Adopting a Dog in Germany

Shana1

our old girl in spring 2014

Ever since our old girl had to be humanely euthanized at the age of 16 in July of 2014, my father has been thinking about adopting another dog. As time went on, the thought became a serious wish and he started actively looking for dogs.

First off all, where can you buy/adopt a dog legally in Germany?

  1. you can buy a puppy from a breeder
  2. you can look into newspaper advertisements or the internet to get a dog from a private person who wants to / has to give the dog away
  3. you adopt a dog from the shelter
  4. you adopt a dog from one of the many animal rescue /helping organizations around

It’s actually forbidden by law to sell dogs on flea markets in Germany and if I remember correctly there’s exactly 1 pet store in the entire country, where you can buy puppies. Personally, I think the best way to go is to look for a dog in a shelter or adopt one from a trustworthy rescue organization (many may act out of good will, but it often lacks a professional execution).

I also understand why some people would rather have a puppy from a breeder, because that way you can check on the parents of your dog and the environment it’s been growing up in and basically you can be sure the dog has never really experienced anything bad and you get the characteristics you’re looking for in the specific breed you want to have. It’s the safest way to get a healthy normal dog, if you want to go to the trouble of finding a good greeder and spending a lot of money for a purebreed puppy.

sleepy girl

sleepy girl

I reason I prefer “second hand dogs”, is mainly because I respect the choice to buy a puppy from a breeder, but I want to give the older dogs sitting in shelters and foster homes a chance as well. They may come with a problem here and there and it takes them longer to get used to their new home and both of you need time to get to know eath other well, but it’ll work out eventually with rigth amount of patience and love.

So, my father read an advertisement on the internet and called the women who copuldn’t keep her 10-year-old Beagle anymore, but he was too late. After turning down 20 people who weren’t goof enough, she gave the dog to a shelter a week ago. My dad went to said  shelter and there was the Beagle.

You see, it’s not that easy to adopt a dog from a shelter. They usually have you come several times to go for a walk with the dog, so you two get to know each other. They will also have talks with you about your experience with dogs and what kind of environment you can provide them and if they feel you’re unfitting, no dog for you. They usually try very hard to find good people, but that’s not easy, especially for older dogs.

Most people look for young and healthy dogs, that leaves the old ones and those with medical issues harder to find a new home for. When my father went for a walk with said Beagle, two women spoke up to him. The first one complained that dog would be too old for her liking, but the second one was very happy for that old dog to have someone interested in taking him. Faith in humanity crushed and instantly rebuild, I guess.

The usual procedure is, after you’ve decided you want to have the dog and the shelter staff agrees with you, you get the dog on probation, so to speak. Usually it’s a few weeks and after that time, you call the shelter and tell them how’s it going. In an ideal situation, you tell them all is fine and you keep the dog. If not, you bring the dog back. Many shelters have you pay the adoption fee after this probation period, in case you keep the dog. The shelter my father wants to adopt said Beagle from, even brings the dog to your home, to see the future environment by themselves. I think that’s awesome.

It may sound troublesome to get a dog from a shelter, but I think it’s good everyone tries their hardest to find good owners for the dogs.

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