Hugo Egon Balder (73) campaigns against the illegal dog trade with the animal protection organization PETA. For the campaign, the entertainer slipped into the role of a four-legged friend and had himself locked in a dog transport box. The initiative aims to draw attention to the criminal business with dogs.

“Squeezed into such transport boxes or in dirty boxes, many dogs are transported hundreds of kilometers every day to be sold in Germany by dubious dealers,” says a press release. Accordingly, the EU Parliament estimates that more than 500,000 puppies are traded within the EU every year, often via online portals and with forged pet ID cards. The dog children often come from puppy farms in Eastern Europe.

An important concern for the dog lover Balder: “I’ve spent my whole life with dogs,” he is quoted in the message. At the moment he doesn’t have a dog himself because he’s on the road too much, but he wants to appeal to everyone who wants an animal companion: “Please go to the animal shelter and adopt! Please don’t buy dogs from the Internet!”

He also advises potential dog owners to think carefully about getting a pet. “Don’t do it on a whim, because dogs are with you for many years; they are part of your family.”