Tierschutzverein, Frankfurt (animal shelter)
This post is for my ex-pat readers living in Frankfurt who are thinking of adopting a new pet. Adopting a pet from the local shelter system really does save a life. The Tierschutzverein Frankfurt has a selection of guinea-pigs, hamsters, rabbits, birds, cats and dogs, all of whom need a new home. This shelter does a phenomenal job of caring for the animals and is 100% dependent on donations for funding. They even have a small farm near Florstadt, known as the Gnadenhof, which houses many of the dogs in proper kennels with outdoor runs and it also allows senior animals to live out their days there.
Many pets are available at the city centre location (Ferdinand-Porsche-Str. 2-4, Frankfurt. Trams no. 11 and 12) while the Gnadenhof (Viehweg 1, Florstadt / Nieder Mockstadt) houses larger dogs, outdoor cats and even some farm animals like goats and horses. Check out the Gnadenhofs Facebook page if you wish to find out more.
I recently adopted a cat from the shelter on Ferdinand-Porsche-Strassse and on my first visit it was clear that the staff knew their charges individually and cared for them deeply. I speak fairly good German and had no problem explaining what I was looking for, but do take a Geman speaker with you if possible. Home checks were made to ensure the new home was a suitable environment and once approved I paid the 150€ adoption fee to cover medical costs, vaccinations and microchip, and not only became the proud owner of a beautiful cat but also, in adopting from the shelter, was able to free up space for another animal to have a second chance.
The Gnadenhof, Florstadt
Last weekend, out of curiosity and partly because I had some old towels to donate, I visited the Gnadenhof during their open afternoon hosted very Sunday between 13:00 and 15:00. Just as I arrived the staff were having a quick break in the yard and it was apparent that they were a happy and friendly team. Nearby were dogs chasing around in their pens while others were out for walks with volunteers. Cats were roaming the barns and crossing the pigsties where pigs were basking in the warm sun. Horses were chewing the hay, geese were gandering and goats were giddying. It really was a very special atmosphere.
Images from the Gnadenhof
Foster, sponsor or donate
Being an ex-pat, a core consideration before adoption is the logistics of transporting your pet when you are relocated. As a seasoned ex-pat myself I've done this several times, with cats, in and out of Europe and it's all gone smoothly. However, if this puts you off having a pet then perhaps consider helping in other ways. The shelter is often looking for homes who are willing to temporarily foster dogs. They also run a sponsorship program where named animals can be sponsored or monthly donations can be made to cover food costs at the shelter. If you simply want make a one-off donation then this can be done by bank transfer, details below:
IBAN DE28 5005 0201 0000 8813 67
Swift BIC HELADEF1822