The German Animal Welfare Association, together with the food brands Whiskas and Pedigree as well as the magazines FUNK UHR and Super TV, honored people and projects with the German Animal Welfare Prize.
The Animal Protection Project Freital was received a prize money of 3,000 euros for first place. The team of eight led by the club’s chairwoman, Regina Barthel-Marr, had to struggle massively with the boom in the illegal puppy trade caused by the pandemic. In 2021 they had to look after more than 160 confiscated puppies and 15 kittens – as far as the latest information is concerned. In the spring in particular, new smuggled puppies arrived at the shelter almost every day. “Every single animal is worth fighting for,” said Thomas Schröder in his laudatory speech. The performance that the animal rights activists had rendered was a “hard job” and “true, passionate animal protection”.
Second place, worth 2,000 euros, went to Dr. Renate Keil, who is dedicated to protecting bats. For more than 11 years she has been running the bats working group of the BUND Hannover on a voluntary basis, which she played a key role in establishing. Under her leadership, an old wartime bunker became a bat center. She treats injured bats and raises orphaned kittens. Her commitment also includes inventory, maintenance and creation of quarters, the installation and control of bat boxes and public relations. “Miss Dr. Keil campaigns with heart and expertise for the flying mammals, which all too often have to struggle with prejudices,” said Claudia Schmutzler in her laudatory speech.
Third place winners, Sina and Yara Marchioni, were five and ten years old when they began caring for free-roaming cats at Galgenberg in Lahr in the Black Forest in 2013. Thanks to a fundraiser, they were able to buy the overgrown property on which around 80 cats initially lived. In the meantime, they looked after up to 100 animals, had them neutered and were able to place some of them, so that the number of cats fell drastically. They are planning a real sanctuary for the future. In her laudatory speech, Johanna Mross emphasized the early commitment of the two sisters. You are an “inspiration for your peers”. Third place is worth 1,000 euros.