03/05/21 Veterinarians supported the campaign to ban keeping dogs on a chain
The national campaign for Croatia without dogs on a chain received the support of important veterinary institutions
- More than 40.000 people signed the petition on change.org, the reaction of the Government is awaited
Since the petition for a total ban on keeping dogs on a chain was launched on February 26, 2021, more than 40.000 people have signed it up to today, and the signatures continue to arrive. The petition is part of the national campaign "For Croatia without dogs on a chain", launched by the Shelter Friends of Čakovec, the Animal Friends Croatia Association, and the Victory Association, and more than 50 members of the Animal Protection Network, with the support of other associations and institutions.
In addition, support for the Campaign came from the most important professional associations of veterinary doctors - the Croatian Veterinary Chamber and the Department of Veterinarians of Small Practice in Croatia, and many private veterinary practices.
Univ. mag. med. vet. Ivan Zemljak, President of the Croatian Veterinary Chamber, stated in the letter of support: "The Croatian Veterinary Chamber, as a professional association of veterinarians, supports this national campaign and we believe that its final implementation will contribute to increasing animal protection and welfare standards in Croatia."
Dr. med. vet. Tatjana Zajec from the Department of Small Veterinary Practice in Croatia pointed out that dogs are naturally social beings who need the company of people, but also other animals: “Frequent confinement or long–term keeping on a chain can cause serious damage to their physical and psychological well-being. An otherwise friendly and obedient dog, if constantly kept on a chain or in any way intensely restricted, becomes neurotic, unhappy, anxious and often aggressive.”
Dr. med. vet. Lea Kreszinger warns: “Constantly tethered dogs endure physical pain as a result of continuous tying up. Their necks become sore, and veterinarians often witness very painful wounds from a chain embedded in their skin. They cannot defend themselves from other animals, neither from humans and they are susceptible to insect bites, parasites, attacks by other dogs and can easily suffocate by jumping over a fence or by chain tangling.”
They further point out that such dogs are often not fed regularly, that they knock over their water bowl so it is often empty and they are thirsty, rarely taken to the vet and exposed to drastic temperature changes with changes of extreme cold and very high heat. They note that the welfare of such dogs is very poor because they neither get enough play and activities such as running nor are they taught to live with other animals and humans. That is why they are very often dangerous not only for animals but also for humans, so there is a high risk of attack and biting because they have no possibility of escape or retreat to a safe distance. The most common victims are children, and even when they break free from the chain, they can be dangerous due to severe behavioral problems that develop over time.
"One of the five fundamental freedoms of animals is the freedom to express normal and typical behavior for the species, which is completely prevented by restricting walking, running, playing and hiding when being kept on a chain and therefore we support the campaign 'For Croatia without dogs on a chain'", conclude veterinarians Tatjana Zajec and Lea Kreszinger on behalf of the Department of Small Veterinary Practice of Croatia.
Many veterinarians have witnessed terrible suffering, even severe wounds on chained dogs. Univ. mag. med. vet. Branimir Rebselj was horrified by this way of keeping dogs: “I've seen cases of chain wounds where the skin has healed over the chain. It's terrible and extremely difficult to operate on because you have to reconstruct the complete skin of the dog's neck." Dr. med. vet. Goran Spasovski confirms that, in addition to the fact that chained dogs have mental disorders, they also have more visible and frequent orthopedic problems along with problems of the hips, spine, and muscles.
The associations report that they have also sent a letter to the government concerning the launch of the campaign and petition, with a plea for an urgent amendment to the Animal Protection Act, and they expect a positive response.
Therefore, they once again invite everyone to join and visit change.org by signing the petition and sharing information on social networks with the messages: #BanTheChain, #ForCroatiaWithoutDogsOnAChain, #YouNeedToKnowHowToCut, #ShamefulForCroatia.