ETTEN-LEUR – Animal shelters are very crowded every summer. Elaine Rotmans and Ben Vollmer participate as volunteers at Breda Animal Shelter. Eileen takes care of the cats in the house that ended up at the shelter. “Most of them are kittens that have been either abandoned or found.”
Their main job is to “socialise” and monitor the animals’ health so that they can be placed somewhere as healthy and social house cats when they are 12 weeks old. “Both sides are then medically healthy, flea free, vaccinated and either sterilized or neutered.”
She describes it, “It pays off.” “Cats are fun animals and have been involved in placement during that process.” She herself bought her own cats through the shelter and then engaged with this type of volunteer work. “This seemed nice to me, precisely because a cat that goes through the shelter is a bit safer than a cat through or through the market.”
When asked if there were now more stocks at the shelter, she said she could hear those voices: “A lot of people have taken a pet during the Corona period. Now that people can go on vacation again, these pets are often a problem and are being Get rid of them faster. I heard this increases crowds at animal shelters. But fortunately, there are people like me who want to help with this so that these creatures get a good home again. Although we can still use volunteers,” the conversation concludes.
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Elaine Rotmans – Photo: Krijn ten Hove
Ben Vollmer of Etten-Leur is an animal ambulance volunteer and often has to deal with animals that need to be collected and put into the shelter. “Litter with cats in particular, as well as dogs and rabbits is common. But most of the time we drive in search of birds that have flown into something, fallen out of a nest or been caught by a cat. Then we ensure that these animals can be helped as quickly as possible. Available time “.
Ben is an animal lover — “a passion for animals that got into trouble,” he says — who loves to be busy, work in a team and be surprised by unexpected situations. “That’s why this job suits me too. I feel good when I can help animals in need.”
The reason so many cats come to the shelter is that things with dogs are better organized in terms of chopping and logging. “Many cats are fitted with a microchip but are not properly registered. Then it is difficult to keep track of their owners. This is often better arranged with dogs.”
Animal ambulance is available 24/7. And it has a large working area. “From Ramsdonk to Wernhout and Giles to Mordick. Then we have the areas of Rosendal and Tilburg. We work with about 40 volunteers and we can always use them. I no longer work and spend about 20 hours a week on it. And as I said, it feels good when you can help an animal.”
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Ben Vollmer – Photo: Breda Animal Shelter
This summer, Breda Animal Shelter will house 300 cats. Anja van Splunder is the manager of the shelter and always has to arrange a lot to provide all the animals with good shelter. “The height of summer started late this year, but we are now in the middle of it.”
The ambulance transports all the animals, but many animals are taken to special shelters. Breda is especially busy with dogs and cats. Seventy percent of dogs quickly return to their owners because they are missing. It’s different for cats, we often have cat mums and kittens in shelters here.”
All these animals are cared for by about 200 volunteers. “We are always looking for people who can help. We have volunteers looking after the animals here, we need animal rescue crews and of course the foster families. It is very important because the home situation is the most important for every animal.”
Anya would like to see how difficult it is to buy a pet. “This would save a lot of animal suffering. Trade and animal welfare often do not go well together. That is why I think there should be stricter controls on people who keep animals. It is also important that cats are neutered. We do this At a young age here, because beware: Before you know it you’ll have cat litter!”
Anja van Splunder – Photo: Yvonne Vermeulen