More than 11,000 rescued animals and almost 4 million visitors have been counted in the last two decades. Gut Aiderbichl, based in Henndorf, is celebrating its 20th anniversary. The animal sanctuary founded by Michael Aufhauser has developed into a European animal welfare company.
The Gut Aiderbichl company now includes three animal sanctuaries that can be visited, more than 250 employees and countless animal care locations in six European countries. Michael Aufhauser founded the institution 20 years ago to help animals in need. Currently around 6,000 animals are cared for by the six people they care for, the majority of which are dogs, cats and rodents. But horses, donkeys, dromedaries, llamas, peacocks and mini pigs also live in the sanctuaries.
Prominez at Gut Aiderbichl
In the first few years, Gut Aiderbichl moved into the focus of the public and the media, primarily due to the visit of many stars, such as Pamela Anderson, DJ Ötzi, Patrik Lindner, Lothar Matthäus and many others. When Michael Aufhauser called, the celebrities came – and with it the success. Just ten years after it was founded, Gut Aiderbichl had a turnover of 4.4 million euros.
Photo gallery with 3 pictures
Development into a commercial enterprise
In the meantime – 20 years later – a certain change has taken place. Moving away from the celebrity catwalk with animal decorations to a meeting place for people and animals and to a commercial enterprise with an affiliated academy, explains the managing director of Gut Aiderbichl, Dieter Ehrengruber: “We are glad that we are now with our topics, that we are the animals Giving a voice that the stronger helps the weaker get through well. “
But there were also dark clouds over Aiderbichl – in 2014, fraud allegations ran into the millions. The proceedings were only discontinued three years ago.
20 years of Gut Aiderbichl
38,000 euros daily costs
The coronavirus pandemic has brought massive economic challenges with it. No Easter or Christmas markets, no bus tourists but running daily costs of 38,000 euros for food and staff in all Aiderbichl farms. But it turns out that the past year was one of the most economically successful for Aiderbichl. There were more members and sponsorships, because the pandemic has apparently once again stimulated interest in animal welfare.
Founder Michael Aufhauser
Founder Michael Aufhauser has been in a wheelchair since the main artery was torn and had several strokes six years ago and is blind. According to his employees, he has come to terms with the situation, but is still interested in what is happening in Gut Aiderbichl and, above all, in questions of animal welfare.