Dog tied to a lamppost in Zuidlaren does not seem to be a harbinger of massively purchased ‘corona animals’. There are concerns about hidden animal suffering

It seems to be not too bad with the dogs and cats that were purchased in abundance in the Drenthe and Groningen animal shelters during corona time. But there are concerns.

The image is as classic as it is sad: last weekend a dog was dumped in Zuidlaren. The animal was tied to a lamppost and left to fend for itself. A tour of the shelters in Drenthe and Groningen shows that the dog is not yet a harbinger of dumping the massively purchased pets in corona time.

However, part of the offer in the provincial Drents Dierentehuis in Beilen has to do with impulsive behavior on the part of people, manager Alwin Tol knows.

Pathetic dogs from abroad

“Because the demand for dogs in particular was so great in times of corona, all kinds of foundations that went to get stray dogs from abroad shot up like mushrooms. Dog happy, owner happy. Now that the demand is much less, many of these organizations are disbanding. If something turns out to be wrong with the dog, people can no longer contact that foundation. Then they will bring the animal to us.”

Niels Kalkman of the Dierenbescherming confirms the image that the majority of corona dogs and cats still have the same owner.

“We held on to these apparent impulse purchases. We thought: that will soon go wrong. But it seems to work. Apparently, many people had been planning to get a dog for some time, but didn’t have time for the first, very intensive puppy stage. In corona time, almost everyone was at home, so they could give the animal that time and attention.”

Animal cruelty behind front door

There is currently another danger lurking for pets and the dog in Zuidlaren can easily be a victim of that, says Kalkman. “The energy crisis, ever-rising costs and inflation are making it difficult for more and more people to make ends meet. If there is no money for food or heating, what about caring for the animals?”

He calls it ‘hidden animal suffering’. “We can’t see it because it happens behind the front door. It is quite conceivable that people will go to the vet less quickly or even not at all if the animal is wrong. And then things go from bad to worse. On the other hand, we also hear and see that people eat dry bread in order to continue to provide their animals with good food and good care. That’s another extreme.”