Dogs and cats on Tinder dating site | Life in Germany. Society, lifestyle, interesting facts | DW

“I’m not a one-night stand.” For many Parisians who are portrayed in the Tinder dating app, this must be love at first sight. And this description in his Paris profile: “a smart, loyal and faithful car enthusiast who lived in Greece for a while.” If this is still unclear, it will be clear at the latest after the last appeal: “Let me be your patron!” The problem is that Paris is a dog and lives in an animal shelter in Munich.

– A marketing agency from Munich came up with this unusual idea. Christina Berchtold of the Munich Animal Welfare Association says we have created seven cat profiles and seven dog profiles. However, the algorithm of the dating site Tinder immediately realized that it was about animals and automatically turned off their profiles. “Only after an explanatory interview did Tinder relaunch the profiles and even give us ads,” Berchtold explains.

Christina Berchtold: There were even media reports from the UK and Australia about the Tinder campaign

Tinder is an original way to tell a sad story

Apparently, dogs and cats named Harcos and Joshi are looking for a long-term, stable relationship, not a quick adventure on a dating platform Saskia. Those who meet them can really meet and love their four-legged friends at the Munich Zoo. There are currently 1,085 animals, including hedgehogs, waterfowl and even foxes, but mostly cats and rabbits. Many of them have one thing in common: there is no chance of a previous partnership with the owner, which often begins during quarantine. At that time, the Germans treated hundreds of thousands of animals, but now no one wants them.

Cat Bella is a perfect example of this. Born in 2020, he was left in a cardboard box with a sick cat fish that had to be euthanized immediately. There was also a letter on the cardboard that said, “I can’t pay for treatment anymore.”

Wildtiere und Haustiere are a Corona Opfer - Katze Bella aus dem Münchner Tierheim

“If something doesn’t suit him, it can be bad” – this is the description of Bella’s cat

“Through this campaign, we also want to focus on abandoned animals and the difficult, sick and elderly who are increasingly found in animal shelters since the onset of the coronavirus crisis,” explains Christina Berchtold.

A boom for cats and dogs in the pandemic

If Miko could create his own Tinder profile, he would probably describe himself as: a funny clown from Beijing, eight years old, with a big ego that makes everyone laugh. Miko, from the Bonn shelter, also has a typical pandemic history. An order was placed on the e-bay ads site, but it was soon squeezed out of its owner and taken to a shelter a few weeks later.

In 2019-2020, the number of cats in Germany increased by one million and the number of dogs by 600,000. It is almost the same that all of Cologne and Leipzig got a cat or a dog at once. Animal rights activists have warned against rushing quadrupeds during the pandemic, but to no avail. In Moers, a 65-year-old woman recently threw her dog over a two-meter fence into an animal shelter. Reason: She felt that she had fulfilled her obligation to take care of her pet.

Miko from Beijing is also looking for a new master

Miko from Beijing is also looking for a new master

Extremely crowded dog schools

Julia Zervas knows how the typical bell of such an overloaded person sounds. Before the pandemic, he made such a phone call once a week, but now he has an average of five calls. – I have a dog, my baby barked recently. Or bit his neighbor. Now you need to get rid of it as soon as possible – says the director of the shelter for animals. Bonnda Albert Schweitzer. – The desire of owners to change their attitude is low. As problems arise with a four-legged pet, very few people try to find a different solution.

This is a bad circle. Pets need attention, care and training, but dog schools are overcrowded and places are separated months in advance. “ It’s not bad for someone to give a dog, because they have to go back to work now and the animal is no longer suitable for daily life. Zerwas says more animals are less than a year old, going through puberty and getting harder. And he adds: “We only get dogs here that are almost completely neglected, have behavioral problems, and have already been bitten by someone.”

I wanted the perfect pet with flawless demeanor

Apparently, the Germans entered Tinder mode while looking for a four-legged pet. They are looking for the perfect pet, no flaws or weaknesses promise you a completely hassle-free design. – If a dog can be alone in a car, understand children and play with other dogs, that’s great. But as soon as something goes wrong, negotiations become more difficult, Zervas says.

Bonn Albert Schweitzer Tierheims |  Julia Zerwas Leiterin

Julia Zerwas with Mico the Piekinczyk from an animal shelter in Bonn

Increased illegal trade in children

While Tinder is now a platform that can help save a few animals from misfortune, the e-bay ads website is the starting point for the suffering, stress, illness, and sometimes even death of hundreds of four-legged friends. During the pandemic, the illegal trade in puppies is growing rapidly. According to the German Association for the Protection of Animals, in the first half of 2021, 1,307 animals were affected, which is more than last year. Due to the large number of unknown cases, this is the visible part of the iceberg.

According to Hester Pommerening of the German Association for the Protection of Animals, “penalties and controls against traffickers need to be strengthened and individual cases clarified.” “On the political side, nothing has actually been done, nothing has happened, and the situation is becoming increasingly dramatic,” he said.

Animal welfare organizations are now relying on the new government that is being formed, a new, perhaps Green Minister, who will be more committed to animal welfare. It also seeks to curb the illicit trade in animals by requiring EU-wide identification and registration of dogs and cats at the EU level. – It is the real consumption of living things we see today. If people who buy animals as goods or toys fail, they just want to replace them, says Hester Pommerening.

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