Shelters and Animal Rescue Organizations in the Eifel/Mosel Region
The following information is directed towards English-speaking residents living in the Eifel/Mosel Region. Most of them will be US service members, living only temporary in this area; some will be of other English-speaking nations for whom German is still a foreign language.
The information serves as guidance to the local animal rescue organizations and shelters and on how they operate. Since our relationship to animals in general and to “pet” animals in particular is influenced by our native culture, this text also attempts to explain the difference in a non-judgmental way. Humans are cultural creatures and all of our activities are a reflection of our upbringing.
There are two local shelters in the region. Both are No-Kill Shelters since euthanasia of healthy, vertebrae animals (except animals for food production) is illegal in Germany. Docking of tails and ears and de-clawing is also illegal because it is an unnecessary amputation that causes psychological and physiological trauma to the animal. Shelters in Germany are usually privately financed through donations; some receive limited government support, mostly when animals have to be legally removed from his/her owner. Please keep in mind that the operation costs of shelters are very high due to the fact that animals are being housed until their adoption or natural death. Many animals arrive in poor physical condition and need extensive medical treatment. Currently many shelters in Germany are on the brink of closing their doors because of lack of donations and volunteers.
Tierheim Trier Telephone: 0651-86 156
Heidenberg 1 Opening Hours: Tuesday and Friday: 1400-1700
54294 Trier-Zewen Wednesday and Saturday: 1400-1615
www.tierheimtrier.de Closed on all other days and holidays
The shelter in Trier-Zewen houses dogs, cats, and rodents such as rabbits, rats, mice, and hamsters.
We, the rescue group, Förderverein Eifeltierheim e. V., are not Point of Contacts (POC) for the Tierheim (shelter) in Trier. Each shelter has a volunteer rescue group associated with it.
The Tierheim in Trier takes in unwanted animals for a fee. Please don’t abandon them on or around the shelter grounds.
Eifeltierheim Altrich Telephone: 06571-955 21 21
Gut Kirchhof 6 Opening Hours: Monday-Friday: 0930-1300 and 1700-1800
54518 Altrich (near Wittlich) Saturdays: 0930-1200 and 1700-1800
www.eifeltierheim-altrich.de Sunday/Holidays: 1700-1800
The shelter in Altrich only houses cats and rodents, such as rabbits, rats, mice, and hamsters. Dogs are not allowed due to a local noise ordinance. We, the Förderverein Eifeltierheim e. V., are associated with the shelter and assist with communication problems, if needed. The staff only speaks limited English. The Eifeltierheim takes in unwanted animals, preferably with a donation, but will also accommodate if people are unable to donate. Please don’t abandon animals on or around the shelter grounds.
Local Animal Rescue Groups
There are several local animal rescue groups in the area. The Förderverein Eifeltierheim (FV) is one of them. We primarily serve the Wittlich-Daun area but if we are being approached by people who live in other municipalities, we try to help or forward the request to the animal rescue group active in that county. We are a small group of volunteers, operating only by donations. We welcome any support in the form of volunteering, used item donations (not just pet specific items , such as carriers, leashes, and bowls but also blankets, pillow cases, etc.), pet food (especially wet food), and financial support (Euro pocket change J)
For an English-speaking member, please contact Ms. Jutta Luna @ 0173-2665055, preferably leaving a text message.
Compassion is the Way
Undeniably there are cultural differences in treating and dealing with (pet) animals. Volunteers usually deal with abuse and neglect cases; therefore they may have a negative bias towards service members and non-Germans. (The following have all been actual cases.) We are the ones who are being called when a German neighbor witnesses a service member kicking, choking, and beating a dog, is pcs-ing and abandoning her cats, crates a puppy 12 hours a day without relief by a dog walker and the puppy barks and jowls non-stop. Or cats being transferred from one household to the next after kids have grown tired of them. We have to take in sick and prohibited breed puppies from puppy mills that are bought illegally from Eastern European criminals. (Do not buy any puppies at the Belgian Flea Market in Lüttich or at trucks with Eastern European license plates!)
Therefore, our rescue group has decided that we will help service members and their animals find FOREVER HOMES but we will not adopt to them.
Here is a listing of cultural differences. Of course not all Germans adhere to these guidelines either but it is culturally sanctioned if they don’t.
- No docking of ears or tails.
- No de-clawing.
- No crate training.
- Prohibition of “torture” breeds, such as dogs and cats with super flat faces (deformities prevent proper breathing) or toy breeds (part of brain mass extends into spine, causing permanent pain)
- Not removing puppies and kittens too early from their mothers before they are properly socialized and their immune system is stable. (12-14 weeks for puppies and kittens)
- No single cat in a household without access to the outdoors. Always a pair.
- No dog, especially no puppy, in a single working household where the dog is by him/herself for more than 4 hours.
- No dog in a household where people are not willing to at least walk the dog twice a day for at least half an hour. A fenced- in backyard is just a big kennel and not a substitute for a proper walk.
- No dog or cat in a household where children are not taught to respect an animal’s boundaries.
- No animal in a household that has no back-up plan and is not aware that they are responsible to take care of the animal for its entire life span.
If you are unable to keep your pet, please contact the shelter directly or the English-speaking volunteer, Ms. Luna for assistance. Especially unneutered/unspayed cats, left behind cause a huge feral cat problem. Without human support, many former housecats, especially if they have been de-clawed, can’t fend for their lives. They succumb to starvation, weather, diseases, vehicles, and attacks by other animals or people. Dogs that are repeatedly traded on Social Websites experience emotional distress that often results in behavioral anomalies. Please find a FOREVER HOME for your dog. The rescue group Förderverein Eifeltierheim may be able to assist you.