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I found a lost pet in Germany, now what?

Sep 15, 20160 comments

Karin Stumph

So you are in Germany and you found a dog/cat and you want to make sure he will be taken care of.

Well in Germany unlike back in the States it is actually a felony to take a found pet home and not notify the proper authorities.

What normally happens when you find any animal, you notify the closest vet, animal shelter, police or the local Tierschutz.

tierschutzfb2 They will come, scan for a chip or check for a tattoo and get the pet if you cannot care for it, or let you foster it while they look for the owner.

If you are interested in owning the pet, do let them know, they are often happy to let the finder have first pick.

After they take over the animal, it will be checked by a vet, scanned for a chip and put into Isolation to make sure they are well.

And don’t worry the shelters in Germany are non kill shelters.

Personally I won’t let found dogs (yes we had 2 so far) near my own pets, purely because you never know if they may be carrying something, the same should go for your family!

Cats are even more complicated, just because a cat followed you home, or is coming to your door or is spending time on your patio furniture does not mean she is a stray, especially here in Germany cats are outdoor pets, that are out and about most of the day and then return home for feedings, one of the reasons you are NOT allowed to feed a cat that is not yours.

Most cats in Germany will not be wearing a collar, for safety reasons; instead they can be tattooed in their ears or chipped.

Cats are by nature curious animals, and if you let them they will follow you, enter your house and eat your food. Cats are also opportunistic animals, they will stay where the food and service is best! So feeding someone else’s cat, not a good idea!

Unless a cat looks really thin, or has a really scruffy fur, bald patches and is overrun by fleas and ticks you should not have to worry about it.

lost-dog-flyer1-193x250 The other thing you have to be concerned about is, make sure it’s not a momma kitty; it would be deadly for the kittens if the momma disappeared.

If you find an injured pet, you are allowed to take it and take it to get help! BUT be aware hurt animals can lash out and bite, because they are in pain or moving them causes them more pain.

As for injured wild animals, leave them there! Call the police, maybe secure the area of the accident but don’t get close to the animal, Germany does still have rabies. The police will then come out, or the Forest master will ,to care for the animal.

If it’s a small animal you may take it to your local vet or animal shelter, you are not allowed to keep wild pets.

There is one exception to that though, if it is late fall and you encounter a small Hedgehog (under 400 grams that’s like 1 lb.) your allowed to keep them over the winter. But you have to take them to the vet, they need a shot against lungworms and several flea and tick baths. After that he is all yours for the winter, but has to be let go in the wild in the spring after the freezing temperatures are gone. (They do stink horribly though)

So Remember YOU ARE OBLIGED to notify people once you find a pet, there is no way around it, if you keep an animal or pass it on, you committed theft.

Posting it on your local FB yard sale page is in no way sufficient, especially if the animal is owned by a German, since they will be checking at the shelters.