• Germany's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Boy in coma could lose 'best friend'

DPA/The Local · 29 Nov 2013, 12:27

Published: 29 Nov 2013 12:27 GMT+01:00

Since birth, Dylan has been in a persistent vegetative state - but Tascha has been there for the boy from Schönwalde-Glien in Brandenburg. Videos show the six-year-old American Staffordshire terrier tenderly licking Dylan's hand and resting her head on his arm.

But she is officially considered dangerous by authorities in Brandenburg where she lives who want to take her away from the family.

Dylan is kept alive by a life-support machine but, like other patients with his condition, he occasionally opens his eyes - although when he does he is only partially conscious, according to doctors.

"When Tascha lies by him, the boy becomes much calmer and his pulse and breathing relax," said his father Eckhard Gerzmehle.


The family bought the dog as a puppy when they lived in Berlin and at first nobody knew what breed she was. When this became clear her owners applied for a dog license.

Things went wrong when the family moved from Berlin to Brandenburg two years ago and Tascha later bit and injured another dog. She is now deemed dangerous by Brandenburg's authorities.

According to the Dog Owners' Act she must now be taken from the family and, if necessary, impounded.

But opposition to her confiscation has been building online after a story appeared earlier this week in the BZ newspaper and now there is hope that the friends will be allowed to stay together.When Berlin fireman Jürgen Töpfer read the story, he spontaneously launched a Facebook campaign to prevent Tascha's removal.

The 48-year-old began the campaign a week ago and by Friday lunchtime it had almost 106,000 likes on Facebook. "I'm overwhelmed," said Töpfer who has children of his own.

Since the page was translated into English it has also received backing from people in Britain, the United States and countries in Asia.

The Erna Graf Institute for animal protection has also offered the family its support. Chairman Eisenhard von Löper hopes the authorities will see sense. "The boy needs Tascha," he emphasized.

Schönewalde-Glien's mayor, Bodo Oehme warned there was no room for negotiation where the Dog Owners' Act is concerned. But he said that sometimes exceptions can be made, for example in cases involving dogs for blind and disabled people.

Oehme has been in contact with the family and is waiting to hear back from them over a possible way forward. "The decision over Tascha's future will then soon be reached," he said.

You can join the Facebook campaign here

READ MORE: Cops stop speeding car with dog at the wheel

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
What's on in Germany: July 2016
Berlin Pride celebrations. Photo: DPA

Beer, beach and the BMX - here's what's coming up in Germany this month.

Brexit vote
'Over 100,000 Brits' flood Berlin job site after Brexit vote
"Searching for job." Photo: DPA.

A German job-hunting website reported getting four times the amount of traffic from the UK that it normally does in the wake of the Brexit vote.

Man who stabbed Cologne mayor gets 14 years jail
Photo: DPA

The man who almost killed Cologne Mayor Henriette Reker when he stabbed her in the neck was sentenced to 14 years in jail on Friday.

Germany ups Turkey travel advisory after Istanbul attack
Berliners at the Brandenburg Gate mourn the victims of the Istanburl airport attack. Photo: DPA.

Germany on Friday warned its citizens to exercise particular caution if they travel to Turkey, following this week's deadly Istanbul airport attack.

Young Muslim takes on state on headscarf ban and wins
Aqilah Sandhu in court on Thursday. Photo: DPA

A 25-year-old lawyer has taken on the state of Bavaria over its attempts to stop her from wearing a headscarf - and scored a major victory.

Video
WATCH: Comic teaches about Ramadan on flying carpet
Photo: Screenshot from Dattelträger video.

A young comedian hopes his flying carpet stunt can help fight back against stereotypes - by becoming one.

Brexit vote
'It won't be romantic. But I need an EU passport'
Lucy Thomas (left), director at Give Something Back to Berlin. Photo: Private

British expats in Berlin tell The Local that a week after the Brexit vote they are still stunned - and are considering their next steps.

Town ravaged by floods tries to pick up the pieces
Rebuilding in Simbach. Photo: DPA

July 2nd should have been the start of a new life for Anna Kluchan and her husband. But then the floods came.

Lufthansa finally buries hatchet with cabin staff
Photo: DPA

Lufthansa and its cabin staff said Thursday they had reached an agreement on working conditions, bringing to an end a long and bitter industrial dispute that hit thousands of passengers.

Six burning questions for British expats about Brexit
Photo: DPA.

Uncertainty has kicked in over Brexit and what it may mean for Brits living in Germany.

Sponsored Article
Avoid hidden fees when sending money overseas
National
How to get German citizenship (or just stay forever)
Sponsored Article
Why you should attend an international job fair
Technology
Brexit will turn Berlin into 'Europe’s startup capital'
International
'Germany needs to make UK come to its senses'
Sponsored Article
Education abroad: How to find an international school
Features
Six odd things Germans do in the summer
Sponsored Article
Health insurance for expats in Germany: a quick guide
Travel
These 10 little-known German towns are a must see
Features
How two gay dads cut through German red tape to start a family
National
Five things to know about guns in Germany
Sponsored Article
US expats: Taxes are due June 15th
Culture
10 things you need to know before attending a German wedding
National
Eight weird habits you'll pick up living in Germany
Lifestyle
Six reasons 'super-cool' Berlin isn't all it's cracked up to be
Society
Only one country likes getting naked on the beach more than Germany
Lifestyle
23 ridiculously fascinating things you never knew about Berlin
Culture
8 German words that perfectly sum up your 20s
Lifestyle
Can't make it past the door at Berlin's most famous club? Help is at hand
Business & Money
Why Frankfurt could steal London's crown as Europe's finance capital
Features
6 surprising things I learned about Germany while editing The Local
Culture
Five sure-fire ways to impress Germans with your manners
Features
6 reasons Germany's summer is unbeatable for thrill-seekers
National
The future belongs to these 10 German regions
7,900
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd