"It is simply mysterious", says ursula boehm. She is the director of the wannigsmuhle animal shelter and is currently making an experience that she had never heard of before: "cats are currently disappearing in hammelburg and bad kissingen, and now there are also more reports of missing cats than usual from bad konigshofen."
"An insane amount"
There are "an insane number" reports first received from hammelburg and bad kissingen. She understands this to mean that up to five missing animals a day have been reported – the average is about two cats a day in the catchment area of the animal shelter, which is responsible for the district of bad kissingen. "There are now isolated reports from bad kissingen and hammelburg that the animals have been found." But now the news came from the area of bad konigshofen.
"We simply can’t explain it", says ursula boehm. "In the past, tens of years ago, there were indeed cat catchers who stole the animals for fur production or for animal experiments. But that’s all in the past: today the fences find their ‘goods’ at low cost in the eastern block countries. So far, no cat owners have reported the disappearance of their pet to the police department of bad kissingen.
Consistently trusting animals
She knows from experience that there are cat haters in every village who lock up the animals without further ado. "But often these people then release the animals again." It is often very difficult to prove these cruel actions against animals. What still makes ursula boehm wonder: "they are continuously neutered animals, which only very rarely stray." They are always normal family members, loving, cuddly animals. "There are also no shy barn cats that disappear from their feeding places."
On the homepage of the animal shelter, the director now warned against the disappearance of the animals. For good reason: "I can well imagine that vacation trips can play a role in this." Shortly before departure the air mattress was forgotten in the shed, quickly the door is opened and closed again – and no one notices that a cat has crept in. "Therefore, the owners should first ask around in the neighborhood – maybe someone has heard a meow?" Should this be the case, the police should be alerted, according to boehm.
None of the animals reported missing have been handed over to the animal shelter. At present, 150 to 160 cats live in the wannigsmuhle, about 70 of them are free-rangers on the land. Among them is also problem case claudia, a young cat, which is missing on the left side both the hoof and the kneecap. Ursula boehm is nevertheless confident that this handicap animal will also find a human friend. "Handicapped animals pose hardly any problems in the placement process."
Mediation despite corona
Despite corona, the placement continues unhindered, says the animal shelter manager. "We can arrange this well by dates." Nevertheless, because of the pandemic, life in the shelter now runs differently. "We haven’t had a summer party, we can’t have an autumn party, we don’t have coffee and cake – that’s very sad." She is thankful that "we have not been forgotten": many people continue to make donations or bring food and animal supplies. "We think that is just great."