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Interview Tiertafel Deutschland

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Interview with Claudia Hollm from Tiertafel Deutschland

With part of the money from our supporters we want to support an animal rights organization. The association "Tiertafel Deutschland" is one of three organizations that can be chosen from our supporters to be sponsored by us. Here you can get an idea of "Tiertafel Deutschland".

Tony der Mops beim Interview mit Tiertafel Deutschland

We visited and interviewed Claudia Hollm from "Tiertafel Deutschland" at Rathenow (near Berlin, Germany).

CARMELO: "Hi Claudia, thank you, that we can conduct an interview with you. My first question is: Can you describe what your association "Tiertafel Deutschland" exactly does?"

CLAUDIA: “The Tiertafel Germany helps people in need so that they can keep their animals. I.e. welfare recipients, seniors with little money who had their animals long before they get in an emergency situation, should be able to keep their animals at home. We help with food donations, sometimes when we have enough money, even with veterinary costs. The focus of our work is in particular that the animals can stay at home. Another aspect is that we can talk to the local people. Here we conduct education about adequate animal housing and how to avoid mistakes or diseases.”

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CARMELO: "How does an ordinary day of a Tiertafel staff looks like?”

CLAUDIA: “You have to differentiate between two kinds of people. Once the helper and once the issuing offices heads. Our issuing offices heads wake up with the Tiertafel and go with the Tiertafel back to bed. In between, they work eight hours in their normal job. To the respective services there is included office work such as keep statistics or maintain the fund. Furthermore, new donors will be searched, donations are collected or the respective issuing office will be filled with new food. It's actually a full-time job that you do around to the "normal" work. We are also e.g. often represented at trade fairs. The work at the Tiertafel is incredibly diverse, which is unfortunately also associated with a lot of bureaucracy. But as you get as big as we have become, you have to live with that bureaucracy.

CARMELO: ”Which people or animals can take your help? Which requirements are needed to obtain help from you?”

CLAUDIA: ”The people who are supported by us, must be in need. This also means that they have to prove it. There are mainly welfare recipients. There are also many seniors, because the old-age poverty has grown lately. Other people which we help are so-called special cases. This can e.g. be a woman with three children who was left by her husband. She doesn´t usually get immediately welfare, so we have many special cases, in which we also give immediate relief. Important is that people have had the pet before of poverty. We do not support any new purchases, because we think that people who have to live with less money, they should not  even acquire an animal. Many of these people say that they would have a lot of time and love for the animal, but no money. It is not only  the food that must be bought, but also the visits to the vet or the money for unforeseen surgeries. In such cases, you can not euthanize an animal just because you don´t have the money for such a surgery. Therefore, it must be carefully considered whether you can afford financially an animal.”

 

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CARMELO: ”How many issuing offices have you throughout Germany? And at what intervals, will be the food available for the people / animals?”

CLAUDIA: ”We have currently 19 issuing offices. Soon we are opening new issuing offices in Gersfeld, near Fulda, Dortmund and Weilsrode, near Bremen. In the course of 2013, there will be further openings. The opening times of the issuing offices are very different. Every issuing office head can decide, depending on the support, how often they want to open. All issuing offices will be open minimum twice a month. Some are even open once a week.”

CARMELO: "Another aspect of your work is also the mediation and the finding of foster homes for dogs and cats that are in difficult circumstances. Are that only animals from Germany? And can you tell us something about how you proceed?”

CLAUDIA: ”We are not the traditional mediation club. The animals that we want to mediate through our website are animals of our customers. There are several misfortunes of the people: these include imprisonments, hospitalizations, physical disabilities, older people who need to go in a retirement home, etc. We are trying to mediate and accommodate the animals of these people well. That's pretty tough, because a good foster home also includes a lot of factors. You have to find the love, an understanding and the premises among the foster family so that the animals can stay well. We must of course take pre-and follow-up checks. But for us it is important that our clients have a good feeling. So if something happens they know that their dogs are in good hands with us.”

 

 

CARMELO: ”You also have a project which is called the Grey Tiertafel. What is that, exactly?”

CLAUDIA: ”We noticed at the beginning of our work, that quite a lot of older people have problems. Not only that they have financial difficulties due to the little pension, but they have also lot of worries. For example "What happens when I die?". People don´t want e.g. that the dog is then placed in a shelter. These are very real fears of elderly people. So we decided to found the Grey Tiertafel. With this concept, we are bringing together old animals and old people, with the certainty that if a person dies before the animal, then the animal will remain in our network.  For the animal we will search a new foster home with an older person who goes the last way with the animal. It is the same when the animal dies before the older person. Then we take care of many things. For example, that the person gets an urn of the animal and can grieve in peace and if required we are searching for the person the right animal, again.”

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CARMELO: ”To get back to the food? Nowadays, there is offered so much different food for dogs. Dry food, wet food, raw meat, etc.. So you can quickly lose track. What would you generally recommend holders for food for their dogs? Could it also be self-cooked food?”

CLAUDIA: ”I'm for anything that is healthy. Of course you can define healthy differently. I think it's not nice when you feed any crap. Everyone can check this over the contents list on the food package quickly. If there is indicate that the food for example contains 80% dog flour or waste, I would not eat myself, and I would not give it to my animals, too. If someone has the time and the money, I find raw meat very good. In this case, the food must be additionally enriched with additives.

 

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I think good dog food has to contain 50-60% meat. It is also important that you can see exactly what ingredients are included. Very important for me is that you know where it comes from. I find these foods very well where I will be assured by a label or certificate that the animals that are processed, had a healthy and decent life. By this I mean that the cows have lived outside on the field, the pigs were not kept under fattening feed or  chicken have not lived in battery cages. I find it a bit macabre, to pamper our animals with food, where other animals had to suffer for it. There are several manufacturers that take care of where and how their animals are kept. These are the things to which I pay attention regarding animal food. You always have to differentiate and to shop with "brain". We do it also if we buy food for ourselves. The holder should pay more attention to the contents and the associated certificates. The price difference to the "cheap" and poorer quality foods is sometimes not so high, how everyone expects.”

CARMELO: "Is there something you want to tell the people out there?"

CLAUDIA: ”I would everyone warmly recommend to respect our animals and our nature. Support Tony on his world tour, because it's a good idea. During his travel, Tony will achieve much and he will tell us a lot about the animals and the people on this trip.”

CARMELO: "Why should our supporters just support the Tiertafel Deutschland?"

CLAUDIA: ”Apart from the fact that we are really great .... that probably all say. We are the only interface between humans and animals. Many other organizations can intervene mostly when the dog or cat is under bad conditions. We have the rare chance that we reach the people before. And so I think we deserved the support.”

CARMELO: ”Claudia, many thanks for the interview.”

In the video you can watch the full interview. Here you can also see the central warehouse and the distribution center in Rathenow. Have fun!

 

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