07/07/09 Find Your Friend
Franka Batelic joins the Animal Friends' campaign against abandoning animals
This year Animal Friends is continuing its campaign "Family at the Seaside, Dog in the Street?" The primary goal of the campaign is to raise the awareness of the urgent problem of abandoned companion animals, which becomes acute before summer holidays. The secondary goal is to appeal to the general public to adopt animals instead of buying them, in order to reduce the number of abandoned animals.
As in the previous years, the campaign has been supported by the Zagreb City Office of Agriculture and Forestry and by Cro A Porter. Along with Franka Batelic, a number of Croatian celebrities have so far lent their voices and faces to the campaign, such as Maja Vucic, Tatjana Juric, Nikolina Pisek, Andjela Ramljak, and Gala Svilan.
Singer Franka Batelic has become this year's celebrity of the Animal Friends' campaign. Her photo-session before the camera of Goran Matijasec at the Zagreb City Shelter for Abandoned Animals in Dumovec has sent a clear message that our responsibility for the animals does not stop with the holiday season. Posters designed by Viktor Drago will be set up in Zagreb and other Croatian cities during July, accompanied by printed postcards with the same image.
Several abandoned dogs – Lucky, Linda, Luka, and Maza – participated with Franka in the photo-session for the campaign called "Find Your Friend." They are still awaiting in the shelter's cages to be recognized as someone's friends and given a new home. They were joined by Horus, who had recently found a new home, but joined the campaign so that his story might help those dogs whose stories are waiting for a happy ending.
"I can't believe that anyone could abandon such wonderful animals, someone who is completely depending on you. I think that the laws against abandoning animals should be more severe. Abandoning an animal is an extremely immoral and cowardly act! Animals are not things, commodities, or consumerist products to be used for a while as it pleases us and then be thrown away irresponsibly. They are living beings who deserve our love and respect. They have a right to be taken care of for their entire lives," said Franka Batelic while agreeing to become the celebrity of the "Find Your Friend" campaign.
Each year before the holiday season we witness the increasing problem of abandoned animals. Sometimes they just wander around or are left in front of animal shelters. In any case, this situation is unacceptable and measures must be taken in order to change people's behavior. Left to their own devices, these animals become also a threat for humans – dogs that gather into packs because they have no guardians and cats that are killed in traffic have not chosen their destiny. And yet, they are the ones who pay the price, while the true offenders remain unpunished.
Given the fact that Croatia is a globally popular tourist destination, the image of hungry and thirsty animals roaming about is certainly not one that our visitors would like to take home from their vacation. Frequent reactions by foreign tourists who encounter abandoned animals and their indignation at the fact that so little is being done to solve the problem are signals that it is an urgent problem, a solution to which must be found immediately.
According to the Croatian Animal Protection Act, abandoning an animal is an offence entailing a fee of 15,000 kuna. However, in addition to the legal regulation, it is equally important to educate the citizens and make them aware of their responsibilities when adopting an animal.
The campaign has been sponsored by the National Foundation for Civil Society Development, Zagreb City Office for Agriculture and Forestry, Cro A Porter, Zale, Arto, Europlakat, P.I.O., Vectordesign, Lotusgraf, Net.hr, and Oglasnik.