The presenter Laura Wontorra (34) once again shows her great love for animals. In collaboration with the pet food manufacturer Purina, Wontorra is committed to animal shelters and animal food banks throughout Germany for the third time in a row in 2023. As part of the “Purinahilft” campaign, 100,000 food bowls were recently distributed to animals in need.
This year, for the first time, these donations also benefited animal food banks. For the corresponding issue, Wontorra helped out at the Tiertafel in Hamburg and then answered questions about her involvement in an interview.
They handed over a donation of animal feed to Tiertafel Hamburg and helped with the distribution. Who benefits from this?
Laura Wontorra: In Hamburg alone, the donation will be able to fill 14,000 dog and cat bowls, and there will even be 100,000 across Germany. This donation to Tiertafel Hamburg benefits people who can no longer cover the cost of feeding their four-legged friends on their own. People who have limited financial resources come here, often from socially disadvantaged regions.
But there are also people who have just lost their jobs and are dependent on state aid. These funds are often not enough to feed a pet in addition to yourself. However, many people also find themselves in a difficult life situation due to special circumstances or strokes of fate. It touches me deeply how great the need is and how many people need support in caring for their pets.
Why is the work of the animal table so important?
Wontorra: The food that the animal food bank regularly provides is a huge support for people in need. I am very grateful that we can support the important work of Tiertafel Hamburg with this campaign. They can help ensure that the beloved furry friends can stay with their owners and that more animals do not have to be handed over to animal shelters.
Has the situation at the animal table also worsened after Corona?
Wontorra: My conversations with the Tiertafel helpers showed me that the demand for support has increased significantly, particularly due to the pandemic and the consequences of inflation. Inflation has caused the cost of living to rise and this has of course also influenced the financial situation of animal owners. While the need for help at the Tiertafel has increased, it has also become increasingly difficult to receive enough donations in recent months.
Why is this topic so important to you?
Wontorra: I’m very lucky not to have to worry about adequate care for my own four-legged friend Milo. I am well aware that not all people have this privilege. That’s exactly why it’s a matter close to my heart to be able to do my small part to help these people who – just like me – only want the best for their animal. This initiative is really great because it can prevent a lot of animal suffering in advance. I support them wholeheartedly because we act like a “first aid station” here. At the same time, however, it saddens me to see how great the need is.
Your own dog Milo also comes from animal welfare – was that a conscious decision? What thoughts did you have beforehand?
Wontorra: In our family we have always had dogs from animal shelters. For me personally, it was always clear that I wanted to give a potential pet a second chance at a better life. I made the decision very consciously, but I also knew that certain basic requirements had to be met. On the one hand, adequate care must be guaranteed, as well as time to give the animal enough attention. It is also important to have the necessary support when you go on vacation, for example.
The acclimatization and training of animal welfare animals can be more difficult than, for example, a puppy from a breeder. It takes time to build trust as these dogs have often had bad experiences. Therefore, it is important to be absolutely sure about this decision to avoid further disappointment. But I don’t want to judge anyone who gets a dog from a breeder or prefers a certain breed. Every dog has its own individual characteristics that have to suit you.
How does Milo feel about food? Is he very picky or rather the opposite?
Wontorra: You only want the best for your animal, and the main thing is that the food is tolerable. It’s great that my dog Milo is really easy going here. Of course he also has his favorite food and I’m really happy that I can offer him that too. Because Milo gives me an incredible amount of support and peace to balance out my very hectic professional life, I want to give him back as much as possible.