Our history

Gut Aiderbichl has been working for animals for over 20 years and is an important institution for animal welfare throughout Europe. Our animal homes in now 6 European countries are home to more than 6,000 rescued animals from a wide variety of situations. We guarantee every animal a safe and secure home until the natural end of its life.

Even before its foundation in 2001, Michael Aufhauser was a strong advocate for animal rights. Together with Dieter Ehrengruber, Gut Aiderbichl became a driving force that not only caused a stir in the early years, but still does now, because animals are our life. Together we fight year after year for fair conditions for animals and give them a voice.

How we have developed

The Gut Aiderbichl Review

The year 2022

The year 2022 in figures

The year 2022 was marked by crises. Not only the pandemic, but also the ongoing war in Ukraine and inflation are having an impact on Gut Aiderbichl. It is only thanks to the great support of our Aiderbichl supporters and companions that we are able to overcome these crises. In 2022, we were able to give more than 915 animals a forever-home at Gut Aiderbichl.

  • Animal rescues 2022: over 915
  • Approximately 30 calls for help reach us per day
  • Public relations: over 500 press releases. Our reach on Facebook: is about 6.8 million and via Instagram about 1.6 million. Our Youtube videos have over 1.7 million clicks
  • Knowledge enhancement: Over 1,000 people took part in 47 webinars and 17 classroom courses

70th birthday of Michael Aufhauser

Helping the weaker members of our society has always been the vision of our Gut Aiderbichl founder Michael Aufhauser. This year he was able to celebrate his 70th birthday. For many years, he fought with Gut Aiderbichl for values such as honesty, compassion, gratitude and tolerance. In the meantime, Gut Aiderbichl has been working for distressed animals for over 20 years and has become the largest institution for animal welfare in whole Europe.

Spectacular rescue operations in Ukraine

Many of our animals come from Ukraine in 2022. The fighting continues and makes life unbearable for people and animals on the ground. Gut Aiderbichl cannot and will not look the other way here. Already at the outbreak of war in March 2022, Gut Aiderbichl did not hesitate for long, but immediately delivered animal feed and relief supplies to the crisis region. Not only did we actively support the people on the ground, but we were also able to bring 31 dogs and 11 cats with their families to safety.

In September 2022, we received another call for help from a desperate animal rescuer from Ukraine. Despite the approaching front line, she tried to take care of 94 dogs and 29 cats. She did not want to leave the animals alone, and thus leave them to certain death. It was our task to look and to act. In the spirit of the Aiderbichler philosophy. Our animal rescuers set out on the arduous and dangerous journey to Ukraine, demonstrating special courage and commitment to the animals. In two spectacular rescue operations, all of the animal rescuers' 123 animals were brought to safety. The exhausted dogs and cats were housed in a specially rented shelter in Osnabrück (Germany), and can now recover from the hardships. More information can be found here.

Animal Hoarding - 47 cats rescued

In October, we received a call for help from Vienna. An animal owner lived there with 47 cats on 50 square meters. In 2020, 4 young cats moved into his apartment. Since the animals were not neutered, they multiplied uncontrollably. After two years, the already lived with 47 animals in the small apartment in the middle of the city. The animals lacked hygiene and veterinary care. The cats were infected with giardia, which causes severe diarrhea in the animals. The man suffers from a mental illness known as "animal hoarding." In this, people keep animals in very large numbers. Despite their great love of animals, they are no longer able to care for them properly. The mobile task force of the Volkshilfe project "A G'spia für's Tier" had become aware of the case and asked Gut Aiderbichl for help. In the meantime, the animals at Gut Aiderbichl Maria Schmolln are being lovingly cared for in a manner appropriate to their species. Read the whole story here.

4 millionth visitor

In 2022, Gut Aiderbichl welcomed its 4 millionth visitor to Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf. Our Animal Visitor Centres are located at three different sites: Gut Aiderbichl in Henndorf near Salzburg, Gut Aiderbichl in Iffeldorf near Munich and Gut Aiderbichl in Deggendorf near Passau. We look forward to your visit at all three locations. And the animals are even happier.

The year 2021

20 years of Gut Aiderbichl

The year 2021 in figures

20 years ago, our founder Michael Aufhauser had a vision from which Gut Aiderbichl was born. In the meantime, Gut Aiderbichl's sphere of activity extends across whole Europe. The central building blocks for our success are the active commitment to animals in distress, the associated communication, as well as sustainable education and knowledge transfer.

  • Animal rescues 2021: 767
  • There are now over 6,000 animals living on 30 farms in 6 European countries
  • Public relations: Over 300 press reports and 170,000 followers on our social media platforms
  • Knowledge transfer: 1,276 people took part in 92 courses offered by the Gut Aiderbichl Academy (online and face-to-face)


The year 2021 was an eventful year for Gut Aiderbichl. The coronavirus pandemic brought massive economic challenges. Our Animal Visitor Centres had to be closed to visitors, but the ongoing daily costs of approximately 38,000 euros for food and staff in all Aiderbichl farms remained the same. Animal rescues took place under more difficult conditions too.

Corona also overshadowed our anniversary celebration of 20 years of Gut Aiderbichl. The celebrations could therefore not be held as planned in the company of our loyal supporters and long-time companions. Nevertheless, the tireless efforts of our employees and the growing support of our sponsors and Aiderbichl sponsors allow us to continue to look to the future with optimism.

In addition to all the challenges, there were also many beautiful moments that we were able to experience. Today, we look back with pride on our valuable work for animal welfare over the past 20 years. In 2021 alone, we were able to rescue 767 animals and give them a "forever-home" at Gut Aiderbichl.

Free purchase of 19 neglected horses

Among them, there are 18 horses that we were able to rescue from a catastrophic horse husbandry. In June 2021, the veterinary office asks Gut Aiderbichl for support. 19 neglected horses, some of them emaciated and with behavioral problems, need our help. Anyone who has ever seen almost starved animals will never get rid of the sight. The fact that one of the horses did not survive the first night after rescue describes the terrible condition of the animals.

Thanks to the intervention of the Deggendorf Veterinary Office, 18 distressed animals were saved. They now spend their twilight years on various Gut Aiderbichl estates in Germany, Hungary and France.

Kathi, the small cow

At Gut Aiderbichl, we have the vision of a world in which all living beings live together in absolute harmony. This can only happen if we build on cohesion as well as tolerance, and are willing to face all living beings without prejudice. This is also the case with Kathi, a small cow. She was born on a dairy farm. Two weeks premature and small in stature. But her own iron will to survive as well as heat lamps, blankets, cuddling with the farmers and two-hour bottle feeding, help the baby calf stay alive. Nevertheless, the family cannot use her as a milk cow or for fattening and asks Gut Aiderbichl for help. When she was admitted to Gut Aiderbichl Deggendorf, Kathi was just under a year old and the size of a four to six-month-old calf. Fortunately, however, she is equipped with the self-confidence of a full-grown cow, because even animals with a handicap are full of joie de vivre!

Squirrel release station

Even during the pandemic, we continued to pursue our heartfelt projects. In April 2021, we were able to open our squirrel reintroduction station at Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf. Here we work closely with the association Eichhörnchenhilfe Salzburg. Due to various environmental damage, such as deforestation, monocultures and increased road traffic, more and more squirrels are in need. The goal is to rescue injured, orphaned or otherwise distressed squirrels, nurse them back to health and then release them back into the wild. The little rodents are fostered by the Squirrel Aid Association Salzburg and then come to Gut Aiderbichl when they are about 8 weeks old.

Opening dovecote Eslarn

We were able to build a new pigeon house for our feathered friends in 2021. In September, we opened the pigeon house at the Gut Aiderbichl Eslarn animal home in Upper Palatinate. The 25-meter-long and 14-meter-wide birdhouse and a huge aviary provide space for over 1,000 rescued birds. Shortly after the opening, 70 pigeons belonging to an animal welfare activist have already moved into the house.

