08/24/06 Abandoned Animals in Slavonski Brod

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The city of Slavonski Brod
Att. Mirko Duspara, mayor
Tome Skalice 1
35000 Slavonski Brod

August 24, 2006

Subject: Solving the Problem of Abandoned Animals in Slavonski Brod

Dear Mr. Duspara,

We wish to express our bitterness regarding the inertia shown by the authorities of Slavonski Brod in respect to the welfare of abandoned animals. It is a shame that the city of Slavonski Brod does not have any program for sheltering these animals, which would include the construction of shelters, veterinary care, spaying/neutering, vaccination, micro-chip identification, and adoption, as well as the legal prosecution of those who abandon animals.

The legal and especially moral obligation of the city of Slavonski Brod is to take responsibility as soon as possible in order to solve the problem of abandoned animals, which end up on the street because of the irresponsibility of its citizens. In this way, they are left at the hands of the city, which has a duty of taking care of them according to the Animal Welfare Law and the Law on Veterinary Care, not to mention ethical principles.

Abandoned animals are not a problem of the so-called "animal lovers" and relevant associations, but rather an issue for which all citizens of Slavonski Brod are responsible. Therefore, it is the municipal administration that should address this problem by systematically introducing a program of sheltering, spaying/neutering, adoption, and education, as well as the legal prosecution of irresponsible owners. They should by no means allow those to suffer who have not created the problem in the first place: the animals themselves.

According to our sources of information, the so-called "hygienists" brutally hunt down dogs all over the city (taking them by the neck and throwing them into vans, thus hurting or even suffocating them). Despite the legal regulations, they kill mutts by injection after only 24 hours, while pedigree dogs are allowed to live for 48 hours (in case of runaway dogs, their guardians are not even informed that their dogs have been "found" or where they have been taken to). The city even pays these "hygienists" 246 Kuna for each dog they kill.

The recent case of a bitch that has run away from the backyard and had her leg broken by the "hygienists" during the hunt, resulted with the keys of the dog pound being handed over to the volunteers of "Spas" (Croatian word for rescue) association, which are now left alone to care for about 30 abandoned dogs, to the great shame of the city. At the shelter itself, there are three to four cages in a very bad state, housing 8-12 dogs, while the rest of the animals are fostered in the volunteers' apartments.

The city has not granted any financial support for spaying/neutering, vaccination, veterinary care, or advertising. The volunteers are even paying for the dog food and can barely manage "from one day to the next." On the one hand, the municipal authorities apparently find it easy to spend money on flowers for the parks or the lampposts, for which around 150,000 Kunas have recently been set aside. On the other hand, the lives of those that have been abandoned by irresponsible citizens depend on the persistence of volunteers, whose compassion for animals is being exploited without attempting to solve this omnipresent and crucial problem of the city.

It is high time that the city of Slavonski Brod should recall its reputation and its duties, take the responsibility, and start taking care of the abandoned animals in cooperation with Spas association.

We call for the city of Slavonski Brod to urgently solve the problem of sheltering the dogs and develop a detailed program for the welfare of abandoned animals, which would include sheltering, veterinary care and a program of spaying/neutering, vaccination, micro-chip identification, and education, as well as adoption and legal prosecution of those who abandon animals.

We sincerely hope that you will take this issue seriously and urgently see to its solution. Please feel free to contact us for cooperation and further information.

Best regards,

Luka Oman
Animal Friends

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