11/03/09 Report of Injuries and Pain Inflicted to an Animal Resulting in Death
J. J. Strossmayera 18
November 3, 2009
Subject: Report of injuries and pain inflicted to an animal resulting in death
Dear Ms. Caleta,
Based on the media reports and numerous reactions of citizens that reached us by e-mail and telephone, we are reporting a case of animal abuse, asking you to initiate a procedure in accordance with the Animal Protection Act.
According to the media reports, on October 29, 2009 a fourteen-month old Belgian shepherd with the name Arisa ran out of Zeljko Matanovic's courtyard in the village of Bosnjaci near Zupanja. Matanovic's minor daughter had left the dog run freely around the courtyard in order to have some physical exercise. However, the dog entered the courtyard of their neighbor (Mato Zivkovic, Ulica Ljudevita Gaja 184, 32275 Bosnjaci) and began pulling on the closure at the rabbit house. Mato Zivkovic hit the dog's back several times with a bill-hook, breaking her spine. The dog's owner, Zeljko Matanovic, testified that Arisa could "barely drag her legs and her spine was protruding," after which she left for the nearby field and died from the consequences of the blows she had received. Matanovic also mentioned that his daughter, who had left Arisa unattended, has been suffering psychologically since that day, crying and blaming herself for the dog's death. The police has filed a charge on account of dog killing, but Arisa's owner was the one to pay the fine, since he had let the dog run into the street unattended.
Even though Mato Zivkovic has justified his action by his concern that the dog might attack his rabbits, we have the opinion that he could have removed the dog from his courtyard without using the bill-hook and beating the dog to death. His action is an example of extreme cruelty against an animal, since he inflicted unnecessary pain and suffering out of pure sadism, for which reason the police have filed a criminal charge on account of violating Article 260 of the Criminal Law. However, we demand that Mato Zivkovic should also be charged on account of violating the Animal Protection Act.
We would appreciate it if you informed us about the measures that you have undertaken on the basis of this report in writing so that we may forward the information to the concerned public and the media.