Jana Ina Zarrella has been actively fighting for animal welfare for years. “I’m proud to be able to change and move things with my help,” explains the coordinator. “I want to be a good role model for my children.”
Jana Ina Zarrella (45) has been passionately dedicated to animal welfare for many years. Together with the Fressnapf initiative “Tierisch Engaged”, the presenter supports aid campaigns for Ukraine. “The consequences of war affect people and animals alike,” explains the mother of two, extending her own hand.
Along with the initiative, Zarrella delivered several pallets of donations to the animal welfare organization ddao in Berlin. The animal protection association supplies many animal shelters in Ukraine with donations, pet food and medicine. In addition, the young, non-profit organization will receive 5,000 euros from the “Tierisch Engaged” donation pot. In an interview, the coordinator explains what happens with the donations and how much her family supports her in her charity work.
Did you yourself help with the donation pallets for the “Tierisch Engaged” initiative, a project of real heart?
Jana Ina Zarrella: Yes, a real work of the heart. Today I have the honor to award a young animal welfare organization ddao (Dog Days Are Over) with a special award for their commitment at the ‘Golden Fressnapf’ award ceremony. I am helping today and together we are loading many in-kind donations, such as animal feed, onto pallets, which are then taken to Ukraine by the animal protection organization.
What exactly happens with donations?
Zarrella: These in-kind donations help dogs in need in Ukraine survive. The animal welfare organization also collects monetary donations to finance transport and obtain medically necessary products for the animals. Animal donations in today’s difficult times are more important than ever! Fressnapf alone has donated over half a million euros in animal donations to animal welfare organizations and of course I support that.
Do you consider it an obligation to work as a celebrity for a good cause?
Zarela: I don’t see it as an obligation, but as a matter of course. There are so many institutions that need help. We are fine, thank God, but not everyone is. There are so many animals around the world who live in miserable conditions and are in desperate need of a home. Since I have been working closely with Fressnapf, I have become even more aware of the whole thing and that is why I am proud to be able to change and move things with my help.
How much does your husband and children support you in your charity work?
Zarrella: My husband has been there a few times and has already helped me with many activities. My kids have also been to the animal shelter with us several times and have seen the whole thing up close. I often talk to them about it and explain to them why I love helping so much. I want to be a good role model for my children – they learn a lot from my commitment and understand why it is so important to help.
How do you explain the conflict in Ukraine to your children?
Zarrella: We live in a digital world where our kids notice everything instantly. You see the current situation on TikTok and know a lot more than we think. It’s important for me to talk to them about this often and try to explain why this is happening in the first place. In my opinion, it is very important to talk openly with children about all issues and also to listen to them. This is the only way we can build a good relationship and they know they can trust us.
What values do you value most when raising children?
Zarela: It is important for us that our children become good people. We teach them important values such as respect and tolerance. Children are mostly a reflection of their parents, so I try to be a good role model for them every day.
Have your children inherited your love of animals?
Zarella: Sure. Our children love animals as much as we do. If they decided, we’d have a whole farm at home. And I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with that. (laughs)
You adopted your dog Cici from an animal shelter in May 2020. Could you think of more pets?
Zarrella: Yes, of course I can imagine it. I definitely want to adopt more dogs. But before I make such decisions, I need to see if we have time. Having pets also means responsibility. A pet is a friend for life, so we should think about it carefully. I love animals and can’t imagine living without them and one thing is for sure, the Zarrellas will definitely have lots of pets.