11/18/15 Charges Against Pokupsko Cerje Animal Shelter

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Ministry of Agriculture
Vukovarska ulica 78
10000 Zagreb

November 18, 2015

Dear Sirs,

We are writing to you regarding our concern about the frequent complaints about the leadership of the animal shelter Pokupsko Cerje and violation of many legal provisions within the program for adopting and education, information center, spaying/neutering programs, and mostly for the killings of healthy animals.

According to provided information, the owner of the shelter Predrag Baraba prevents access to shelter volunteers who are trying to adopt dogs who, after the expiry of 60 days, are threatened to be killed; provides dogs for adoption that are sick and scared as well as the pregnant dogs. He doesn't provide controlled reproduction of animals in the shelter and does not spay/neuter them; arbitrarily determines who is competent for a dog adoption and make the decision to kill the dog rather than give him for adoption; does not respond to e-mails, often in the shelter nobody answers; doesn't advertise animals for the adoption – shelter's website has incomplete data, from which you cannot see when the animal is in the shelter, and for example, in October only one dog was advertised after which no one posted any new dogs for adoption; there are no published information about dogs by saying that moisture rapidly destroys paper; shelter is open only for 4 hours during weekdays (from 10 A.M. to 2 P.M.), which is not a good time for citizens to adopt the animal because they are mostly at work.

Based on the concession agreement, the town of Velika Gorica has so far financed the operation of the shelter in Pokupsko Cerje. Despite the lack of information center, which is stipulated by the Animal Protection Act, the animals are still killed in the shelter without using all the legal possibilities for their advertising and adoption. The shelter has a small number of adoptions, while most dogs are housed exclusively thanks to the efforts of volunteers.

According to the Animal Protection Act, the animal may be (but doesn't need to be) killed after 60 days, but only if it is advertised, offered for adoption and if it was given a proper care. In addition, the law doesn't require dog killing after 60 days but gives the option as a last measure and only if all the conditions are fully met, including the condition that there is no room in the shelter and if after offering them to other shelters or organizations there are no other options. Taking that in consideration, shelter in Pokupsko Cerje violates the law if the animals are killed after 60 days and they could have been adopted. The shelter that kills dogs cannot prevent potential foster parents in accommodation or impose them any further conditions. Only no-kill shelters, which are willing to keep a dog until his death, may impose conditions and give the contracts because in the event of non-acceptance of terms and conditions of the contract, animals can remain in their care. Therefore, the shelter that has the intention to kill the animal cannot behave as police or the veterinary inspection and set conditions for adoption.

It is obvious that the business of shelter in Pokupsko Cerje lacks transparency, they violate legal regulations and citizens are enabled and prevented to adopt, all to the damage of healthy dogs that the owner Baraba rather kills.

Because of these irregularities we believe that it is unacceptable to spend the funds of dissatisfied citizens by using inappropriate and illegal problem solving of unprotected animals in the area of Velika Gorica and other areas that have concluded a concession with the shelter in Pokupsko Cerje. According to the latest information, Velika Gorica has entrusted to care for dogs to Veterinary Station Sisak but shelter in Pokupsko Cerje still takes abandoned dogs from Pokupsko, Kravarsko, Sisak, Oborovo and Sv. Ivana Zelina, which is concerning.

City of Velika Gorica could have had its own shelter by now which could have been built on city land and driven by profit and that would be in the interest of citizens and abandoned animals. In such a shelter, kindergarten and school children could have been brought, with the aim of training on caring for the animals without fear when visiting the shelter to testify killing of animals. Examples of such shelters already exist in the city shelter in Zagreb, Cakovec and Varazdin, and they are characterized by the increasing number of adoption for significantly less money than the ones that exist to kill the animals.

Therefore, we ask for the inspection of shelter in Pokupsko Cerje and implementation of specific legal measures as a shelter would not exist only in order to meet the form but to allow effective implementation of the law and the care and adoption of animals. At the same time we appeal to you, if the owner of the shelter is not willing and able to enforce the law and house an animal instead of killing them, to specify the measures to close down the shelter.

Awaiting your reply I am sending my best regards,

Luka Oman

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