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Fund animal – what to do ?

Caution: Who owns found animals? Carriage can be theft!

CASE A: Pets (e.g. cats) Walked in?

Again she was there, the dark cat with the emerald green eyes lay once again in the garden of Mr. Peter. May Mr. Peter keep the Fundkatze?


The little cat had appeared more often in the garden lately and Mr. Peter put a food bowl on the veranda. “You poor thing, you probably don’t have an owner? After a week Mr. Peter took the cat and finally brought it into the house. The cat apparently liked it, because she made herself comfortable on the couch and slowly closed her eyes to take a nap. Mr Peter gave the cat the name “Denzil”.

From now on Denzil was not allowed to leave the house, because Mr. Peter wanted the cat to get used to the new home. Unfortunately the animal friend Mr Peter did not know that “Denzil” was actually called “Mohrchen” and the newest family member of the neighbours was one street away.
When Mohrchen did not return to the house after two days, the family searched the neighbourhood and also called the police and the animal shelter.
A week passed. Mohrchen had disappeared without leaving a trace and the family could not find Mohrchen despite all their efforts.


The legal situation (find animal law), legal situation:

If the rightful owner of a found animal cannot be found, the found, in this case the found cat, is considered a “found object”.


The city or municipality is responsible for the care of a lost property, which in most cases, already before, has entrusted the local animal shelter with the care and keeping of such animals. If the cat found has been reported to the shelter, the animal may, usually provisionally, remain in its “adoption centre” for care.
But beware: As soon as the rightful owner reports, the finder has to deliver the animal. Only after six months without a signal from the previous owner will the ownership claims be handed over to the new owner. However, the municipality only pays the care costs for the first four weeks. For the rest of the period the animal friend must pay for himself. on.

It is remarkable when animal lovers take care of seemingly stray animals. But there are a few points you should keep in mind to make sure you don’t make an existing owner unhappy by accidentally adopting his animal. In addition, keeping animals that already have an owner is actually valid as an offence of theft.

A cat that is well fed and has a healthy coat is in many cases simply a free-range cat that wants to catch some extra treats during its raids. In such cases the temptation is great to feed the animal. But this is not recommended. You are welcome to let the animal into the apartment to take a nap. But the cat should be let out again as soon as it wants to. You can treat the animal well if it can be seen again and again in your garden, but do not declare it to belong to the family.

A neglected animal with a shaggy coat most likely abandoned. feeding* is officially not only allowed, but highly recommended. When abandoned animals starve, the feed must be well dosed*. Too much at once is extremely unhealthy for the small stomach. If such a cat has little interest in leaving its warm place (and only then!), the – provisional – admission of the animal is permitted. The same applies – to a lesser extent – to dogs that are known to have more runaways than you might think. 


What to do? 

1) Report found animals

The find of the animal must be reported in any case: at the animal shelter or local animal protection association, the police and the municipality or regulatory authority (lost property office).


Who pays veterinarian costs for found animals?

The notification to the municipality must be made in writing (notification of found animals), as otherwise there is no claim for reimbursement of costs incurred (especially veterinary).


“Where can I drop off a found cat?”

It is to be considered whether one returns the cat to the animal shelter or keeps rather with itself, until the “ownership conditions” are clarified. It should be noted that the municipality is only obliged to reimburse the care costs for the first four weeks.

This period applies even though the animal can only be finally handed over to the finder after six months – provided that no owner has contacted the animal by then.

From when on may found animals be mediated? Only after 6 months the cat may be handed over to a new owner.

What happens to found cats in the animal shelter? When deciding to return the animal or cat to the shelter, you can be sure that the cat will be returned to the original owner if possible or a new cat friend will take care of the cat.


2) To the veterinarian

The next step is to go to the vet . First the animal is to be examined for chip, collar or tattoo, which may give clues to the owner . In the case of a chip, the veterinarian and the animal shelter can help in the search for the owner. This is the best way because of the existence of different registries, such as Tasso.

The veterinarian does not only examine the general state of health, but searches with a special reader also for a possible Microchip. The costs for this are usually borne by the municipality/city, if it has a Fundtieranzeige, i.e. a written report of the “lost property”. Thus it is to be prevented that some persons can be treated their own animal at expense of the municipality.


3) animal owner search

Thanks to the internet there are many possibilities to search for the owner of a cat.

Search for found animals on Facebook

Use the Facebook search function and search for groups where you can report found animals. At Tasso on the website you can write directly to the pet owners and report the found cat to them. There is the possibility to sort by place of residence, so that you can easily find the cat owners.

Also on Ebay classifieds photos of the found animal can be uploaded.

Zettelaushang in the residential area is another effective possibility. Pay attention to possible missing reports. Report the recorded animal to the online registration offices.


FALL B) Find an injured animal


book recommendation* on the subject of “First Aid”:

Here there is by law a – for animal lovers often incomprehensible – differentiation of different animal groups:

I. Pets (lost cats, lost dogs etc.)
There is no hesitation with pets

1) The lost and found cat, the lost and found dog etc. has to be treated with first aid* and then hastily but carefully taken to the vet. After the wounds have been treated, they can also search for a microchip that may be present.

2) Then you can search for the owner. Also here the lost cat, the lost dog etc. must be reported.
(see text for case 1). The written message to the community, should contain a message from the veterinarian about the type of treatment and the amount of the costs.

3) You should put up the flyers and ask near your house who the owner of the animal is. If you find a dead cat or dog on or near the street, you should also report it to the shelter so they can tell the owner that they can finish the search.

II. Wild living, not tame cat

A cat that has never lived with humans counts as a wild animal and for this cat no costs are paid by the community. These cats would also never let themselves be tamed, because they are used to live in the wild. The only thing you can do is to read in this article under the subtitle “Care of wild cats that cannot be tamed”.


III. wild animals (deer, rabbit, hedgehog, pig etc.)

Caution: Animals that belong to the “huntable game” (so the official German) may not be removed from the place of discovery. This would be “poaching” because they are the property of the hunter. The hunter must be informed immediately. If he is not known or cannot be reached, the police must be informed. The affected animals are usually released at the scene of the accident.

Attention: Animals, which are considered as “huntable game” (so the official German) may not be taken away from the place of discovery. This would be considered poaching because they are the property of the hunter. The hunter must be informed immediately of any injured game found. If he is not known or reachable, the police must be informed. The affected animals are usually relieved of their suffering at the place of discovery.


Injured hedgehogs and other smaller wild animals, however, may be brought safely to the veterinarian if the hunter has no interest in them. Many veterinary practices voluntarily pay the treatment costs for injured wild animals. Wild animals are subject to the Nature Conservation Act and, after treatment and recovery, must be brought back near the place – outside the danger zone.