10 years of Ballermann Ranch

We were allowed to celebrate the anniversary of the Ballermann Ranch in 2021 too. 10 years ago, Ballermann Ranch was founded by Annette and André Engelhardt in Blockwinkel, Lower Saxony (Diepholz district). Since November 2018, Ballermann Ranch has been a part of Gut Aiderbichl and has already become a real visitor magnet.


The year 2020

Gut Aiderbichl in figures 2020:

  • Visitors since 01.01.2003 on our visitable estates: 3,500,000
  • Dogs under our protection: 743
  • Our employees worked over 420,000 hours per year
  • The horse farmers in Henndorf walk around 32,000 steps per day. - That is about 22 km per day!
  • Treatments by farriers: 5,000
  • Holsters needed in 2020: 125 pieces

Statement on Corona

With 6,000 rescued animals and around 250 employees, we have taken on a very great responsibility for animals and people. By taking over every single animal, Gut Aiderbichl has made the promise to care for each animal until the natural end of its life. We are keeping a close eye on the current situation surrounding the COVID-19 coronavirus and are in constant contact with the relevant authorities. We can assure you that we are prepared for the coronavirus COVID-19 in the best possible way and strictly adhere to all public requirements and beyond. Our three visitor farms in Henndorf, Deggendorf and Iffeldorf are still open daily from 9am to 6pm. Our visitable estates are a paradise for humans and animals, amidst the numerous rescued animals, in free nature and fresh air.

Our animals continue to be provided with food, love and the necessary medication around the clock by our carers, and the requirements of each individual animal are catered for. We have fulfilled our obligation to stock up on food for the animals in order to be prepared for emergencies in the best possible way. You can be sure, dear friends, that the well-being of our visitors, our staff and of course the animals is our top priority.

The year 2019

Gut Aiderbichl in figures 2019:

  • Visitors since 01.01.2003 on our visitable estates: 3,500,000
  • Dogs under our protection: 743
  • Our employees worked over 420,000 hours per year
  • The horse farmers in Henndorf walk around 32,000 steps per day. - That is about 22 km per day!
  • Treatments by farriers: 5,000
  • Holsters needed in 2019: 125 pieces

What happened in 2019:

The owners of Germany's best-known party brand Ballermann®, Annette and André Engelhardt, have given away their horse ranch in Lower Saxony to Gut Aiderbichl.

"Our daughter does not want to continue running the Ballermann Ranch. Selling was out of the question, our life's work should be preserved. To ensure this, the donation to Gut Aiderbichl was only logical. "So the Ballermann Ranch, the name and the history will remain. Generations of happy horses will still be able to live here. The Engelhardts run the ranch and continue to invest in the development and expansion of the paradise. Since then, "Ballermann" no longer stands for parties alone, but also for rescued animals.

In addition to two pony pens, a cold-blood suite was created, which spontaneously enabled Gut Aiderbichl to rescue three physically as well as emotionally injured cold-blood mares, who today thunder across the paddocks with the large herd.

But that was not enough. "When Dieter Ehrengruber described to us what a sad fate many donkeys often have to suffer, we unceremoniously threw our cars out of the garages and built a donkey village that now gives 16 donkeys a safe home", says André Engelhardt. A home where, shortly before Christmas, the two little donkey babies "Harry & Sally" saw the light of day in the safety of their rescued donkey family. "It is with great pleasure that we will continue to invest a large part of the licence income from the exploitation of the Ballermann brand in the ranch and joint animal rescue projects", assure Annette and André Engelhardt. By the way, the Gut Aiderbichl Ballermann Ranch can be visited. Every first Saturday of the month at 10 a.m., there is a guided tour lasting about two hours. Registration is not necessary. Clubs and larger groups of 10 people or more can also make special appointments. More information at: www.ballermann-ranch.com

Mr. Grey's story

Mr. Grey was found lying next to a bus stop outside Bucharest by a Romanian animal welfare worker. At first she thought he was dead, because there was no sign of movement or breathing. Not only that, the poor animal was lying on the side of the road with its neck cut open, like discarded rubbish. The animal welfare worker was shocked to the core, rushed to the motionless body and luckily saw faint signs of life. Together with another animal welfare worker, she immediately took Mr Grey to a vet, who was able to save him from certain death at the very last second and treated all visible wounds. 

Healing the inner - psychological - wounds would still take a lot of time. 

Mr. Grey was initially able to recover in the shelter of the animal protector and slowly regained his strength, was able to stand up and drink on his own again. The animal-loving rescuer contacted Gut Aiderbichl and asked for help. Only some time later, the Aiderbichl estate managers Anita and Klaus came to pick up the poor dog as part of the Gut Aiderbichl stray dog campaign. But Mr. Grey lay huddled in the corner, growling menacingly at the experienced Aiderbichler. Nevertheless, they managed to put a harness on the frightened and traumatized dog and put him in a transport box. Mr. Grey growled because he was simply terrified. Fear from experience.

From now on, the abused animal was no longer a homeless dog for the first time in his life. He no longer had to go to sleep hungry and afraid. That was now over, he became one of us for life!

Two kilometres before Gut Aiderbichl in Maria Schmolln, Anita let Mr. Grey, who realised that something in his life was changing for the better, out of the car. Together they walked the last bit, he was to experience a sense of arrival, slowly get to know and sniff out his new home. Within a few short weeks, Mr Grey settled into his new home and became part of a pack of 16 dogs.

Mr. Grey has had to go through unspeakable things in his life. He had to get to know the worst qualities of people and look into the deepest abysses. With his rescue, he consciously got involved with humans again. He relied on us, trusted us and gave us a chance to show that there is another way, that there is a coexistence of humans and animals. Gut Aiderbichl is The home of rescued animals, we are the strong voice of animals and help where possible.
Please support us in our work and help with a donation or a symbolic sponsorship for Mr. Grey or our many other rescued animals!

The year 2018

Gut Aiderbichl in figures 2018: 

Monkey Refuge: Consumption

  • Around 6,000 litres of milk
  • Around 2,000 pcs. Eggs
  • Around 1,800 portions of yoghurt
  • Around 3,000 heads of lettuce
  • Around 11,000 kg of fruit
  • Around 58,000 kg of vegetables

Staff and visitors:

Our employees worked over 400,000 hours a year.
The Henndorf horse farmers walk about 32,000 steps per day. - That is about 22 km per day!

Over 5,000 treatments are carried out by the farriers on our farms!

Our three visitor farms (Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf, Deggendorf and Iffedorf) have already recorded over 3 million visitors!

Stefan survived the flaming inferno!

Stefan, a Fleckvieh bull calf, was born on 30.01.2017 in Tyrol. Two months later, he was brought to Bergheim near Salzburg and then transported on to Lower Austria, where he lived in the fattening farm until the day that almost cost him his life.

In a small community in Lower Austria, the stable where Stefan lived was on fire. 124 firefighters, plus the Red Cross, were on the scene. But it was not people who were affected by the fire. About 80 male cattle were standing in the stable buildings. About 40 died in agony in the disaster. In the part of the barn where Stefan was standing, he was the only survivor. About 80 percent of his skin was burnt. Stefan came to Gut Aiderbichl in a roundabout way, our animal keepers had never been confronted with such a badly burnt animal before. But Stefan behaved absolutely well and was not shy towards people - quite the opposite. His skin needs daily care - even today, a few months after his arrival. It takes at least an hour a day to care for him, plus regular veterinary check-ups. Because his fur is missing and we don't know how much it will grow back, he has to be protected against cold, wetness and sun. But Stefan is on the road to recovery and is now happy about every visit.

Gertraud Gruber celebrated her 97th birthday

Gertraud Gruber, founder of the first beauty farm in Europe and long-time supporter of Gut Aiderbichl celebrated her 97th birthday.

The great animal lover, thanks to whose support Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf - the Gertraud Gruber Easter Lake Farm - first became possible, naturally paid a visit to the rescued animals of Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf on her day of honour.

Aiderbichl Managing Director Dieter Ehrengruber had prepared a surprise for her on her arrival: All the staff and the animals stood in line to welcome Gertraud Gruber and to wish her all the best for her birthday. We thank Gertraud Gruber from the bottom of our hearts for her commitment, her love of animals and wish her all the best for the future!

