Since the shelter for animals in West Friesland has disappeared, volunteers from the Dierenambulance Hoorn have taken care of them themselves. At Ellis Klinkenberg from Hoorn, for example, there are 10 rabbits in the backyard. “You are concerned with the fate of the animals. Putting them on the counter of the town hall is also not the right way.”

    Since February of this year, there is no longer a shelter for rabbits, guinea pigs, racing pigeons and fancy pigeons in West Friesland. This is because wild shelter De Bonte Piet in Midwoud could no longer handle the influx. It took too much manpower and hours. “The municipalities must provide shelter, they are also legally obliged to do so. Unfortunately, that is not yet that far,” said Fred Perrier, involved with the animal ambulance in Hoorn. “So we’ll catch them ourselves.”

    One of the volunteers who takes care of animals herself is Ellis Klinkenberg from Hoorn. “My colleague does the carrier and fancy pigeons, I do the rabbits and birds. And occasionally a turtle.”

    You could describe her backyard as a rabbit boarding house. Divided over 10 lofts, the left-behind creatures are taken care of. They were left behind at Hoorn 80 industrial estate, in the Risdammerhout or at Mak Blokweer. “You are concerned with the fate of the animals. Letting them walk is not an option. Domestic rabbits do not survive in the wild.”

    Problem is acknowledged

    Recently, Perrier had a conversation with alderman René Assendelft (Animal Welfare in Hoorn) about the problem. “They are positive and also see the problem. Now the rest of the municipalities. Hopefully what we do will be appreciated.”

    That appreciation is now also confirmed by the college after written questions of Tonnaer Group. A solution is being sought for animal species that can no longer be accommodated by a shelter. The college is aiming for next year. “We are currently exploring options for sheltering pets, wild animals and transporting them,” said a spokesperson. These ‘services’ are outsourced by the municipality.

    The volunteers also have to pay for everything out of their own pocket, in addition to the feed, straw and lofts that they have already received. “Our ambition is to include transport and reception in the budget every year.”

    So one municipality is tackling, but what about the other municipalities? Koggenland also recognizes the problem. “It is indeed a legal obligation that municipalities must take in pets. After the wildlife shelter in Midwoud could no longer handle the influx, volunteers from the animal ambulance in Hoorn voluntarily arranged the shelter,” said spokesperson Roxana Konig.

    One thing is certain: it is work that is valued. “We are also very grateful to them from the municipality for that. Unfortunately, it is not a structural solution, but the animals and the municipality have been saved for a while.”

    In the meantime, the municipality of Koggenland is looking for a suitable solution. Stede Broec and Drechterland are also working on this. Medemblik and Opmeer were unable to respond to questions from NH Nieuws.

    Quick solution

    Ellis also hopes that a new location will be found soon. Even if it costs her time and money. “Perhaps it is not good what we are doing, because we take the work off the municipalities’ hands. But putting them on the counter of the town hall is also not the right way. Until there is a solution, I will go there quietly carry on.”