11/09/23 Outrageous: Four Years of Lucrative Contracts for Closed Animal Shelter

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Animal Friends Croatia expose illegal business dealings by Crikvenica Veterinary Clinic

- Dogs are placed in unlicensed shelter elsewhere offering dubious care

Animal Friends Croatia has filed a complaint to the Croatian State Inspectorate against Crikvenica Veterinary Clinic Ltd which as a legal entity also provides services as an abandoned animal shelter. For over four years, cats and dogs have actually been placed in an unlicensed shelter at an address different from the one registered in the Pet Animal Registry for which the company had been granted a license, but which had closed. This constitutes a violation of the Animal Protection Act and by-laws on compulsory conditions for animal shelters!

“We don’t know what is more shocking – the fact that the veterinary inspection board has not been supervising the operation of animal shelters in Crikvenica, or that it has not carried out any checks at this particular shelter which would have shown that abandoned cats and dogs are not actually sheltered at this authorized shelter as per data of the Joint Information Centre (JIC) of the Ministry of Agriculture, or that it has not undertaken any action over animals placed in an unlicensed shelter failing to meet space, accommodation, sanitary or logistic requirements as warranted for all shelters. All the while, the Crikvenica Veterinary Clinic Ltd has been signing lucrative contracts with city and municipality councils for providing abandoned animal shelter services based on the license issued despite the shelter closure! We are appalled by the lack of action on the part of the state inspection board and the Ministry of Agriculture,” state Animal Friends Croatia.

It is inexplicable how relevant authorities allow themselves to be in violation of the law by not reacting to evident illegal actions and placement of dogs in an unlicensed shelter: “Animal protection groups cannot act as supervisors and do the work of the state inspectorate! Even when they identify law violations, they are faced with a ready-made response stating that an allegedly conducted inspection had not determined any irregularity and that the shelter meets all legal requirements.”

The group emphasizes their concern for dogs’ health, safety, and welfare. “Consequently, our complaint filed to the veterinary and labor inspection boards respectively requests immediate closure of the unlicensed shelter and relocation of animals to licensed shelters,” declares Animal Friends Croatia. The Animal Protection Act stipulates the issuance of a certificate on meeting conditions relating to accommodation, feeding, staff and animal treatment prior to a shelter’s commencement of operation. The conditions are stipulated by by-laws on mandatory conditions for animal shelters, and the certificate is issued by the Ministry of Agriculture.

The by-laws prescribe sanitary conditions for shelters (regular cleaning and maintenance), disposal of cadavers and data management, as well as overall animal care which involves more than just providing fresh food and water, such as walks, socialization, daily health checks, etc. Animal Friends Croatia believes it is impossible for seven registered staff members to carry out work at both the veterinary clinic and the associated shop, while caring for dogs, seven days a week over two shifts, with an appointed manager and two staff members working exclusively at the shelter.

Three years ago, the group requested the State Inspectorate to audit all animal shelters in Croatia, however, this did not materialize. Nevertheless, the inspectorate has the means to detect irregularities such as failure to neuter sheltered animals by accessing information from or consulting the Joint Information Centre: “Units of local self-government, generously financing private companies running shelters, should in return request information and reports with photos of each dog, detailing everything from the filing of report on an abandoned animal, trapping, vet treatment, shelter placement, advertising, neutering, vaccination and rehoming, in addition to the requirement for transparent work and regular checks.”

Irresponsible citizens who fail to neuter their animals, and abandon them and their litters are the reason animal shelters exist. “That is precisely the reason shelters must meet the highest standards in animal treatment as animals are already suffering due to human irresponsibility,” concludes Animal Friends Croatia. In addition to animal transfer to licensed shelters, the group expects offenders to be sanctioned, without attempts for a cover-up or to delay the legal procedure.

dog_shelter Crikvenica [ 170.23 Kb ]

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