City-Wide Appeal: Prevent the Abandonment of Animals Throughout the Year!
This year's Animal Friends' campaign "Family off to the Seaside, Dog's on the Street ?!", ahead of the holiday season, which the organization has been using for 12 consecutive years, draws attention to the problem of the abandonment of animals that does not end with the arrival of autumn.
Although the abandonment of animals during the summer months can rise by up to 30 percent, as people leave their animals to make it easier for them to go on holiday, the cruel abandoning of animals occurs throughout the whole year.
The importance of education and encouragement for taking responsibility for companion animals has been recognized by the towns and cities of Beli Manastir, Cakovec, Delnice, Ivanec, Mali Losinj, Rijeka and Zagreb, by supporting the campaign "Family to the Seaside, Dog's on the Street?!".
Meteorologist Darijo Brzoja joined the campaign this year with the dog Indie from the Zagreb city Shelter for Abandoned Animals in Dumovac, with the message "Summer Goes, Friends Stay" don't ever leave your animal-companions.
Providing cities with information about the unacceptability of abandoning animals is especially important as official data about the number of abandoned animals does not exist, nor of the state's efforts to prevent the problem of abandonment. The work of animal protection associations to highlight this problem and educate citizens, is therefore even more significant when protecting animals from being abandoned. It is important for cities support this effort, as they are obliged to, by law. According to Article 58 of the Animal Protection Act, competent state administration bodies and bodies of local or area (regional) governments are obliged to raise the awareness of the public, especially youth, regarding the protection of animals. The abandoning of animals is abuse, as the animal is intentionally left exposed to harm and distress, hunger and thirst, and those "lucky ones" end up caged in shelters. Abandonment damages and harms, not just the animal, but also individuals and the rest of the community. This remains problematic for cities and town councils as it is their legal duty to provide; shelters for abandoned animals that have a no-kill policy, information centers for companion animals, neutering programs, the advertising for new homes and citizens’ education about the animals which they are responsible for.
In practice, abandoned animals are placed in overcrowded shelters or they are temporarily taken care of by compassionate citizens. If it wasn't for devoted individuals who advertise fostering and having the animals spayed or neutered, there would be many more animals left abandoned and killed.
Also, the number of abandoned animals would reduce significantly if people were to foster animals instead of buying them. To provide the warmth and security of a home is a very special gift that any person can enjoy giving to an abused and abandoned animal, by saving a life and gaining a new family member.
Animals Friends invites all the cities of Croatia to actively promote the importance of care that lasts a companion animal's lifetime and encourages citizens to be responsible; then, a dog bought/fostered at Christmas will not end up on the street in the summer. Also, it is important to offer citizens the neutering service for abandoned animals for free or at cheaper prices and thus save many lives this way.
Animals Friends offers contact details for hotels which accept companion animals and other hotels for dogs, as well as individuals who can temporarily look after animals. Also, they offer the chance to spay/neuter cats or dogs at much lower prices, in order to contribute as much as possible to a total solution for animal abandonment.