12/07/15 Report of the Animal Shelter Pokupsko Cerje

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Ministry of Agriculture
Ulica grada Vukovara 78
10000 Zagreb

November 18, 2015

Dear Sir,

we are writing to You out of concern about the frequent complaints of the citizens regarding the owners of the Animal Shelter in Pokupsko Cerje and the violation of many legislative provisions such as programs of adoption and education, information centre, spaying/neutering programs, and mainly about the killing of healthy animals.

According to what we know, the owner of the shelter Predrag Baraba is: preventing the volunteers from accessing the shelter, while they are trying to adopt the dogs which are in danger of being euthanized after the 60 days period; offering sick, pregnant and terrified dogs for adoption; not controlling the reproduction of animals in the shelter nor spaying/neutering them; arbitrarily deciding who may or may not adopt the dog, while at the same time favouring killing the dogs, instead of offering them for adoption; not responding to e-mails, while often there is no one answering at the shelter either; not trying too hard to advertise the shelter – the website is incomplete, where it remains unknown when the animal entered the shelter – in October there was only one dog registered, on the October 6, after which no dogs were advertised; there is no board with information on dogs, under the pretext that damp destroys the paper too fast; keeping the shelter open on weekdays only for four hours (from 10 AM to 4 PM), and thus making it difficult for citizens, who usually work during these hours, to visit the shelter.

The City of Velika Gorica has been financing the shelter in Pokupsko Cerje through a concession agreement. Despite the fact that there is no information centre, which is prescribed by the Animal Protection Act, animals are still being killed, without first exhausting all legal possibilities for their advertising and adoption. The shelter keeps the rate of adoptions low, while most of the dogs were adopted entirely due to the efforts of the volunteers.

According to the Animal Protection Act, the animal may (but does not necessarily have to) be killed after 60 days, and only if it has been advertised, offered for adoption and received proper medical care. Also, the Act does not stipulate killing the dogs after 60 days, it rather offers this possibility as the last resort, and only if all the requirements have been met, such as the requirement that there is no room at the shelter and that after offering the animals to other shelters or associations there was no other option. A shelter which kills dogs may not prevent the potential adopters from adopting the animals and imposing conditions on them. Only the no kill shelters, which are ready to take care of the dogs until they die, may impose conditions and sign contracts, since in the case of not accepting the conditions or the contract, they are able to take care of the animals themselves. Thus, the shelters planning on killing animals cannot behave as police nor veterinary inspections and impose conditions for adoption.

It is obvious that the shelter in Pokupsko Cerje lacks transparency, and that legislative provisions are being violated, while it is made difficult and impossible for the citizens to adopt animals, to the disadvantage of the healthy dogs the owner Baraba rather kills.

For the mentioned irregularities in their work, we consider it is inadmissible to spend the funds of the dissatisfied citizens on inappropriate and illegal solutions to the problem of homeless animals in the area of Velika Gorica and other areas that gave the concession agreement to the shelter in Pokupsko Cerje. According to the latest information, the City of Velika Gorca has trusted the taking care of the dogs to the Veterinary Office in Sisak, but the shelter in Pokupsko Cerje is still accountable for abandoned dogs from Pokupsko, Kravarsko, Sisak, Oborov and St. Ivan Zelina, which raises concern.

Velika Gorica could have already had its own shelter, built on the city land and organized for non-profit purposes, which would look after the interest of citizens and abandoned animals. Kindergarten and school children could be brought to this kind of a shelter in order to educate them on how to take care of animals, without the fear of them witnessing the killing of the animals. These kinds of shelters already exist in Zagreb, Čakovec and Varaždin, and are characterized by a larger number of adoptions, using considerably less funds than for-profit shelters, which kill their animals.

For these reasons we ask for an inspection of the shelter in Pokupsko Cerje, as well as enforcing concrete legislative regulations, so that the shelter would not exist pro forme, but so as to enable efficient enforcement of the law and taking care and adoption of animals. At the same time, we appeal to you that, if the owner of the shelter is not willing or able to abide by the law and adopt animals instead of killing them, You issue the decision to shut it down.

Waiting for your response, kind regards,


Luka Oman
the president of the Animal Friends Croatia

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