German law regulates keeping of dogs

by Petra Lessoing
Kaiserslautern American

***image1***The German-American Community Office, the housing referral office and the City and County of Kaiserslautern continue to receive complaints about American citizens living on the economy, who do not treat their pets according to German law.

The law says that people keeping or caring for an animal are not allowed to limit the animal’s opportunity for species-specific movement in a way that the animal suffers from pain, diseases or injuries.

Vigilant neighbors inform the Department of Public Order when they see anyone keeping their dogs in crates all day or if dogs are kept on the balcony in the sun, in the basement or in bathrooms throughout the day.

“Department of Public Order officials ask us to please try to reach these American pet owners to let them know that there is a German Animal Protection Law applicable for all animals kept as pets,” said Sissi Kösling from GACO. “Before buying a pet, people should consider the responsibility and the disadvantages of keeping an animal,” she added. “What happens to the pet when the owner goes on leave or gets deployed?”

From Jan. 1 to July 31, 21 cats and 25 dogs were turned over to the German animal shelter (Tierheim) in Kaiserslautern-Einsiedlerhof.

“When the USO stops in the GACO office during an orientation tour, we try to sensitize people and ask them to really consider if they should have dogs if they are at work all day long,” said Mrs. Kösling.

The animal protection law governs the cohabitation of people and pets.
 “An animal is a living being and it’s not there to kill boredom,” said Ms. Kösling.

The German Animal Protection Law defines how to keep dogs indoors and outdoors.
If the law is violated, a prison sentence of up to three years or fines of up to €25.000 will be imposed.

How to properly keep a dog indoors:

Walk the dog several times a day if kept indoors  (at least one hour total per day).

Don’t chain up the dog within the apartment or keep him locked in a separate room.

Don’t keep dogs on balconies, in the basement or in the

Dogs must have clean feeding bowls and well-filled water.

Dog needs attention, care and affection.

How to properly keep a dog outdoors:

Chain dog on a light chain (not more than 3.2 mm wire thickness) with two swivel joints on a rope of a least 6 meters in length with room to move at both sides of a least 2.5 m.

If kept in a kennel, the kennel without hut and board to rest must be at least 6 square meters.

One side of the kennel has to provide free sight to the outside.

Chaining a dog inside the kennel is prohibited.

Dog has to be walked several times a day when kept in a kennel, and one hour per day when kept on chain.

Daily feeding and sufficient water.

Owner must check if dog is okay at least once a day.