Thank you on behalf of the rescued animals!

Orphan foal Chris - after five days he lost his mother

On the 24th of April 2018, the little Shetland pony foal Chris saw the light of day on a small farm in Salzburger Land. His mother lovingly cared for her foal. After only a short time, Chris stood shakily on his own two feet and drank his first important milk. Everything seemed perfect, but the very next day the pony mare's condition visibly deteriorated. She received veterinary care, but there was no improvement. She became weaker and weaker and could no longer suckle Chris. The lives of mother and foal were at stake. So her owner turned to our horse manager Martina and asked if she knew of a nurse mare who could raise little Chris.

But nurse mares are rare and even if one is found, it does not automatically mean that foster mother and foal get along. In consultation with Dieter Ehrengruber, Martina suggested taking mother and foal to the equine clinic, where they would be under constant control. Still in the night, our team set off, hoping that it would not be too late.

The pony mare was immediately treated at the clinic - the vets left no stone unturned and fought desperately for the mare's life. But they were to lose the battle three days later. Little Chris became an orphan foal after only five days. Chris' owner could not guarantee that he would be raised by bottle. After all, this means bottle-feeding the foal every two hours - even at night! So Martina agreed to take on this important task - together with her team. But one thing was clear from the beginning: Chris needed conspecifics and above all a foster mum who would teach him everything a pony needs to live. Martina thought about which pony would come into question and finally only a pony that is calm and relaxed was shortlisted: Bubi. That's right - a pony gelding - so a foster dad. Without further ado, we loaded him onto the trailer and made our way to the equine clinic to pick up little Chris. The doctors and we looked forward to the first meeting of Bubi and Chris there. Would it work? We hoped and feared - and lo and behold: Bubi and Chris hit it off right away. Bubi approached the little orphan foal very carefully and made him understand that he would now be there for him.

We all felt a great weight lifted from our hearts at the sight of this touching scene. Finally, we loaded the two and headed for Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf, where they were already awaited with great anticipation. A box had already been prepared for them. Little Chris is now fed with milk every two hours. Right next to him is Bubi, the trusting foster dad, who chews on a carrot with pleasure, but at the same time always keeps a watchful eye on Chris. The little pony stallion's life still consists mainly of eating and sleeping. But he has already dared to take his first steps across the estate and soon Bubi will show him what life at Gut Aiderbichl has to offer. If he stays healthy, Chris will be with us for about 35 to 40 years. During this time, we will do everything possible to offer him an animal- and species-appropriate life with the best possible husbandry and care.

The year 2017

Gut Aiderbichl in numbers:

Monkey Refuge: Consumption

  • Around 6,000 litres of milk
  • Around 2,000 pcs. Eggs
  • Around 1,800 portions of yoghurt
  • Around 3,000 heads of lettuce
  • Around 11,000 kg of fruit
  • Around 58,000 kg of vegetables

Staff and visitors:

Our employees worked over 400,000 hours a year.

The horse farmers in Henndorf walk around 32,000 steps per day. - That is about 22 km per day!

Over 5,000 treatments are carried out by the farriers on our farms!

Our three visitor farms (Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf, Deggendorf and Iffedorf) have already recorded over 3 million visitors!


Another Aiderbichl year is over. Animal fates know no annual rhythm, no weekends, public holidays or rest periods where you are only on standby for emergencies. This is what makes our work so special, that we are always on the ball and remain open and attentive to animal fates. And since we are confronted with so many fates every day, we decided to create this annual review in which we look back on the most moving and touching moments of 2017. We constantly experience so many moments that simply get lost in the daily work and are usually never published. In this annual review, we have taken the liberty of presenting these stories authentically and in more detail, so that they are not forgotten by us and by you. It is intended to illustrate the work of the Gut Aiderbichl team. What is lovingly and competently done here for animals.

Our beloved Lucy (born 2000, passed away 24.02.2017)

Our Lucy (16) was a "co-founder" of Gut Aiderbichl. Animal friends had rescued her from a Spanish animal shelter at the time, but Lucy was so traumatised that she eventually became one of us. She belonged to the breed of Spanish hunting dogs, for which there are sometimes quite strange preparations for their tasks in Spain. They are simply left to starve for a long time so that they can quickly pick up the scent of hares or pheasants. These "preparations" left their mark on Lucy until the end. Her hunger seemed insatiable - as if she wanted to make provisions for "bad times". Another trauma was her panic of loud noises, such as church bells or fireworks. If only she heard church bells on TV, Lucy immediately became afraid and hid. I can still remember the day Lucy came to us. Her fate touched me and from the beginning we had something special. Lucy accompanied me and Michael everywhere. She loved the trips to Gut Aiderbichl and with her friendly, loving nature she captivated everyone. It was also through her that DJ Ötzi was able to overcome his fear of animals at Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf in 2004. Michael Aufhauser showed him that no animal is inherently evil and very hesitantly DJ Ötzi finally overcame his fear and stroked Lucy. A moment that he and we will always remember. Lucy loved the "togetherness". She enjoyed playing with her friends Jeanny, Snoopy, Rikki and Lulu, and liked to take a nap in the sun afterwards. She was very special with her caring nature - also for my daughter Laura. Lucy loved Laura more than anything and never left her side from the beginning. They seemed to literally look after each other and they had a special friendship. Of course, as Lucy grew older, the first aches and pains began to make themselves felt. Everything went a little slower and Lucy was no longer quite so impetuous. But she never lost her joy in life - on the contrary. She was happy about every day and showed us how beautiful it can be to just enjoy life. And we were happy every day that we were allowed to be a part of Lucy's life.

Lucy always had a very special relationship with Michael Aufhauser. She hardly left his side and after his serious illness in May 2015 she focused even more on me. Lucy immediately perceived my joys and sorrows - she knew me inside out. And especially in difficult times, she gave me hope and strength again.

Last week I noticed that Lucy was losing more and more of her strength. She didn't really like to eat anymore and after a short walk she wanted to go back to her warm basket and sleep. I suspected that we would not have much time left. We spoiled her with all the goodies and enjoyed every hour we had left with her.

Then, on Friday morning I had to go to an appointment in Lower Austria. In the morning I looked after Lucy. She lay peacefully in her basket, lifted her head and looked at me. She was tired, but not in pain. Still worried, I went on my way. I knew that someone was always near Lucy to check on her, but still my thoughts were on my beloved. I quickly made my way back after the appointment, and when I got back to Salzburg in the afternoon, my first thought was for her. She looked at me and I knew that now was the time to say goodbye. I let the many years with Lucy pass in my mind, while I stroked her and spoke to her. She was very still and breathing heavily. I called the vet to help Lucy with her last walk - she should not have to suffer.

5 years of Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf: 30 April 2017

On Sunday we celebrated the 5th anniversary of Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf, the Gertraud-Gruber-Osterseehof. In bright sunshine, more than 2,000 supporters and animal lovers made their way to spend an unforgettable day together with us and our rescued animals.

In the morning, the Iffeldorf band played in the large marquee before Aiderbichl Managing Director Dieter Ehrengruber welcomed the guests at 1 pm.

Big thanks of course went to Mrs Gertraud Gruber, without whom the "Fairytale of Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf" would not have been possible, to the mayor of the municipality of Iffeldorf, Mr Hubert Kroiß, as well as to our estate managers Hansi and Martina Süß, who together with their team work for the animals every day.

Cast off!

Running around without a care, romping and playing with other dogs - the epitome of bliss for dogs. On the 1000 m² meadow in the middle of Henndorf, the 170 registered four-legged friends in the municipality can now let off steam for all they're worth. And the owners are happy too.

Every day, many of man's best friends enjoy themselves on the 1000 m² fenced meadow, made possible by a farmer's family and Gut Aiderbichl, which paid for the lease of the meadow and took care of the fencing and management. Both the residents and the tourists who spend their holidays in Henndorf with their four-legged friends can now allow dogs of all ages and breeds to run and play freely. The area of the new dog play area is fenced in, there is a paved path and also a bathing area," explains Aiderbichl Managing Director Dieter Ehrengruber. Our answer to the leash law!

