Dog Tax Argument
The initiative for the implementation of the so-called Dog Tax is not a proposal of our association but the proposal of some Commission members of the Animal Protection Act. We supported it in a way that we have listed conditions which we consider would help animals and reduce abandonment and their killing in shelters. The Ministry of Agriculture, during the Commission meeting, stated that the implementation of such taxes would lead to better control of dog microchipping and hence vaccinated dogs. They have announced that they will send the proposal to the Ministry of Finance, which is in charge of tax policy.
So, as an association we didn’t launch the initiative, but we have supported a possible dog tax merely to try to prevent the killing of thousands of abandoned dogs in shelters and to encourage the implementation of the Ordinance on dog identification, or microchipping of all dogs, which has already been a legal requirement for many years.
Tax, with or without us
As it is very likely that in some future time this proposal will be realized, with or without us, we considered it important to become involved by specifying the conditions under which the dog tax would help animals. At the same time, we proposed amendments to the Animal Protection Act, with the intention to contribute to positive changes such as the permanent ban on fur farming, keeping dogs on a leash, killing animals in shelters, etc.
We are aware that by participating in shaping the ideas for the possible implementation of the dog tax, we will cause misunderstanding and negative comments, but our priority is the welfare of the animals, which is why we support initiatives aimed on improving animal welfare in Croatia.
We wouldn't benefit from the dog tax!
We emphasize that we do not, directly or indirectly, have any benefit from the dog tax. Nor could we, because money from this tax would not be intended for us or the work of our association. We do not have a shelter for abandoned animals nor we can hold one in accordance with statute of the Association. The goals of our organization are to educate, change laws, start castration programs, bring attention to the suffering of all animals and work on improving animal and human wellbeing. Our work is transparent and for the common good, so it is important to emphasize that no individual donor, agency or company has anything to do with our support towards the dog tax initiative.
100 euros or 100 kunas?
The association is currently under attack due to unverified information regarding a 100 euro per dog tax, which has never been mentioned by the Association in any discussion about a possible dog tax. On the contrary, we stated that the tax amount should be less than the amount of a rabies vaccines, and that dog foster parents should be tax exempt, and those who give dogs for castrations should have privileges.
The media mentioned the unrealistic tax amount of 100 euros, and we don’t support it. If different conditions of a dog tax are suggested, such as higher taxes or lower emphasis on animal welfare, we will not support them!
Street dog foster parents
We do not advocate that street dog foster parents should be absolved from the tax, because it is impossible to prove that a dog was abandoned and foster cared if not homed from a shelter or organizations with whom a contract was signed about hosting. For now, we don't see that there is a way to prove that the dog was foster cared (eg. there are mongrels of wanted purebred breeds, which are being sold). Therefore, in such cases there would be privileges, like a smaller amount in taxes than the cost of a dog neutering. This means that those who have neutered dogs, according to our proposal, would be paying around 50kuna per year per dog and that money would help other abandoned animals. We don’t believe any foster parents will throw a dog on the street or kill it if they need to pay from 50 to 100kuna in taxes a year. If someone would do it for that little cost, they would regardless of the amount or any other reason.
Solidarity for abandoned dogs throughout tax
Some dog holders consider it unfair to pay taxes if they home an abandoned dog and if they take responsible care of it. They believe they would be punished for the irresponsible guardians that originally abandoned the animals.
People generally pay for police, prisons, and other things that exist for those who do not respect the law. Therefore, it is simply an investment in coherent society which will benefit those who abide the law and those who want it to be respected by others. This small tax amount should have a major impact on reducing dog purchases and increasing dog adoption and neutering. We believe that it shouldn't be difficult for any dog holder to sympathize with dogs who are not lucky enough to have their own home and caring holders or the ones who've been threatened to get killed in "shelters".
By paying taxes, breeders are helping abandoned dogs
Those who house an animal see the tax-free benefit, and those who buy dogs can see at least little a help for abandoned dogs, given that the purchase of a dog helped a cruel industry like animal farming.
It is logical that the full tax amount, which is still a symbolic sum compared to the cost of rabies vaccines, will be paid by those who are engaged in the production, trading and sale of dogs. To ensure registered and unregistered breeders are included, we gave a proposal to the current amendments to the Law on the protection of animals for everyone to be registered regardless of the number of breeding females. Everyone breeding, trading and selling dogs should be paying taxes as well. In fact, those who now have two "breeding female" dogs and are earning money on them are not currently registered as breeders. In addition, each female can have two litters per year with an average of five puppies, meaning an unregistered breeder can make an unrecorded profit of twenty dogs in a year. It is absurd that, for example, those who produce brandy for their own use must be registered, with a a fine in the amount of 2000 to 10000 kunas for those who don't. Meanwhile, the registration for the sale of living things and making money on their reproduction with inaccurate specific conditions under which such cultivation is permitted is not required. It is therefore understandable that the dog tax would apply to this group of citizens too.
Taxes on all dogs to be microchipped
A dog tax would improve the implementation of the Animal Protection Act and related regulations and ensure the microchipping of all dogs in Croatia, which is required by law. At this moment, 30% of dogs in Croatia have not been microchipped. Most abandoned dogs that have not been microchipped end up in shelters. If Croatia can control whether all dogs have been microchipped with the dog tax, that would result in lower dog abandonment, because people would not like to pay penalties for leaving the dogs, considering that they've microchipped their data.
To stop dog killings
We understand that any tax is unpopular, especially for Croatian circumstances, so we tried to support a dog tax which would improve animal welfare and law enforcement without subjecting citizens to new, high levies.
We shouldn't forget, not even for a moment, that thousands of dogs are killed each year! We think that every step that can save at least one precious life should be encouraged. Therefore, we believe that the public will recognize the value of this initiative and join us in our proposals so that one day the dog tax can be voted on to benefit dogs and their holders.