04/03/24 Five Pieces of Advice on how to Help Homeless Animals

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Animal Friends Croatia shares advice on April 4, International Homeless Animals Day

- Every year Croatian animal shelters house over 10,000 abandoned animals, predominantly dogs, while the number of homeless cats is unknown

On April 4, International Homeless Animals Day, we highlight the importance of responsible care for dogs, cats, rabbits, and other animals humans pick for family members. Following the recent positive developments, anyone who abandons an animal will face up to one year in prison, or two years if animal abandonment results in the death of the animal or for abandonment of a larger number of animals. Animal Friends Croatia expects the prospect of a prison sentence to result in reduced numbers of homeless animals (currently at 10,000 across Croatian shelters). The figure does not include homeless cats or other domesticated animals which are also abandoned in considerable numbers.

Most abandoned animals are not so lucky as to be beloved family members but are left to the care of continuously overwhelmed shelters and animal protection groups. With this in mind, Animal Friends Croatia offers five pieces of advice on how to help reduce the number of homeless animals:

1. Promote responsible animal adoption instead of animal purchase!

Unfortunately, in Croatia, pets are commonly traded as consumer goods instead of being mindfully adopted. Animals are not toys or temporary fun objects but sentient beings who need our care for over fifteen or more years. Given the low levels of awareness of this problem, it is ever more important to promote responsible animal adoption instead of animal purchases. This also means that dogs must not be chained, cats and dogs must be neutered and vaccinated for infectious diseases, while dogs must also be vaccinated for rabies as well as microchipped. If you do not have time, conditions, or financial means to care for an animal, you should not get one.

2. Neutering saves lives and reduces the number of homeless animals

Every cat or dog owner is legally obliged to prevent unwanted pet litter by animals in their care. A good, safe, and cheap long-term solution to cat and dog reproduction control is neutering. Neutering male and female cats and dogs is crucial for animals themselves, animals that surround them, their owners, but also the entire community, as the best possible solution to preventing unwanted puppy and kitten litter. Neutering helps prevent uncontrolled pet population growth, and consequently, the production of unwanted puppies/kittens and their subsequent homing.

3. Dog microchipping is legally required, cat microchipping recommended

Even though as of 2004, all dog owners in Croatia are legally obliged to microchip their dog, it is estimated that around 20% of them have not been microchipped. Unless the dog is microchipped, it is difficult to find it if it gets lost, but also easy to discard it without the perpetrator ever being found or sanctioned. The 2017 Animal Protection Act stipulates that all cities and municipalities are obliged to conduct checks on all households with pet dogs for microchipping to reduce care costs for homeless animals. In addition, there is a recommendation for cat microchipping.

4. Volunteer at Animal Shelter

You can help dogs in shelters not only by adopting them but also by temporarily homing them, godparenting a specific dog, walking them, collecting blankets, donations, etc.

5. Sharing posts on animals in need of rehoming

Gorgeous animals of all ages, sizes, colors, and personalities, neutered and having received veterinary care, await their forever home while being cared for by animal shelters or animal protection groups. Particularly vulnerable are black, disabled, diseased and older animals which sometimes spend years in animal asylums waiting to be homed. You can help them by sharing ads/posts on animal adoption in classifieds or on social networks.

abandoned dog [ 108.52 Kb ]

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