It was part of the plan from the start, and now it is there: The puppy sanctuary at the Sonnenhof in Rottenbuch.
Now there is enough space for the animals from the illegal puppy trade, which will later be placed in a loving home.
- Before Nicole Brühl is allowed to enter the room with the two puppies, she has to put on sterile clothing. For safety reasons: The eight-week-old dogs that were supposed to be sold from Romania to Western Europe are still in quarantine. The Sonnenhof in Rottenbuch saved her from the clutches of the illegal puppy trade. It is only recently that the animal shelter, which with its senior citizens' village has so far mainly offered a home for old dogs, has the capacity for such measures at all: in a specially built puppy sanctuary.
Brühl, the chairwoman of the Animal Welfare Association at the Sonnenhof, takes a tour around the new building.
“Not everything is 100 percent ready,” she comments on the partial construction site.
Although there is still some small work to be done - the "fine-tuning" - the shelter was able to take in the first litter.
"We have given four puppies so far," says Brühl.
It should then “really start” in October.
There is a total of three litters of five puppies each in the new sanctuary.
The two black young dogs that Brühl picks up for a photo are currently the only residents.
First it goes into quarantine, then the puppies are socialized
"First the puppies are quarantined," says Brühl, explaining the process.
For this phase, which in extreme cases - for example when a rabies quarantine is ordered - can last up to six months, there is a separate part of the building that was built from scratch.
A fully equipped doctor's room is also integrated.
The veterinarian, who will also take over the management of the home in the future, will take care of the often abused and sick animals.
Nicole Brühl is happy about the first residents of the new puppy sanctuary.
© Theresa Kuchler
As soon as the puppies are released from quarantine, they move into the houses opposite: the so-called placement huts.
“There the dogs experience socialization.
So that they can cope with this world later. ”It is important to the team at the Sonnenhof to prepare their animals adequately for their future lives.
Nicole Brühl warns against buying puppies on the Internet
As Brühl thinks, that's the only thing that makes sense - and much more sustainable than handing it over directly to a new owner. "If they are not socialized enough, the dogs end up in the shelter again," says the chairwoman. After all, many of the animals are traumatized and frightened when they are released from the hands of the illegal traders. Families who actually want to do something good with a dog from the animal shelter often feel overwhelmed by the behavioral disorders and give the animal away. "We want to prevent that."
At the Sonnenhof, the puppies have the chance to live in a loving home one day - despite their origins.
Nicole Brühl believes that this problem shouldn't actually exist.
It is a matter close to her heart to draw attention to the great problem of the illegal puppy trade.
The chairwoman of the association appeals: "Please do not buy puppies from the Internet!" With this you actively support the system and make yourself complicit.
“You also have to think about the mother animals,” Brühl continues.
"They never see anything like a meadow in their lives and only serve as birth machines."