05/11/15 Animal Protection Police Within the Municipal Police Department

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City Office for Physical Planning, Construction of the City, Utility Services and Transport
Municipal and Traffic Police Sector
Municipal Police Department
c / o B. Sc. Econ. Goran Bosnjak, Head of Department
Jagiceva 31
10 000 Zagreb

Subject: Animal Protection Police within the Municipal Police Department

May 11, 2015

Dear Mr. Bosnjak,

we are addressing you prompted by the recent "Decision on Amendments to the Decision on keeping pets and handling unregistered, abandoned and lost animals".

This legal decision imposes the obligation to ensure that dogs must not be held permanently chained or tied in enclosed spaces. Dogs may only be tied-up if they cannot be kept in an enclosed area. Following this and other changes, as well as all other provisions of the Decision, as prescribed by the Animal Protection Act (Article 58, Paragraph 4), the Municipal Police performs those required tasks for implementation and supervision in addition to other areas of relevant jurisdiction.

As an association, we are receiving a large number of e-mails and calls on a daily basis from citizens who witness the neglect of animals and those violations of the Provisions of the Decision. As the jurisdiction of the actions of the Municipal Police is very wide, we propose to establish an Animal Protection Police within the Department of Municipal Police. We believe that the establishment of such a police, department, or howsoever we name it, can effectively implement the control of the implementation of the Decision enforcing its legal remit on pets and the handling of abandoned and lost animals. This, together with the implementation of the changes in the Animal Protection Act which amended the jurisdiction to municipal security guards in 2013.

The Municipal Security Guards are responsible for a wide range of tasks. They are aware that notwithstanding their best intentions together with all other activities that they are required to perform, they do not have the time to file reports related to the conditions and manner of keeping pets. In addition, it is unrealistic to expect members of the municipal staff to be able to adequately assess those conditions of keeping animals. They do not have that requisite training to properly recognize the neglect of animals and the violation of those legal regulations in this area. We can act through education and collaboration in order to prevent problems.

Therefore, we firmly believe that the Animal Protection Police within the Department of Municipal Police would greatly facilitate the work of the Municipal Police in general and promote the effective implementation of the Decision, wherein Municipal Security Guards would be specialized to assess the conditions and proper ways of keeping pets. The establishment of such a unit would be a logical sequence of amendments to the Animal Protection Act and the Decision on the terms and methods of keeping companion animals and in how to manage other abandoned and lost animals. This would make Zagreb the first Croatian city to establish a Police Unit for the protection of animals. In addition this would provide for the effective implementation of these laws so that the Police department overall would in turn benefit from welcome and long-awaited civic public support for such a decision.

Due to the above mentioned, we appeal to your consideration of our proposal to set up an Animal Protection Police. We would gladly propose dates for a meeting where we can further discuss this possibility and achieve cooperation, in order to provide more effective assistance to the animals and for the effective implementation of the Decision.

In anticipation of your positive response, my best regards.

Luka Oman
President of the Association

Note: Department of agriculture and forestry, c / o dr. Emil Turk VMD, Head of Department, Avenija Dubrovnik 12 / IV, 10020 Zagreb

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