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You ashamed to be a human being

"Because the cut of the heart is above the lungs, there's a piece from the brain, the rectum, the kidneys." Achim Gruber stands behind a dirty pane of glass and displays it on a steel table with the fine-lined-up bodies of a cat, which is just the autopsy of two students. Gruber directs the veterinary pathology of the Free University of Berlin; and since in the spring, his book is published, he sits every couple of weeks, in any talk show: "and The animal drama". 312 pages, not tell just a little about animals, but about our society.

"On the dissecting table we are poking around in the shards that remain of the relationship between humans and animals left," says Gruber. In Switzerland, a dog or a cat, the booming pet shops lives in more than every fourth household. Extrapolating Figures from the Federal statistical office on private households in Switzerland, the result is spending annually about 1.2 billion Swiss francs for Pets.

Achim Gruber, 53, rimless glasses, shirt in the pants, still staring through the window in the autopsy room. In front of him: two students in rubber boots and gloves, three-section tables, it giblets of six cats. The floor is pale tiled in yellow. In the shelf on the wall tool are stacks of boxes with knives, scissors, tweezers, Hammers, saws. In the small, red boxes, the fine Cutlery for gold fish and Mongolian gerbils is located.

Per year, where an autopsy was conducted on Gruber's Institute of approximately 1000 animals, more than half are cats and dogs. And elephants come from the Zoo. The are so heavy that they are the same cut in the yard, 40 hours of work per elephant. Most of the animals end up on the autopsy table, because the owners want to know what happened. Sometimes it is also about legal issues. The owner from the Tumor of his race-horse, knew, before he sold it? Has poisoned the neighbor's cat?

Rottweiler with endocrine disorder

Gruber likes to talk about themselves, which can also be noticed in his television appearances. Earlier, is told to put it in the Unipartys as a DJ. With a lion's mask. If Gruber is interviewed, he has three stories that he tells always: the Chinchilla that died of an inflammation of the brain, because a child kissed it to death. Lips herpes. The Guinea pig that thinks every Time someone from up in the cage, that an eagle is approaching. And the Rottweil dog Haro, suddenly the fur out, and the testicles shrink, because he is always with his owner in bed, and paints himself with an estrogen cream. Gruber's diagnosis: hormonal disorder in males.

These anecdotes can be nice in television to tell. But Gruber also have a look into the abyss. He sees desecrated the sheep and slit the horses. Dogs that are thrown in with a paving slab around the neck in a river. Hoarder homes in which cats eat other cats, in order to survive. "You ashamed to be human," he says.

"We race horses, the cost sometimes a Million. The boss is coming down myself, I want to see": Achim Gruber. Photo: Regina Schmeken

Who runs with Achim Gruber through his Institute, met many showcases. Here is the beef heart, 3.5 kilos. Further back, the bones of the skull of a 38-year-old male Borneo Orang-Utans. On the walls posters of spectacular cases of hanging.

Gruber has been working for 25 years as a veterinary pathologist. Again and again he gets animals with tennis ball-sized tumors on the table to die, because they were treated late. If the people of the state to support life, or are homeless, have no cents left over, he can understand. But it are by no means the Only ones. Often enough, he says, it is also the one with the fat cars. People with doctorate degrees who do everything for their children to learn Chinese, but it's not the number of get to go to the vet.

Sometimes chocolates are in the bowl

a Little more understanding of Gruber for the people who treat their animals like people. Gruber often heard of dogs that sleep with their owners in bed. Of animals in which chocolates are in the bowl. Or people who don't feed your cat vegan, because you endure it, if the animal eats other animals. "This can be dangerous," he says. But it was also not the right way to cure humanization to a demon.

What is the animal pathologist thinks, if owners celebrate their dogs birthday? "I've never seen a dog die because someone put a funny little hat."

in Order to allow animals a longer life, it flows more and more money. Artificial Hips, Cataract Surgeries, Chemo Therapies. There are orthopedic Dog beds, stair lifts, lunatic constructions. Figures of the Zurich animal hospital to illustrate this development: In the last ten years, the turnover in the treatment of dogs and cats have increased steadily.

In the case of Hella and her master, the bond must have been especially close. Again, one of these cases, the has witnessed Gruber. A dead dog with a head shot, in addition, a pensioner, both with the same gun killed. Hella had metastases in the lungs and would probably have choked. The man was missing, according to the autopsy report physically nothing. Gruber's Interpretation: "I'm going to assume that the owner has redeemed them and then took his own life."

people want

to be used On the table in Gruber's office on the first floor of the Institute packages, stacks of paper, brochures. In a closet, a shiny Oscar made of plastic, category: "fastest speaker". A gift from his students. There is a theme, as Gruber talks a bit faster than usual: torment farming. Bulldogs and pugs with extremely shortened skulls.

"Some people want a dog, because you have the feeling that they are needed."Achim Gruber

More than half of these dogs are vomiting more than once a day. Almost a quarter of sleeping in the Seats, because otherwise they would suffocate. This is the result of a poll of holders. Why are these dogs so popular? The have to do with the children scheme, says Gruber. Not only because of the big eyes. "Some people want a dog, because you have the feeling that they are needed." Especially in big cities, this is an issue: the lack of social partners and loneliness.

In the basement of the Institute, it smells of Formalin-fixed, what the creepy factor a little increased. Again, large showcases, this time filled with bone products and Plastinates, as in Gunther von Hagens' "body worlds". "You see here, for example, a dog lung with metastasis," says Gruber. But there is also a horse liver, intestinal stones and a cat with a Tumor in the mouth cavity.

All eyes on Knut

Gruber still overcome with grief and remorse now. "We sometimes have horses that cost a Million. The boss is coming down myself, I want to see." He has also cut Knut. As the famous polar bear in 2011, was drowned before the eyes of the visitors in the Berlin animal Park, went the news to the world. Gruber was just on the way back from a conference when his phone rang: Knut is dead. His first thought: Shit, the Knut?

Then the speculation began. Zoo visitors called at the Institute: The water has not been made for weeks clean. He has gotten the wrong feed. Polar bears are not made for the Zoo. It was the loneliness because he misses his nurse. Was bullied by his mother. "We had to do for days, with callers who all knew what Knut has died, before we knew it."

in The end, it was an autopsy on Knut of five pathologists. In the residential building opposite lurking Paparazzi, armed with enormous telephoto lenses. All eyes on Knut. As the results, there was a press conference: Knut drowned, because he had an epileptic seizure. A Video on Youtube of the last minutes of polar bears is still online. 810'601 calls.

Created: 10.07.2019, 18:11 PM

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