?

christmas, pup,

Over the years The Bremen shelter noticed a big spike in adoptions around christmas. That would be a good thing except….the following January consistently had a huge spike in returns.

The temporary ban is intended to discourage the impulse to gift pets to folks that either end up returning them in January or worse yet – dump them as early as Christmas Eve.

“Quite Honesty, those people who don’t understand, we don’t want them” say the shelter workers.

Arvid Possekel of Hanover animal Shelter told a German broadcaster the basis for the policy – “The temporary stop is there so that animals do not end up under the Christmas tree, because animals simply are not presents,” he said.

“Ideally they become members of the family and you just don’t give family members as presents.”

“If you really want to gift someone an animal, then you can go to the shelter before the holidays, or in January, but it does not need to be two days before Christmas.”

dog, santa, hat
ROverhate (CC0), Pixabay

Mr Possekel added that potential owners should be mindful of how stressful Christmas and New Year can be.

Supporters of the ban point out that many a times the gifts are a surprise and as such the giver does not disclose the “gift” of a pet to the recipient who is totally unprepared  for the giving the necessary pet care.

That often results in returning the pet to the shelter or worse yet is abandoning the animal, per Gabriel Schwab of Bremen Animal Shelter.

Holiday season is hectic in most households.  People are busy working, shopping, hosting or attending parties etc.  

That leaves them very little time for other additional duties and responsibilities that come with a new pet causing a stressful period for a conscientious new pet owner as well compounding the stress for the animal.  

The pet usually draws its energy from the owner says the dog whisperer Caesar Milan.  

So a stressed pet owner with a pet in a completely new, unfamiliar environment is an extremely stressful environment for the new animal – a huge contrast from the shelter environment.

Ideally a new pet needs plenty of attention, love, affection, exercise, play time etc with the owner to cultivate a good healthy bond and mutually pleasant environment for both the new pet and its owner.

With that said, the intent behind the new policy does indicate that it is in the interest of both the pet and the new owner.

Starting 2019, arrival of new year brings a special gift to pet lovers – it will end the wait for anyone wishing to adopt a pet from these shelters to fulfil their wish.



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