11/19/14 Reporting the City of Karlovac

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Ministry ofAgriculture
Department of Veterinary and Food Ssafety
FAO dr. sc. Mirjana Matausic-Pisl, dr. vet. med,
Assistent to the Minister
Planinska ulica 2a
10000 Zagreb

November 19, 2014

Subject: Reporting the City of Karlovac for contravening the Animal Protection Act

Dear Ms. Matausic-Pisl,

Following our attempts, together with those of other associations and concerned citizens, to encourage the authorities of the City of Karlovac to adhere to the responsible care of abandoned animals, we hereby report the city's consequent failure in taking proper legal provisions. The City of Karlovac is held responsible for contravening the Animal Protection Act including Mayor Damir Jelic, Deputy Mayor Marina Kolakovic and Deputy Mayor Dubravko Delic.

The Animal Protection Act prescribes the duty in Articles 56 and 58 for local or area self-regulating units to build and finance abandoned animal shelters, organize information centers for abandoned and lost animals and to encourage animal protection and the education of citizens through developing public awareness, especially for the young. Even though the deadline for application of these duties expired five years ago, the City of Karlovac continues to contravene the law and encourages the non-transparent actions of company CRPK d.o.o. whom they entrusted with the holding and the taking care of dogs from the Karlovac County area.

The Law (Article 67, paragraph 1, items 58 and 59) states, should the founders of animal shelters fail to organize an information center about abandoned and lost animals nor make details of those animals available to the public and other animal shelters throughout the Republic of Croatia and the governing body, and should the shelter fail to ensure veterinary health care for the animals. This allows for a legal entity to be presented with a fine of between 30,000 HRK - 50,000 HRK, a person responsible within the legal entity with a fine of between 5,000 HRK to 15,000 HRK, and any named individual with a fine from 5,000 HRK to 15,000 HRK.

For many years the City of Karlovac has continued to finance CRPK for keeping and taking care of dogs, firstly in Mostanje and then in Utinja. Even though the citizens and animal protection associations presented a number of charges regarding sick animals and unlawful dog killings in the "shelter" over the past few years, as well as the fact that CRPK has been acquiring material benefits and therefore, misusing the taxpayers' money, the City of Karlovac lays all the responsibility for any irregularity in this company's dealings exclusively on the veterinary inspection.

Animal Friends requested last year from CRPK information about the "shelter's" service in Utinja for year 2012. From the data supplied it can be seen that from a total of 536 captured dogs, 289 were killed, while 79 died in the "shelter". Only 159 dogs have been rehoused, primarily thanks to the great application and effort of the volunteers, and not the "shelter's" management. This clearly shows that the Animal Protection Act is not being adhered to regarding the duty of the advertising and rehousing of animals in their care.

Deputy Mayor Marina Kolakovic's statements to the media show a lack of understanding of all legal provisions. She negates the responsibility of the City of Karlovac stating: "It is up to us to ensure that stray dogs that are dangerous to people do not wander our streets and it is up to animal friend associations to raise civic awareness about responsible care for pets and develop ways to rehouse them." She announced that next year the city will continue to finance CRPK mistakenly believing that this is sufficient action in order to adhere to the Animal Protection Act.

Responsible persons of the City of Karlovac continue to break the law with their actions by not creating an information center and by continuing their collaboration with controversial company CRPK, despite the fact that many veterinary inspection reports point to irregularity in their work. Instead of placing the responsibility for upholding the law on the veterinary inspection, the City of Karlovac should bear the consequences for their long term breaking of the law. They also plan to continue to break the law by signing the contract with CRPK for next year.

This is why we are asking for the correct measures to be taken so that the City of Karlovac can be sanctioned for breaking the Animals Protection Act. We ask to be kept informed about any action taken in order for us to be able to pass this information on to the interested public and media.

Thank you and best regards,

Luka Oman
President of Animal Friends


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