Dogs from abroad are often infected with diseases

Munich – The unscrupulous business of the puppy mafia with mostly severely ill or behaviorally disturbed baby dogs has slowly gotten around. It is less known that self-proclaimed animal rights activists often mediate terminally ill dogs from abroad.

The tz reader Leonhard Bar had become aware of a young female dog through the photo in an advertisement of an alleged animal lover. The 77-year-old and his wife became very fond of Sally, a hunting dog mix, but neither their affection nor all the medical art could save the seriously ill animal. The lesson Leonard Bar draws from this: "I warn against taking over a rescued dog from abroad."


The last days spent the Munich Leonard bear with his dog Sally on the sofa – the animal was only skin and bones. Bear: "I just felt so sorry for her." The dog was only two years old, but neither the veterinarian nor the specialists at the veterinary clinic had given the couple any hope: Sally was suffering from a severe form of the infectious disease leishmaniasis, which affects the internal organs. Leonhard Bear finally had her put to sleep. His voice trembles a bit when he tells about it. It was the sad end of a long fight for the health and life of the young dog, which was brought from Corsica to Germany by well-meaning animal welfare activists, but was never properly examined and therefore treated much too late. 80 to 90 percent of all dogs from the Mediterranean region are infected with the pathogen, which is transmitted by sandflies.

The former merchant had been looking for a dog for a long time. In the animal shelter he had found the right dog and had also successfully passed the corresponding home visits and the questionnaire test, but shortly before the handover he learned that his desired dog was infected with leishmaniasis. Bear: "For us this was all new. We informed about the disease. Then rejected." They did not want to take on this emotional burden of constant care for the animal. We have informed ourselves about the disease and then refused." They did not want to take on the emotional burden of constant care for the animal. Another animal welfare activist came to their home with stray dogs from Greece, she even admitted to have smuggled dogs in her handbag to Germany. She could not show – Bear was not surprised anymore – neither a health check nor a vaccination certificate.

The search took two years. In the case of the dog Sally then everything seemed to be right in the fall of 2013. It was practically love at first sight: The approximately one and a half year old dog was trusting and cuddly. The meeting took place in the garden of a large villa in Grunwald. There lived the woman, who mediated the animals. She had four dogs to choose from come from Lower Bavaria, where the animals are housed until placement. An EU pet passport was available, as well as a health certificate. The woman did not want to accept money: She had only acted out of love for animals. Sally only had about three carefree months in her new home, then she got into a harmless scuffle with a neighbor's dog. She was not really hurt, but still she became more and more apathetic, seemed to be in pain.

An extensive examination in a veterinary clinic finally resulted in a devastating diagnosis: Sally was infected with leishmaniasis and additionally with heartworms. Treatment was started immediately. At the same time, the couple informed the mediator in Grunwald, who, however, even when she saw the written veterinary diagnoses, continued to claim that the mediated dog was perfectly healthy. To calm her down, she even sent an animal healer over for a home visit, but she was unable to help the weak animal either. Bear: "In the veterinary clinic they told me: The heartworms are gone now, but the leishmaniasis has fully broken out. The kidneys and the pancreas were destroyed. There was no hope."

After threatening legal action, the animal agency reimbursed part of the veterinary costs, which totaled well over 1000 euros. Bear: "Lately she has not placed any advertisements." In silence, perhaps, he hoped that she had to end her rotten game with the plight of the animals. Sally was buried, the couple Bar now has a new dog: Benni comes from a farm near Wolfratshausen. Bear: "When I see his joy of life and experience how much fun Benni has in life and playing with other dogs, then I realize how sick Sally was and how much she suffered."


dogs from abroad are often infected with diseases

Dogs on the beach in Greece: Not only do the animals have to fight for survival every day, many are also infected with leishmaniasis by sand flies.

The deadly parasite leishmania is transmitted with every bite of an infected sandfly. The disease can break out after only one month, or lie dormant in the body forever. The risk of infection is significantly increased, especially in Mediterranean countries. Dog owners who take their animals with them on trips are recommended a vaccination against leishmaniasis, but this does not provide 100 percent protection. Humans can also be infected with the pathogen.

This is how you can help

There are many good reasons not to bring dogs to Germany, but rather to help the strays on site. There are many animal welfare activists and organizations who care about the welfare of strays. The dogs are neutered, medically treated and regularly provided with good food. Those who support such organizations with donations of money or food do a lot to ensure that street dogs in southern Europe have a better life.

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