On behalf of Guideposts I share with you this wonderful story as a repost.
Claudia Hollm saw a TV show about a family who had to relinquish their dog because of economic hardship. The family simply did not have enough money to feed their beloved dog and with breaking hearts they relinquished him to a shelter where he died shortly thereafter of a broken heart after being so loved by this family for many years.
This pitiful story fired Claudia’s imagination and even though she holds down a full-time job, she managed to find the time to open a soup kitchen for pets including dogs, cats, rabbits and any other animals people had in their homes but were having trouble feeding. The organization, Tiertafel, (animal table), Berlin’s first soup kitchen for dogs, relies on donations and volunteers. "Making sure dogs don't gohungry is just as important as making sure that people don't starve," Claudia says.
In 2008, with 19 offices nationwide, Tiertafel has helped 4,028 customers to feed 6,291 pets on a regular basis. It’s quite a miracle when you think about this number of animals who will not wind up on the streets or in shelters. Not everyone is eligible for help. Claudia says, “People have to show us official documents to show they are on welfare or have very low wages before we help them. If we see someone who is already poor get a new pet we won’t support them. We’ve had situations where we had to refuse people because they took on new pets, despite having come to us for their original pets...we have one case of a woman in Frankfurt who is in her 80s. Her husband died years ago and she is in ill health. This lady is so happy to have the help. She says if her cats die then she too has no reason to live. The cats are her children and they are keeping her alive.”
Here's the link to read more of Tiertafel, the soup kitchen for pets:
- Barbara Techel
- Barbara Techel is the author of the multi-award winning Frankie, the Walk ‘N Roll Dog book series. When her dachshund, Frankie, suffered a spinal injury, Barbara had her custom-fitted for a wheelchair. Frankie persevered, and Barbara realized the beautiful opportunity she had to share Frankie and give others hope and inspiration to be the best they can be. Along with sharing Frankie’s story with children, Barbara and Frankie routinely volunteer as a therapy dog team at a local hospital, senior assisted facility, and hospice community, spreading joy wherever they go.