The year 2016

15 years of Gut Aiderbichl

15 years of animal love

2016 was an eventful year, but at the same time a successful one in terms of our rescued animals. There were sad moments when we had to say goodbye, but also many touching moments, where we were able to say yes, thanks to the valuable and faithful support of the our community. Without them, our ongoing commitment to animals in need would not be possible. And we celebrated this in our anniversary year together with many people in the midst of our rescued animals.

Around the clock in action for our orphan lambs Mimi, Leila and Liesl

The orphan lamb Mimi, who belongs to the endangered breed of Zackel sheep, was one of the first animal rescues in our anniversary year. The little lamb was born on 20.01.2016 and was already in need shortly afterwards. Because Mimi's mother died shortly after giving birth. No other sheep in the flock accepted the orphan lamb. When our horse manager Martina heard about this fate, she took the little lamb to herself and raised her with the bottle. And since Mimi needed milk every few hours, Martina took the little lamb home with her in the evening. Mimi became Martina's constant companion. But she also needed conspecifics and found a friend in Leila, a triplet lamb that was not adopted by its mother. The trio was finally completed by Liesl, a Cameroon ewe lamb. Liesl was also rejected by her mother and was to be killed. We were able to prevent this by taking in the lamb, which was only a few hours old. Thanks to our experience in rearing bottle lambs and the dedication of our grooms Martina and Eva, Mimi, Leila and Liesl made it. They can now enjoy their life with us without any worries.

The Maypole of the Animals

Setting up the maypole is one of the most popular traditions in Bavaria and its origins go back to the 16th century. So, in our anniversary year, we have decided to erect a decorated maypole at Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf as part of a maypole festival. Traditionally, the trunk of the maypole is blue and white with decorative pictures. Hansi Süß and his team have painstakingly painted the maypole themselves in the traditional colours. In Bavaria, it is customary for the trees to be decorated with the motifs as guild trees. Since the animals are the bosses at Gut Aiderbichl, we decided to decorate the maypole with different animal motifs. This is how the Maypole of the Animals came to be, which was erected as part of our Maypole Festival on 1st May at Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf, the Gertraud Gruber Easter Lake Farm.

Junior Team Summer Party

For our young and animal friends, we had come up with something very special in our anniversary year. On 27th August 2016, the first Junior Team Summer Party took place at Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf. Many hundreds of children visited us on this day and spent an unforgettable day in the midst of our rescued animals with many exciting and varied programme items.

Wild boar enclosure

Animal welfare and species-appropriate husbandry are our top priorities. In 2016, we were able to build new enclosures for our rescued wild pigs at Gut Aiderbichl Carinthia. Here they can now dig, wallow or simply enjoy a bath in the sun to their heart's content.

10 years Deggendorf

We were also able to celebrate an anniversary at Gut Aiderbichl Deggendorf. The Lower Bavarian estate, which has become an integral part of the Aiderbichl sanctuaries, celebrated its 10th anniversary. On 1st October 2016, in bright sunshine, we experienced wonderful hours in the midst of our community.

Christmas Show/Christmas Market

We traditionally ended the anniversary year with the large Christmas market at Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf, which once again provided the backdrop for the popular programme "Christmas at Gut Aiderbichl" in 2016. The highlight of the Christmas market was the large, walk-in live animal nativity scene, in which not only the traditionally handed-down animals such as ox and donkey, but also sheep, goats, chickens and llamas found a place.

Facts and figures:

We needed about € 16 million to guarantee running costs in 2016.

Of this, € 450,000 is for veterinary costs alone. In addition, there is the accumulation of reserves and investments. We fed around 2,480 tonnes of hay to horses, cows, donkeys, goats and co. per year. We travelled around 735,000 kilometres for the cause, i.e. more than 18 times around the equator. Gut Aiderbichl has 160 permanent employees, 90 farm helpers and 30 volunteers working for the animals and the visitors.

In 2016, we ordered 9 tonnes of carrots, 8 tonnes of apples, 19 tonnes of bananas, 397,200 bags of cat food, 69,500 cans of dog food . In addition, there is home-cooked food with rice, pasta, yoghurt, curd, etc. We needed 42,550 litres of cat litter.

The year 2015

The illness of our founder Michael Aufhauser

Since 28th May 2015, nothing in Michael Aufhauser's life has been the same. He suffered a life-threatening aneurysm, but was thankfully saved by a quick operation. His recovery is progressing slowly, but there are always setbacks, which he accepts just as bravely as the disease itself.

Michael Aufhauser has made provisions for the eventuality that he will not be able to actively participate in Gut Aiderbichl. He has built up a team in which he has great confidence and of which he is sure, after careful examination and selection, that it can lead his life's work sustainably and professionally into the future. Gut Aiderbichl Managing Director Dieter Ehrengruber has been at Michael Aufhauser's side since 2003 and has now taken over his responsibilities, supported by a well-coordinated team of longstanding employees.

Rescue of 4 ponies from the circus

The final curtain had fallen on the quartet of ponies from the circus. After a life full of hardship, they were to be sent to the slaughterhouse. We were able to buy them for a price per kilo and were stunned at the sight of Sultan, Nelke, Laurel and Manolo. Depressed, intimidated and obviously in pain, the four stood before us. We immediately took them to the equine clinic, where Laurel and Nelke had to have one eye removed each. What we didn't know at the time: Laurel was already pregnant and gave birth to little La Vivi on 22nd March 2015.

Extension: Gut Aiderbichl Gänserndorf

On 25th April, two new enclosures were opened on the eleven-hectare site, which is also home to the Gut Aiderbichl Monkey Refuge: a spacious enclosure for rescued foxes, and the large parrot house with attached outdoor aviaries and space for 60 rescued parrots. On the same day, three arctic and three silver foxes moved into the new fox enclosure. We were able to rescue them from a European fur farm shortly before. One of the vixens, Melissa II, was heavily pregnant when she was rescued and finally gave birth to three healthy fox cubs.

The new senior citizens' stable

On 13rd November, Michael Aufhauser's heart project, the new senior citizens' stable, was ceremoniously opened. The stable is located in the immediate vicinity of our main farm in Henndorf and is specially designed to meet the needs of older animals. Our rescued animals grow older together with us and over the years we have become experts in keeping them. The senior stable is barrier-free, there is a lifting device above each stall, which allows us to intervene quickly and easily if one of our horses has laid it down. For the horses that are allergic to hay dust and suffer from lung diseases, there is a separate area in the stable. Their boxes are strewn with sawdust and their hay is dusted.

We want to make things easier for our animals that become more difficult in old age and thus increase their joy of life. Because old age is not an illness, but a special phase of life.

Our commitment to endangered animal breeds

Five Kune Kune pigs moved into Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf in the summer. Actually, this breed, whose name translates is "fat and round", comes from New Zealand, where the pigs were kept as pets by the Maoris. But by the end of the 1970s, the Kune Kune were acutely threatened with extinction - there were only 9 left in the world. With the inclusion of Harry, Potter, Diego, Roy and Casanova, we would like to set an example and report on this endangered breed.

Saving an entire herd of aurochs

In March, an unusual emergency call reached us. The deputy mayor of a municipality called us to report an entire herd of Aucher oxen that had already been sold to a butcher. Among the animals were highly pregnant cows and young calves. The farmers in the community were very upset and wanted to prevent the death of the aurochs. We were able to help and put the 17 shy primeval cattle under our protection. Only a few days after their rescue, the first aurochs calf was born with us.

The new large dog play area

Keeping dogs is only as good as their care, food, exercise, medical care and the number and length of walks. At Gut Aiderbichl, the dogs' environment is completely tailored for them - they should be able to let off steam for hours every day. On 22nd August, we were able to open another large dog run meadow on 5,000 m2 at Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf with a pond for hot days. Long-time sponsors Heidi and Joachim Michels generously supported us in the realisation of this project.

The year 2014

Where else can you find 6000 rescued animals, 34 of them of different species? But instead of stagnating, we increase the number of animals in need every year. For us, it is a matter of preserving what has been created and letting something new emerge.

