04/05/12 Demand to the City of Osijek to Help Osijek Dogs

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City of Osijek
c/o Mr Kresimir Bubalo, Mayor
Kuhaceva 9
31000 Osijek

April 5, 2012

Dear Mr Bubalo,

We are again writing to you on account of the alarming situation of abandoned dogs in the Osijek region, as well as the repeated violation of Animal Protection Act and other legal regulations, committed by Vetam Veterinary Station.

The most recent shocking headlines, photographs, and videos from the dog pound of Beli Manastir, published in the media, confirm that it is high time to start solving the problem of abandoned dogs in a humane way, according to the ethical principles of the 21st century. The city of Osijek should finally begin to implement the laws so as to protect the life and health of stray animals.

We have previously raised charges against Vetam on account of their violation of the law, and so have other animal welfare associations that truly want to contribute to a better solution of the problem of abandoned dogs in the Osijek region in an ethical, legal, and transparent way. We would like to remind you that Vetam Veterinary Station has already been convicted and fined for illegally putting dogs to death. Last year the terrible conditions in which dogs are kept in the dog pound of Beli Manastir have been disclosed. They suffer in filthy, suffocating rooms, in inadequate and unhygienic conditions, and it is obvious that Vetam has been spending the large sums that it receives for dog care in a different, illegal way, since the dogs are in a very bad condition, neglected and sick.

Even though Vetam has been legally prosecuted, the city of Osijek has extended its contract for keeping an animal shelter, for which it was again subsidized with almost two million kuna despite its bad service. Thus Osijek has awarded Vetam's bad work with renewed cooperation, which leads to repeated violations of law and perpetuates the terrible conditions in which the dogs, handed over to its care, must live.

Extending Vetam's contract after a series of violations of Animal Protection Act and public denouncement by many citizens, despite the fact that there is a registered animal shelter in Nemetin, seems like unreasonable waste of money, with detrimental consequences for the animals, as well as for the tax payers whose money is being recklessly spent. Vetam's greed for profit at the cost of suffering and dying animals is utterly abominable and deserves all condemnation by animal welfare associations and individual citizens alike. Municipal administration should not be allowed to spend money in such a way and thus tacitly sanction animal abuse. Today, when cities seek to spend their budget wisely, Osijek should also seek to invest in the right places and save money when possible, and achieve far better results with the budget at its disposal.

It is also highly questionable whether it is ethically correct to entrust abandoned animals to the care of a veterinary station that kills innocent beings so easily and without any compassion. Do the citizens of Osijek really want such care for their abandoned animals and so much of their money spent on killing animals?

Moreover, Osijek has not yet properly solved the issue of spaying/neutering stray cats, and there is no adequate information centre or any programs of adoption, spaying/neutering, or education.

It is high time that the city of Osijek should enact a regulation that will abolish the possibility of putting dogs to death after a period of 60 days, since such a decision has already been made by Cakovec, Dubrovnik, and Zagreb. That is the only way to insure the implementation of law, since it will force the shelters to publish adoption announcements and launch educational programs instead of waiting for 60 days to kill the dog and collect the money.

We would like to emphasize again the positive example of the animal shelter in Nemetin, maintained by Victories Association, which is registered with the Ministry of Agriculture, yet Osijek has subsidized it with only 100,000 kuna, even though Victories' volunteers follow their strategy of caring for abandoned dogs and giving them for adoption in a successful and humane way, unlike Vetam, which merely kills them. Nemetin is a true dog shelter, which should be granted financial support to the extent to which the dog killers of Vetam are receiving it now. Such a solution would benefit the entire community, and the citizens of Osijek would finally have an animal shelter that they needn’t be ashamed of - a place where animals stay until they are adopted, which regularly publishes adoption announcements, and which organizes spaying/neutering programmes which, besides protecting the animals, has an educational function.

We would therefore like to offer cooperation and we demand once again that all contracts signed with Vetam Veterinary Station should be broken, with the explanation that they have been acting against the law and treating the abandoned and traumatized animals inhumanely.

We are also of the opinion that the city of Osijek should officially raise charges against Vetam for spending the money intended for animal care and adoption in a non-transparent way, and for having continuously neglected the dogs, for which there is sufficient evidence. We also suggest that the city of Osijek should sign a new agreement with Victories Association, which would take over the abandoned animals in the whole region of Osijek – which it has been doing anyway, thanks to the superhuman efforts of its volunteers and despite the lack of finances.

We trust that you will make the right decisions to benefit Osijek and its citizens, to secure proper care for the abandoned animals, and to justify your own responsibility and reputation.

We remain at your disposal for all forms of cooperation and meetings, and we would also like to invite you to visit the shelter for abandoned animals maintained by the city of Zagreb in order to become acquainted with their constructive activities.

Awaiting your prompt action and answer

Best regards,

Luka Oman
President of Animal Friends Croatia


  1. City of Osijek
    Romano Kristic, Head of the Administrative Department of Social Welfare and Healthcare
    Kuhaceva 9
    31000 Osijek
  2. City of Osijek
    Milan Kamenko, Head of the Administrative Department of Communal Utility Services and Transportation
    Kuhaceva 9
    31000 Osijek
  3. City of Osijek
    Ivan Vrdoljak, Vice-Mayor
    Kuhaceva 9
    31000 Osijek

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