As soon as you arrive at your holiday home, you run into stray dogs and cats in many places on the way to the beach, pool or restaurant. Apparently in need of help, one would like to approach the animals and help them, but this first impulse - as well meant as it may be - is often not the right one. Tierschutz Austria (TSA, the new appearance of the Vienna Animal Welfare Association) keeps receiving inquiries about how to act in these situations. Therefore, the following are the most important tips.
Do not feed animals
Reducing the space between humans and animals can lead to conflicts and in the long term do more harm than good to the strays. If contact between humans and animals is promoted, for example by a holidaymaker who loves animals, regularly pats or eats a dog, this can satisfy the animal's needs at the moment in question. But not everyone is an animal lover and an "intrusive" dog that has been tied to one place through regular feeding can annoy other vacationers, hotel or restaurant owners. So in the long run this does not help the animals. Another reason for animal welfare issues speaks against feeding stray dogs and cats: As a rule, the stray animals know sources of food and water on the street. With additional feeding, the increased energy supply may lead to an increased reproduction of the animals and thus to an increase in the stray animal population and thus to even more suffering.
Only when an animal is clearly ill or injured does it make sense to take action
Becoming active does not mean looking after the animal yourself or transporting it to another location. It is always important that the contact between humans and animals should be kept as low as possible or even better avoided completely - for the benefit of the animal!
Get active by collecting information
Before you take any further steps, please determine whether the animal really needs help. This is the case when they are obviously sick, injured, emaciated, and / or apathetic. Then first try to find out in the surrounding shops whether the animal has an owner. As a rule, the local people know the stray animals and may be able to help to better assess the situation. If there is no pet owner or if he cannot be reached, please contact the local animal rights activist.
Help by contacting local experts
If the animal is clearly in need of help, it is best to research and contact the local animal welfare association by phone, email or Facebook. Describe the animal as precisely as possible, preferably with a photo and details of the location where it is located.
Do not take animals home
Under no circumstances should you just take the animals with you, because in most cases this is a violation of the applicable laws (e.g. pertaining to epidemics). An example would be the required vaccination status or a certain minimum age. Many stray animals also find it very difficult to be close to people and, for example, feel uncomfortable in the city or in the apartment or in the office and can only learn this with difficulty or not at all.
Make your own education
Where there are many street animals there is usually an urgent need for education. Whenever it is appropriate, it is advisable to talk to other holidaymakers and point out how to deal with strays correctly. In the hotel or restaurant you can observe the handling of the animals and if you observe behavior contrary to animal welfare, seek a conversation with the employees and owners.