More than 700 horses, ponies, donkeys and mini horses

Our help for these animals requires a careful observation of the equine scene. Thereby, we had to learn some things that are bitter. For example, that young horses with best pedigree have to die, so that the high price stays up for others with similar pedigree and better performance at tournaments. Or that there are new eastern routes for "slaughter horses" all the way to Russia, which means endless transport suffering.

Gut Aiderbichl keeps more than 700 rescued horses on 25 estates. Some of them are in need of care or chronically ill. They are cared for by our 300 animal keepers and horse handlers who are professionally up to date - 24 hours a day.

More than 800 dogs and cats

Gut Aiderbichl is a network of large grace farms. They are either owned by us or leased on a long-term basis. The requirements for keeping all animals on these farms are prescribed in detail and are scrupulously adhered to by the animal keepers. This also applies to the dogs, the cats and to the rare cases of lifelong special foster homes. Cats in need of care live at Katzenstift Traisen, the more freedom-loving ones at Gut Aiderbichl France. In Deggendorf, Henndorf, Iffeldorf and Maria Schmolln, we provide the cats with well thought-out indoor and outdoor facilities that are appropriate for their species.

More than 1,000 cattle, goats, sheep and pigs

Escaped from the slaughterhouse or used in an experimental laboratory, neglected in husbandry or by overtaxed rescuers: animals of such breeds not infrequently find themselves in need and often learn about a livable husbandry with us for the first time. Through their presence on our estates, we have become experts. We deal with their nature, their behaviour, their often underestimated intelligence and their needs. Our knowledge of these animals often differs fundamentally from the customs and state of knowledge in "farm animal husbandry".

When it comes to rescuing cattle, Gut Aiderbichl is probably the largest institution in the world that can act competently and in accordance with animal welfare. Accordingly, there were again numerous new arrivals this year, for which we have once again created extensive capacities.

Small animals and our native feathered friends

Thousands of them flutter, waddle, hop and strut around our estates. They are rabbits, guinea pigs, swans, geese, pigeons, ducks, ferrets, roosters, peacocks and chickens - all rather small but mighty! Because they also cause costs. Many of these animals come sick or in need of care, and of course an injured pigeon is just as close to our hearts as a swan with a broken wing. We make no distinction between the species and care for them all in the best way, day and night and at all times.

The many exotic and wild animals

Gut Aiderbichl has one of the world's largest refuges for ex-lab chimpanzees and animal apes.
Fully aware of how expensive it is to keep the apes, we decided in 2009 to place 40 ex-lab chimpanzees under our protection. No one else would have taken them on as a whole group, and this was the only way to keep them together. But also native wild animals, such as deer and stags in distress, have found their final and protected home with us. They live on our estate in Henndorf and in a large game enclosure at Gut Aiderbichl Kärnten. Apart from the foxes, there are also: marten lady Hilde, honey bear Juppi, raccoons Paul and Emilia, our stately wild boar herd and camel lady Franziska - as well as a large herd of llamas and alpacas and 100 outcast parrots.
They all have a lifelong right to stay in the best and most species-appropriate care.

Our Gut Aiderbichl GmbH's

You generate all operating costs yourself on our visitable estates. With admissions, shop and catering. Any profits remain and are not withdrawn.

The year 2013

40,000 supporter, 24 animal homes...

Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf, the Gertraud Gruber Osterseehof, opens in April. Gut Aiderbichl helps animal owners and animals in need during the flood of the century. The flood once again increases our animal population. Gut Aiderbichl Eslarn joins the network of our sanctuaries.

Opening of our species- and animal-friendly cat and dog facilities in Iffeldorf and at Gut Aiderbichl Katzen Stift Traisen. Wüstenrot Austria presents its "four-legged provision" in cooperation with Gut Aiderbichl.

Rescue of "strays in need" in Greece.

Creation of a large raccoon enclosure at Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf.
Mouro Bergonzoli hands over paintings to Aiderbichl and the Christmas programme is given a new title "Advent at Gut Aiderbichl" with a new broadcasting slot exclusively on ORF 2, on the 7th December in the main programme at 8:15 pm.

We would also like to thank our staff, who now number more than 250. Without their help, none of this would be possible to maintain and operate. So we are all pleased that it is now possible to run these properties economically and independently. The maintenance of our Foundation's properties is possible exclusively through donations, gifts and bequests.

The year 2012

More than 5,000 animals rescued on 23 estates

Purchase of new meadowland

Gut Aiderbichl manages areas intended for the production of hay extensively. That means: particularly gently. We wait until the fawns are big enough that the cutter bars are no longer a danger to them. Then; most of the grasses and flowers have also sown. Bushes and trees in our meadows remain standing. Where necessary, we plant refuges of mixed forest for small animals and birds.
We close wetlands, although we would not be obliged to do so. We also want to protect wild lilies and rare amphibians. This year; we were again able to buy large areas for Gut Aiderbichl and lease others.

At Gut Aiderbichl France there are oak trees that are over 500 years old. They also enjoy our protection.

Gut Aiderbichl Kilb opens cattle shed

For our herd of rescued cattle in Kilb, we have built a large free-range barn. The dimensions: 50 x 17 metres. A total of 101 cattle now live on our estate on the edge of the Dirndl Valley. We also acquire a new small property in Kilb: an agricultural area with building permission. In addition to the cattle, 25 rescued horses, 8 cats and three boars now live at Gut Aiderbichl Kilb, which we bought free at an agricultural exhibition.

New hay store for Iffeldorf

With our huge demand for hay and straw, large barns are very important for us.
At Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf, a hall measuring 31 x 20 metres is being built. Our sheep will make themselves comfortable in the annex of the hall. A large car park for our visitors, paths to the estate as well as a ticket office with shop, a purification plant and the installation of a photovoltaic roof cover on the old barn will be completed over the year in time for the inauguration in December.

Completion dog trail

At Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf, a unique dog trail is being created with the help of Heidi and Jochen.
While in the Salzburger Land leashes are compulsory, here it's possible to let dogs run free between beautiful pastures. At Gut Aiderbichl Deggendorf, the dog run meadow sponsored by Margit and Bernd Funda has been in operation for several months.

Gut Aiderbichl Soya Schnitzel

Herbert Mackner has managed to prepare a schnitzel with soy that is very close to the original. Our visitors are thrilled. Especially because more and more people understand that the production of meat wastes more than ten times as much energy as soy variants.

A friend of Gut Aiderbichl gives us a hotel as a gift

With more than 400 rescued cats under our lifelong protection, we urgently need a place where we can do justice to old and no longer healthy cats in very special care. Soon we will be able to do this, as we have been given a hotel - the renovation of which will start right at the beginning of 2013.

Blitz action for huskies in need

20 huskies are in mortal danger and would be euthanized without our quick help. For Michael Aufhauser's 60th birthday, all friends of Gut Aiderbichl help together and donate for the reconstruction of the former lion facility in Gänserndorf and the protection of the large pack.

Final completion of the donkey house, animal living room and outdoor cat enclosure in Henndorf

With its donkey husbandry in the new house, Gut Aiderbichl has taken a new path. Now, the rooms for cat and dog families have been completed on the first floor. A new era of animal husbandry has begun. We would like to thank Verena and Jürgen for creating the donkey house. And we owe the expansion of the animal living room to Gerd Viebig, who passed away on 12.11.2011.

Cat stall & cat fence

At Gut Aiderbichl Deggendorf, a large storage and workshop hall was built thanks to the generous support of the Hatto Egerer Foundation and board member Bernd Funda. Gut Aiderbichl is investing in the beautification of the entire Deggendorf estate. And Sven Hunnius is financing a large cat stall.

The B-House in the Monkey Refuge

The chimpanzees were in the research laboratory in an intensive experiment. This meant total isolation from conspecifics. Even humans only faced them in protective suits. For them, the big moment has come this year. They, too, will be allowed outside for the first time in decades.
Mike Serres, the famous chimpanzee whisperer, is at our keepers' side. They support the chimpanzees in forgetting their trauma.

