01/20/15 Dubrovnik Should Take Care of Abandoned Animals

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City of Dubrovnik
The administrative department for Mayor
Pred Dvorom 1
20000 Dubrovnik

January 20, 2015

Dear Sirs,

We are writing to you due to our concern regarding abandoned animals in city of Dubrovnik and ever louder appeals for help from the shelter Zarkovica volunteers, which local and international public already have been acquainted with for a while.

The Animal Protection Act in Articles 56 and 58 stipulates local or regional self-government the duty to build and finance a shelter for abandoned animal, organize an information center for abandoned and lost animals and the duty of encouraging animal protection and education of citizens through developing public awareness, especially of the youth, about animal protection. Although the last deadline for enforcing these duties passed six years ago, the City of Dubrovnik continues to break the law by not adhering to these legal provisions.

The Law (Article 67, paragraph 1, items 58 and 59) stipulates a monetary fine of 30,000 to 50,000 kuna for a legal entity, i.e. a monetary fine from 5,000 to 10,000 kuna for the responsible person of the legal entity, and a monetary fine from 5,000 to 15,000 kuna for an individual should the founders of the animal shelter not organize an information center for abandoned and lost animals and should they not provide data about the animals to the public, other animal shelters in Republic of Croatia and the governing body, and should the shelters not ensure veterinary health care for the animals.

Only a few volunteers have been taking care of abandoned animals in City of Dubrovnik for a number of years now in the shelter on Zarkovica, which has no electricity, water nor adequate protection from unfavorable weather conditions for over the 350 dogs. Despite of the great will to help and to do the City's job, volunteers are exhausted physically and financially, and they are asking from the City of Dubrovnik to take on the financing of the abandoned animal's shelter, founding the information center, as well as programs for education, adoption and spaying/neutering of abandoned animals, as required by law.

Dubrovnik is a famous tourist city and it is intolerable that city government is causing outrage with their own negligence and failure to appropriately care for abandoned animals, due to the City’s non-interest in animals that are not cared for.

The city with that many tourists and money should take care of its abandoned animals, build a modern shelter and provide life-long quality care for the animals, and encourage rehoming and spaying/neutering. Dubrovnik could turn the care of abandoned dogs and cats into something to be proud of and a tourist attraction, and with good advertising also enable tourists to adopt animals, turning the animals in the shelter into a trademark of the City and at the same time send a positive message about the nobility of adoption.

In order for the City of Dubrovnik to adhere to the legislation in best possible way, we invite You to visit the Abandoned animal shelter of the City of Zagreb in Dumovec, in order to see what a no-kill shelter with organized abandoned animals castration programs, citizens’ education, animal publishing for adoption cause and rehoming should look like and operate. We can introduce you to the head of the shelter and representatives of the City office for agriculture and forestry, who we collaborate with as head of the national project Network Against Animal Abandonment.

We are looking forward to your positive response and remain with kind regards,

Luka Oman
President of Animal Friends Croatia

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