05/16/24 Anyone who keeps a dog on a chain is cruel!

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The national campaign for a chain-free Croatia continues

- Touching billboards at about 30 locations; for home security, get an alarm and sign the petition to ban chains

"Don’t have a dog if you’re going to keep it on a chain" – this clear and direct message can now be read on impressive visuals of educational billboards at more than 30 locations. This is the continuation of the national campaign for a chain-free Croatia, which the organization Animal Friends has been running for years to raise public awareness about the unacceptability of keeping man's best friend tied to, most often, a short chain. Thus, the main message of the billboards is: "Cruel – anyone who keeps a dog on a chain." "Since 2005, we have been fighting for a complete ban on keeping dogs on a chain. Keeping dogs on a chain is shameful and unacceptable, and dogs suffer!" asserts Animal Friends. They add that more than 80 percent of citizens support a complete ban on keeping dogs on a chain.

Unfortunately, many residents, especially in rural areas, are unaware that keeping a dog on a chain is a form of animal abuse. "Often, caretakers put chains on dogs in puppyhood, and as they grow, the chains cut into their necks. There are numerous examples of such unimaginable cruelty. Depending on the changing seasons, dogs on chains suffer extreme cold, extreme heat, and various weather conditions, without appropriate shelter. They are often exposed to attacks by other dogs or people, and female dogs cannot defend themselves from male dogs' advances," warns Dr. med. vet. Svjetlana Prodanovi, coordinator of the Animal Protection Network.

She emphasizes the need to amend the Animal Protection Act because, as she says, one single word is the cause of enormous animal suffering. The current Animal Protection Act prohibits "keeping dogs constantly tied or keeping them in spaces for separate keeping of dogs without allowing free movement outside that space." This vague and unenforceable provision allows for continuous, years-long, even lifelong chaining of dogs, although it ostensibly bans it.

Animal Friends, who have been working on amending the Act for years, are clear in their intention that the Animal Protection Act must be changed and that keeping dogs on a chain must be completely banned. They state that they receive complaints almost daily from citizens reporting that they witness dogs being kept on a chain. Although they direct witnesses to report such keeping of dogs to the municipal wardens and veterinary inspection, it is absurd that during inspections it is impossible to prove whether someone keeps a dog "constantly" tied, which the Act prohibits, or if, for example, letting the dog off the chain for five minutes every 15 days is enough not to violate the Act.

"It is tragic that because of that one unnecessary word, 'constantly,' dogs spend minutes, hours, days, and years in the same place, where they eat, drink, relieve themselves, give birth, and die within the radius allowed by the chain, eternally tied. And they will live a life that is not a life. And beyond the reach of the chain begins another world, which dogs cannot reach. The question rightly arises – why do people who keep dogs on chains even get dogs?" says Dr. Med. vet. Prodanovi.

She emphasizes that dogs are social beings that need interaction with people and other dogs: "The worst thing people can do to dogs is condemn them to a chain without the possibility of contact and socialization. Besides the physical injuries caused by the chain, there are behavioral changes where otherwise friendly dogs become fearful or aggressive. Such dogs are often declared unsuitable by their caretakers and 'disposed of' in various ways, not realizing that they are solely responsible for the dog's behavior. Dogs on chains are mostly not provided with necessary veterinary care, are neglected in terms of food and care, and their well-being is not looked after. It is distressing that all this is done even though no law requires everyone to have a dog."

Animal Friends Croatia, with the support of other members of the Animal Protection Network, invites everyone to sign the petition at www.zabranimolanac.net, which calls for an urgent amendment to the Animal Protection Act and a complete ban on keeping dogs in chains. They urge citizens not to keep a dog on a chain for guarding property or just to have a dog because everyone else does. They remind us that dogs, as the most loyal and devoted beings on the planet, deserve to live as family members: "For guarding houses, yards, and business premises, get alarms!"

dog on a chain [ 894.06 Kb ]

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