New stables and enclosures are being built right next to the Gut Aiderbichl monkey sanctuary. For rescued goats, sheep, pigeons and dogs.

Additional, sustainable aid

Since 2012, Gaston and Kathrin Glock have also become sustainable sponsors of Gut Aiderbichl with their aid projects that help vulnerable, people, animals and nature.

Inauguration of Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf

After almost two years of construction, the time has finally come: The main house of Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf, the Gertraud Gruber Osterseehof, is completed. Sixteen single-family homes would have space in it. The main stable, kitchen and catering facilities will go into operation in December. The official opening will take place in April 2013. The building is in the typical country house style of Gut Aiderbichl. The Osterseen has always been a popular excursion destination for people from Munich and Starnberg. The architecture we have chosen is already a compliment to one of the most beautiful areas in Germany.

The year 2011

10 years of Gut Aiderbichl

2011 is once again a year of expansions and new buildings. The construction of a pellet heating plant in Henndorf has just been completed and construction machinery is already coming to the estate.

The new donkey house in Henndorf

Verena Weber and Jürgen Lorenz are the initiators of the new donkey house. With their support, we ventured into this new project. Our donkeys, some of which came to us from the south at an advanced age, urgently needed a heatable stable. We started with the earthworks at the end of March and the animals moved in at the end of November. On the first floor of the donkey house we were able to build a large animal living room (dog and cat room...) with the support of Gerd Viebig.

Gut Aiderbichl Deggendorf

The entire facility was completely overhauled. With the support of Margit and Bernd Funda, we were able to build large dog runs. The cat villa was extensively fenced in by a 2.5 m high special fence and much more.

Our administration adapts

Gut Aiderbichl's head office is located in Salzburg. Our mail and every phone call is answered from here. With a modern computer system we manage budgets, sponsorships, accounting and banking matters, payroll accounting and much more. Sonja Großmann, Silvia Schiller and Elsa Gamerith ensure that everything runs smoothly.
Bernadette Linasi heads our accounting department and is an authorised signatory. Werner Hingsamer is responsible for computer technology.
All important decisions are made at Dieter Ehrengruber's desk, seven days a week. Michael Aufhauser, Holde Sudenn and Bianca Pöckl are responsible for publications and further developments.
Our administration is staffed 365 days a year.

Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf

The extensive planning for the new Aiderbichl Farm, the "Gertraud Gruber Osterseehof", has been completed. Paths have been laid out, old buildings have been restored... We also received the permit for new buildings, which will be constructed in accordance with the latest findings, including a constructed wetland, photovoltaic power generation and a heat pump with its own groundwater. In all likelihood, the gates should open to visitors at the end of September 2012. More than 200 rescued animals already live there.

Gut Aiderbichl Maria Schmolln

The renovation work at the "Gerd Viebig Hof" continued. Over 20 parrots have moved into the large new aviary. More aviaries are being built for another 50 rescued parrots already living under our protection. The number of rescued cats increases to 75 velvet paws, which we could help in greatest need. An approx. 2,000 sqm large run is secured with a 2.5 m high special cat fence.

The Dog Trail in Henndorf

From the gate, a walking path was created this year that leads to the estate and on which dogs are allowed to run without a leash. Thanks to the initiators Heidi and Jochen Michels, the "dog path" was completed in autumn. In front of the hall in the guest garden, an area was created, a terrace, which is not accessible for free-roaming animals.

Gänserndorf: Chimpanzee outdoor enclosure

On the 6th of September, the group of 10 was allowed outside again for the first time after decades of confinement in the experimental laboratory. 11 outdoor enclosures were built for about 3 million euros. Aiderbichl Managing Director Dieter Ehrengruber was in charge of this project.

New stables in Lower Austria

Right next to the Gut Aiderbichl Monkey Refuge in Gänserndorf, another branch of Gut Aiderbichl is currently being built. This includes a huge pigeon aviary, which is being set up in the empty giraffe house of the former safari park. A large part of the pigeons from Henndorf will be relocated there. A new spacious goat and sheep house was also built and a place for three feral dogs was created. At Gut Aiderbichl Kilb, a newly built cattle hall opened in December 2011. Planned according to the latest findings, it offers 100 rescued cattle species-appropriate space.

A cat house in Switzerland

In Teufen near St. Gallen, a friend of Gut Aiderbichl has left her house to the Gut Aiderbichl Foundation, where her 25 cats currently live. Once the renovations are completed, it will become a cat sanctuary. It is our first property in Switzerland.

Animal rescues and ruthless outreach

Animals need us day and night. If we have to refuse to take them in, it means a sad end for many of them. Many hundreds of animals in need found lifelong protection at Gut Aiderbichl in 2011. The most prominent case was the admission of cow Yvonne and her family (Gut Aiderbichl Deggendorf). The blind little donkey Noldi from Switzerland also came to us. As well as about 50 horses, 25 cattle, over 150 cats, 25 dogs in need and many more.
The Klosterneuburg hostage drama, in which Michael Aufhauser involuntarily played a key role, also gave us 16 bereaved horses. Those who want to follow our animal admissions are kept up to date on our homepage and in the Gut Aiderbichl Magazine.

The year 2010

New: Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf

The foundation of the Gertraud Gruber Osterseehof just outside Munich is a coincidence. Gertraud Gruber offers financial help to Gut Aiderbichl in the event that the development of a new estate is being considered in Upper Bavaria. When a farmer family approaches us with the wish to turn their dairy farm into Gut Aiderbichl, nothing stands in the way of a new foundation. All their cattle and 2 ex-circus horses, as well as sheep and chickens, immediately come under our protection. Gut Aiderbichl Iffeldorf will be our third farm that can be visited all year round. The Süß farming family is taking over the management of the estate and, together with their team, is already looking after over 150 animals, including the pregnant camel mare Franziska.

Gut Aiderbichl Carinthia - in new splendour

Gut Aiderbichl Carinthia now includes an approx. 5 hectare game enclosure that houses wild animals (red deer and roe deer) raised by humans. A stable building is being built, into which ex-circus pigs, donkeys, sheep and goats, among others, will move. A new, spacious poultry station offers rescued animals a safe, beautiful home. With the loving care of their charges, our animal keepers contribute significantly to the implementation of the idea of dog families. Estate manager Markus Leitner and his team take exemplary care of over 200 rescued animals.

New: Gut Aiderbichl Maria Schmolln

Gerd Viebig has been an animal rights activist for a long time and is looking for an animal welfare organization that will continue his mercy farm in his spirit. He invites Michael Aufhauser and Dieter Ehrengruber to join him in 2010. When Michael Aufhauser sees the farm, he initially thinks it is a request for help. He offers Gerd Viebig support. All the animals are living happily, but the property has been neglected. As it turns out, Gerd Viebig doesn't need financial help, but structures for his estate. The Gerd Viebig farm and all its animals become part of Gut Aiderbichl.

New: Gut Aiderbichl France

Beatrice Bürchler-Keller has long offered us her country estate in France as an Aiderbichl estate. The special thing about this estate is its incredible size. 60 hectares are surrounded by a 2-metre high and 4-kilometre long wall. After appropriate convensions, installations and the creation of additional pastures, 100 cats and just as many horses as well as a family of dogs are now allowed to move in there.

This year we are able to help numerous circus animals, including Mini, Maxi and Pumuckl, who are moving into Henndorf along with many others. 36 foals that we ransomed at auctions now live at Gut Aiderbichl France. In 2010, many hundreds of animals in need find shelter
on our estates. The animal population increases by leaps and bounds to over 2,000 rescued animals.
At the suggestion of Editor-in-Chief Robert Pölzer, Michael Aufhauser starts a weekly column in the magazine "Freizeit Revue".

