• Germany edition
 
Boy in coma could lose 'best friend'
Tascha looking after Dylan, 10. Photo: Erna-Graff-Stiftung

Boy in coma could lose 'best friend'

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

A boy who has been in a coma since birth could lose his best friend, an American Staffordshire Terrier, after authorities said she was dangerous. But more than 100,000 people have joined a campaign to keep the dog at his side.

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 stories about Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter

DPA/The Local (news@thelocal.de)

Don't miss...X
Left Right

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare
Uli Hoeneß was jailed last month for tax evasion. Photo: DPA

Thousands of tax evaders come forward to declare

The number of German tax evaders who have self-declared to avoid prosecution trebled in the first quarter of 2014, figures published on Wednesday showed, with the rise put down to the "Uli Hoeneß effect". READ () »

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks
One of the WWII Russian tanks near the Brandenburg Gate. Photo: DPA

Petition fails to remove WWII Russian tanks

The German government rejected on Wednesday a call by two newspapers to remove Russian tanks from a World War II memorial in central Berlin in protest against spiralling tensions in Ukraine. READ () »

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail
A Ukrainian policeman at a checkpoint in the eastern city of Kharkiv on Tuesday. Photo: DPA

Germany warns Ukraine talks must not fail

Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said on Wednesday that scheduled four-way talks on the Ukraine crisis must not fail, warning of "the threat of more dead and injured". READ () »

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station
Berlin's Olympic Stadium. Photo: DPA

Olympic stadium could be giant polling station

Berlin's Olympic stadium could become the world's biggest polling station if the Turkish community gets the go-ahead to vote there in Turkey’s general elections. READ () »

The Local List
Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German
Photo: DPA

Nine ways to celebrate Easter like a German

From rolling wheels filled with burning hay down a hill, to waiting for a fox to bring eggs, The Local List this week looks at the nine best German Easter traditions. READ () »

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test
Horse? Photo: DPA

Biology pupils find horse in kebab meat test

Schoolchildren in western Germany came across horse meat while testing doner kebabs in a biology experiment. It comes a year after the horse meat scandal which showed much meat on sale in Europe had been mislabelled. READ () »

Private health insurance not worth it for workers
Photo: DPA

Private health insurance not worth it for workers

Thousands of employees paying into private health insurance in Germany get poor value for money, according to consumer experts - who recommend going private for just one group of workers. READ () »

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers
Free range? Photo: DPA

'Free range' chicken farmer tricks customers

A major producer of ethically certified meat has admitted to defrauding thousands of customers for years by passing off conventional chicken as free range. But the regulator said it took swift action to deal with the case. READ () »

Op-Ed
Why Germany should stop arming the world
Saudi Arabia wants to buy 800 German Leopard 2 tanks. Photo: DPA

Why Germany should stop arming the world

Germany's weapons industry is booming, and even the vice chancellor's attempt to stop selling tanks to the Saudis is a minor concession for the world's third biggest arms exporter. But the trade is destabilizing security. READ () »

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt

WWI colour photos go on display in Berlin

An exhibition opened in Berlin last week of rare colour photos from World War I. Haunting images of soldiers in trenches take centre stage in the collection. READ () »

RECEIVE OUR NEWSLETTER AND ALERTS
Photo: Galerie Bilderwelt
Gallery
World War I in colour photos
Photo: DPA
Society
'The mafia has infiltrated every sector in Germany'
Photo: DPA
Society
JobTalk: Why you should teach English in Germany
Photo: DPA
National
330,000 sign up against TV licence fee
Photo: DPA
Hamburg
School kids hospitalized after 'porno' party
Photo: Submitted
Frankfurt
'I'll get even with my old pal Schwarzenegger'
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The week in pictures: April 5th - April 11th
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Ten great inventions you (probably) didn't know were German
Photo: J. Arthur White
Berlin
Clashes in Berlin as refugees tear down their own camp
Photo: DPA
Gallery
Munich's baby polar bears are finally named
Photo: DPA
Gallery
The 10 best German employers to work for
CurrencyFair
Sponsored Article
Why it pays to avoid banks when making overseas transfers
Advertisement:
Mr. Lodge
Sponsored Article
How to find a furnished rental in Munich
Sponsored Article
How to make a lasting impression in business
Hult International Business School
Sponsored Article
What they don't teach you at Business School
Photo: DPA
Society
Nine jobs you can only do in Germany
Photo:ESL
Sponsored Article
How to integrate successfully in Germany
Photo: DPA
Business & Money
JobTalk: All you need to know about working in Germany
Photo: DPA
Features
The Local List Archive - Your guide to all things German
National
Share news tips with The Local Germany
Latest news from The Local in Switzerland

More news from Switzerland at thelocal.ch

Latest news from The Local in Spain

More news from Spain at thelocal.es

Latest news from The Local in France

More news from France at thelocal.fr

Latest news from The Local in Italy

More news from Italy at thelocal.it

Latest news from The Local in Norway

More news from Norway at thelocal.no

Latest news from The Local in Sweden

More news from Sweden at thelocal.se

3,109
jobs available
Toytown Germany
Germany's English-speaking crowd