The year 2009

40 ex-lab chimpanzees become part of our family

40 chimpanzees and 5 animal apes have been part of the bankruptcy estate of the former Gänserndorf Safari Park since 2004. Many of them spent more than three decades in cramped cages in the animal experimentation laboratory. In 1997, they were finally set free. Due to a corporate takeover, the pharmaceutical company Baxter became their owner. Baxter does not conduct animal experiments with apes. To thank the chimpanzees for their great sacrifice to humans, Baxter built a large facility for them. The chimpanzees and great apes moved there in 2002 and from then on, most of them were allowed to live in groups. But the planned outdoor enclosures were never built. In 2004, the operator of the monkey facility filed for bankruptcy.
In 2009, the bankruptcy administration decided to transfer the majority of the chimpanzees to a Hungarian zoo. However, because Michael Aufhauser personally and privately guarantees the lifelong keeping costs (from 2020) of the three youngest chimpanzees, they are all allowed to stay together and, with the consent of the State, the province of Lower Austria, Baxter and the municipality of Gänserndorf, they pass into the ownership of Gut Aiderbichl.

Gut Aiderbichl takes in aged ex-lab beagles

Dialogue with a large animal testing laboratory brings freedom to experimental dogs, some of which have had to endure more than ten years in testing. They come under our protection.

Good news for our rescued cattle

After taking in 15 rescued Galloway cattle, Christian Kögl gives up his breeding station in Mainburg and transforms it into a Gut Aiderbichl cattle sanctuary. Here, 60 rescued cattle find a new home.
The non-profit Gut Aiderbichl Foundation Switzerland is founded. Gut Aiderbichl takes over the first mustangs in the USA.

Rescues: Poor donkeys come to us from Corfu

The first transport with 14 rescued donkeys arrives at Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf. Deer Batzi and his Hiltraut move into the large game enclosure at Gut Aiderbichl Carinthia. Baby deer Urs is born in Henndorf. Gut Aiderbichl acquires another property in the neighbourhood of Gut Aiderbichl Kilb. A large cat house is to be built there in the future.

The year 2008

Animal protection is also human protection

A farmer from Kilb neglects his property and gets into big trouble as a result. He is to lose his farm and his over 60 neglected cattle. Out of desperation he even threatens to commit suicide. Seeking help, he turns to Michael Aufhauser. His estate and all the cattle are transferred to the charitable Gut Aiderbichl Foundation. The whole village helps with the rescue. The farmer gets a lifelong right to live on his farm, with his animals. All the female cattle are pregnant, and so the herd soon reaches a stately size with over 80 animals.
A large pigeon house is built in Deggendorf. The romantic little estate with the cat villa is added.
Since Easter market, only meat-free meals are served on both of Gut Aiderbichl's visitable estates. Maria Kaindl is now in charge of gastronomy, Paul Kaiser is responsible for sponsorships and Hans Wintersteller becomes estate manager. Martina Neureiter takes over the management of the animal keepers and Anna Pieringer will be responsible for the foxes in future.

Gut Aiderbichl awards, four new books

Bear rescuer Jill Robinson receives the "Golden Heart for Animals 2008", Michael Aufhauser writes four new books.
Chimpanzee expert Jane Goodall visits Gut Aiderbichl for the first time and gives two lectures.

Over 1,000 animals rescued on 11 estates and farms

Foals and "horses for slaughter" that are taken in at Henndorf come to us through animal emergencies, as well as from markets and auctions. A large transporter with donkeys from Corfu also arrives there. Paco, Tari and many other rescued dogs come under our protection. Donkey Donna-Anna is born. The six-legged calf Lizzy, four rescued foals from Switzerland, cat Tigerle and the three Persian cats Nino, Bounty and Pinky as well as bull Ernst and many others move into Deggendorf.

The year 2007

The large fox enclosure

Again and again, people who have bottle-fed orphaned fox cubs, contact us because they don't know what to do with them. Releasing them into the wild is not a solution and that is why we decide to build a large fox enclosure in Henndorf.

"The Golden Heart for Animals" and many animal rescues

In its Eurovision programme, Gut Aiderbichl thanks people who have made a lasting commitment to animals. Among them, animal keeper Thomas Dörflein (†) from Berlin Zoo with "his" polar bear Knut.
A transporter with 21 "slaughter horses" is stopped in Austria. They are on their way from Romania to Belgium and are in a catastrophic condition. Animal welfare activists cannot raise the enormous sum needed to rescue them. Gut Aiderbichl increases the amount they have provided from € 7,000 to € 44,000 and buys all the animals free. In order to keep them in a species-appropriate manner, the Köllersberger estate in Henndorf is converted into another Aiderbichl outdoor farm. Gut Spielberg near Henndorf also becomes home to many rescued horses.
Burli, a 30-round stag, is threatened with being shot by trophy hunters in his enclosure. We are able to save him. He moves to Henndorf with his hind Sophie.
Mr and Mrs Merkl hand over the Carinthian Köglerhof to the charitable Gut Aiderbichl Foundation.
The book "Save the Animals" and the first Magazine of Gut Aiderbichl are published.
Circus grey horse Ösci, on which a tiger rode in the performances, is taken in. Whole herds of horses are ransomed at markets and auctions. Gabi Wirths' Thanham estate takes in over 20 rescued horses and more and more poor cats come under the protection of Gut Aiderbichl. Ex-lab dog Snoopy and horse Tiger move in, as do wild boars Basti and Reni. Three polar foxes from a fur farm and many other animals become friends of GA, as do the police horses Quintus, Barbarossa, Nixon and Kronos.
The non-profit Gut Aiderbichl Foundation Germany is founded in Passau.

The year 2006

Our homepage goes online

With the completion of our homepage (www.gut-aiderbichl.com), we are breaking new ground in making our findings and wealth of experience available to the public. Many people are unaware of the suffering of animals and switch over when reports on television are too cruel. Gut Aiderbichl focuses on the biographies of its rescued animals and deliberately avoids shocking images.

The first "Animal File" appears

The editor-in-chief of the Munich newspaper TZ, Karl Schermann, offers Michael Aufhauser a whole newspaper page for the "Animal File". It develops into a weekly, successful format that illuminates not only individual fates but contexts. Susanne Stockmann is appointed editor in charge. The "Animal File" turns five in 2011. Under the leadership of editor-in-chief Rudi Bögel, it continues to be an integral part of Munich's highest-circulation newspaper.

ARD documentary series "Die Tierretter von Aiderbichl" (The animal rescuers from Aiderbichl)

In an early evening series at prime time, many millions of viewers can experience Aiderbichler animal rescues on a daily basis. This has brought us a step closer to our goal of giving animal welfare a larger platform.
Michael Aufhauser's book "Rethinking with Heart" is published.
ARD / ORF shoot the feature film "Ein Paradies für Pferde" (90min).
Media mogul Hans Beierlein visits Gut Aiderbichl together with ARD programme director Gerd Struve. In the same year, Hans Beierlein produces "Das Aiderbichl Lied" with Stefanie Hertel.
"Tierretter" editorial director Holde Sudenn moves to Gut Aiderbichl and from then on designs many of our projects.

Gut Aiderbichl Deggendorf is opened

Bernd Funda of the Hatto Egerer Foundation Deggendorf offers Gut Aiderbichl a long-term cooperation - and an estate in Eichberg. On this property, Gut Aiderbichl is building a large farm stable and other structures. At the end of the year, the second visitable Gut Aiderbichl farm will open there.

The year 2005

Gut Aiderbichl must become bigger

With about 700 rescued animals, Gut Aiderbichl is reaching the limits of its capacity. Dieter Ehrengruber is planning a stable, cattle house, pig palace and machine hall. Construction will start this year.
Gut Aiderbichl will be expanded to include outdoor yards - a tranquillisation barn, the Vierlingerhof and the Schroffner-Gut.
Peter Alexander's (†) confidante, Erika Swatosch, arranges together with his daughter, Susanne Neumayer (†), the sale of his private record collection for the benefit of Gut Aiderbichl.
Manfred Deix, Elfriede Jelinek and Ludwig Hirsch thematise the Aiderbichl theme with the sculpture "Klangpunkt". The memorial is presented in Salzburg and Munich.
Michael Aufhauser starts his own column in the Munich newspaper "TZ".

Gut Aiderbichl lets its rescued animals tell their stories

The animals' stories of Gut Aiderbichl and its philosophy find great resonance not only in Austria, but also in Germany and Switzerland. Gut Aiderbichl becomes a recognized institution committed to animals in need, but also to weaker people in general. Reports about Gut Aiderbichl are broadcast all year round, and television teams are on site almost every day. The rescued animals do not only find sustainable protection and best keeping here, but also their instructive biographies become known. How most of their kind are kept, bred in agony, transported and finally slaughtered.
Schools, clubs, people with handicaps and day guests visit Gut Aiderbichl. With the "Good Truck", a large truck with rescued animals, the Gut Aiderbichl team travels to people who are too weak to come to us themselves.
Maltreated donkeys arrive from the Greek island of Thassos. Some have been abandoned to starve. Dogs like the legendary Benny, who was not allowed into the old people's home, also find refuge at Gut Aiderbichl.
The Christmas market takes on much larger dimensions and shines again in the Eurovision broadcast with Francine Jordi and Marc Pircher as presenters, with Wolfgang Moik as director.

The year 2004

Dramatic increase in animal rescues

A young lady writes a letter on behalf of the poor riding school horse Jasmin. Gut Aiderbichl takes over all the horses on the farm. At horse markets in Munich and Maishofen, Gut Aiderbichl buys "slaughter horses" free on a large scale. Pigs, goats, geese, battery hens and the first Greek donkeys find shelter at Gut Aiderbichl. All of them are allowed to stay forever. Also escaped bull Harry with his mother Alexandra and brother Günter as well as bull Francis and bull Pauli, who escaped from the slaughterhouse.

Animal population increases to 400 rescued animals

The Aiderbichl campaign, together with Toni Hubmann (Toni's Free-Range Eggs) "Eat without a cage", to promote the free-range management of laying hens and the abolition of cages, is a great success.
Gut Aiderbichl establishes a well-functioning gastronomy and offers guided tours every hour. The knowledge provided and the animal stories encourage people to think and rethink.

Aiderbichl feature film has over 7 million viewers

The shooting of the television film "A Paradise for Animals" with Francis Fulton Smith, Herbert Fux, Susanne Michel and many others, based on the founding story of Gut Aiderbichl, begins (ARD, ORF). When it was broadcast, it achieved dream ratings.
At the autumn foal auction in Maishofen, Gut Aiderbichl buys over 30 death row inmates, including the little filly Kathi. Out of grief she doesn't want to eat, she misses her mother Mariandl. After a week, we buy the mother and give her back to Kathi. An impressive documentary of their reunion is shown in the Eurovision programme "Christmas at Gut Aiderbichl". The public is deeply moved and now understands better what suffering humans inflict on animals, how unworthily we treat our fellow creatures.
The first Christmas market with a large live animal nativity scene takes place at Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf. Museum educator Brunhilde Grasser establishes her children's craft programme.

The year 2003

Dieter Ehrengruber takes over the management and organises and administers all activities of the estate, Friedel Grünthal assists him.

Gut Aiderbichl helps animals achieve constitutional status

After a visit and a guided tour by Michael Aufhauser at Gut Aiderbichl, the Salzburg State Parliament decides to include animals as fellow creatures in the State Constitution - unanimously! In May, the Friesian black "Der Schwarze", a circus horse, is allowed to start his retirement at Gut Aiderbichl. Ulrike Schmidt writes a legendary article in the newspaper "TZ " about his admission.

Media accompany the further development

On the 15th of August, ORF's senior entertainment editor Uschi Stiedl visits Gut Aiderbichl Henndorf with Dagmar Koller's programme "Hallo wie gehts?". With full-page reports ("Festspielfarm" and "Das Schreien der Lämmer"), journalist Helmut Schödel draws attention to Gut Aiderbichl in the "Süd-deutsche Zeitung". From then on, his enthusiasm made him a firm companion of Gut Aiderbichl.

The charitable Gut Aiderbichl Foundation

Gut Aiderbichl's approach takes a development that turns out to be unique. The Gut Aiderbichl Foundation is established. The many animal rescues prove the direct commitment to animals in need. Instead of denouncing, Michael Aufhauser initially sees dialogue as a viable way to help animals. He relies on the heartfelt biographies of the rescued animals to wake people up. Hospice residents visit Gut Aiderbichl for the first time. Uschi Glas brings her pig "Kümmerts" and becomes a prominent companion of Gut Aiderbichl. A second dog exercise area is founded in Salzburg.

The Eurovision programme "Christmas at Gut Aiderbichl" celebrates its premiere.

The year 2002

A sanctuary that makes a difference

Gut Aiderbichl looks back on an exciting founding year with many highlights, for example the animal service on the topic of "Cattle transports to the Middle East", which was attended by representatives of various religions. Or the unforgettable day in August when 1,000 children were able to discover and get to know Gut Aiderbichl and its rescued animals.
Gut Aiderbichl has become a meeting place between humans and animals - a symbol of humanity.

22nd February: The "Förderkreis für Tierrechte" is founded.

The foal Baricello is to be sent to the slaughterhouse at the age of four months. Gut Aiderbichl first takes him in and after a month also buys his mother Chatleen. The touching reunion after four weeks of separation moves millions of people.

Film producer Mucky Degn ("Degnfilm") brings Karl Moik to Gut Aiderbichl - he is fascinated.
On the 9th of March, Michael Aufhauser appears for the first time in Musikantenstadl with the rescued bull Zuli and the pigs Hanni and Nanni. Here, too, the story of Baricello and Chatleen is shown as an interlude.

Ex-fur farm vixen Melissa becomes a friend of Gut Aiderbichl.

ORF broadcasts an "Austria Picture": "The Animal Diplomat".

Michael Aufhauser founds the first dog play area

Michael Aufhauser leases a large area and establishes Austria's first dog exercise area in Seekirchen. His goal: Just as every community has a football pitch, dog runs should be a matter of course in Austria, which is dominated by leash restrictions - a prerequisite for keeping dogs in a species-appropriate manner.

Gut Aiderbichl buys Lazarus and other horses free. Brigitta Gstöttner, teacher and friend of Gut Aiderbichl, takes on a permanent sponsorship for the rescued Lazarus.

Our friend Eva Benischke leaves Gut Aiderbichl a cat house.

In the course of 2002, the number of rescued animals grows to over 200.

The year 2001

Gut Aiderbichl should reach many people

The start of a rapid development

Even before Gut Aiderbichl was built, Michael Aufhauser had campaigned in his new home Salzburg for the abolition of cattle transports to the Middle East. In 2000, he reached many people with his project "The Cow Misera". The memorial was designed by Michael Fuchs and showed the causative elements of animal suffering: people who radiate coldness and greed for profit. Many celebrities came to the presentation in Salzburg, among them Tatjana Patitz and Hans Clarin (†). But also Manfred Karremann, who uncovered and documented the torturous animal transports from Europe to North Africa, and animal rights activist Dr Andreas Grasmüller (†).

Gut Aiderbichl should reach many people

From the very beginning, it was clear that Gut Aiderbichl must be widely publicised if it was to make an impact on a large scale. Michael Aufhauser informed friends from his time as an actor and his life in the "society" at the time. He explained his plans to them. They came and attracted the media with their presence.
Back in Malaga, Michael Aufhauser met Claudia Ludwig, journalist and presenter of the WDR programme "Tiere suchen ein Zuhause". Together with her and Mathias Welp, the TV report "Das Leid der Tiere" was produced. Now, she came to Henndorf with managing editor Gina Göss to shoot a detailed report about the estate. Director and journalist Susanne D'Alquen, known for her sensitive animal films, was part of the WDR team. In the following years, she also accompanied Gut Aiderbichl with her work. In the same year, Michael Aufhauser is elected "Salzburger des Jahres" by the Salzburg "Kronen Zeitung" and receives the "Goldene Krone" from editor-in-chief Hans Peter Hasenöhrl. Harald Brodnig, managing editor of the "Kronen Zeitung", and photographer Markus Tschepp understood Gut Aiderbichl's concern and have accompanied it with informative reporting ever since. Ralf Schumacher presented a gift from a friend, the little bull Vincero, to Gut Aiderbichl. He and his wife Cora increased the media's interest in our work.

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