11/17/08 Decision on Requirements and Conditions for Keeping Companion Animals
City Council of Samobor
King Tomislav Square 5
As a citizen of Samobor, and as a member of Animal Friends, I felt a need to make a statement regarding the proposal for Decision on requirements and conditions for keeping companion animals and treatment of abandoned and stray animals.
I believe that people of Samobor who keep companion animals in their homes, as well as those who do not, have the same interest – healthy and adopted animals, safety of people, and a clean and a neat town. In order to accomplish that, it is necessary to enforce the existing Animal Protection Act and to punish the guardians of companion animals who break the regulations of the current law. This primarily includes obligatory rabies vaccination, microchipping, the problem of abandoned animals, picking up after dogs in public places and walking dogs on leashes and dangerous breeds also with muzzles.
However, the Article 7 in the above mentioned proposal of Decision is unacceptable because it precisely regulates the number of companion animals each person can keep. Such a regulation is unconstitutional and violates human rights and deprives their freedom (as if one could regulate the number of children or the number of cars one can have).
Moreover, such a decision is not efficient because one who does not take care of one's single animal can cause more problems to the animal and to the other people than the one who takes good care of several animals. This is the reason why the number of animals one can guard should be regulated only by the conditions one can provide for one or more animals. Practice showed that there are people who cannot ensure appropriate conditions for a single animal, while there are those who have good conditions for more animals and do not in any way endanger other people.
It should be highlighted that many of so called lovers of fashionable dog breeds often lose interest very fast and don't take care of the animal which ends up abused, neglected and abandoned.
This regulation even increases the problem of abandoned animals because of the impossibility of adopting more than one animal even if there are conditions for keeping more animals. Samobor has no animal shelter, although it is required by the Animal Protection Act, there are no other animal care programs, which, combined with such regulations, makes things only worse. I believe that Samobor should introduce obligatory microchipping of all dogs as many towns in Croatia have already done, which would result in better control of animal keepers and decrease the problem of abandoning of animals.
Moreover, it is often forgotten that if more animals live together they are happier and therefore calmer.
Therefore, I strongly believe that regulations should not be general (collective) but individual because the entire community should not be punished because of some individuals who do not abide law, in this case the Animal Protection Act. Such a principle should be implemented and such regulations are more just and appropriate. The right care and living conditions as well as good coexistence should be the only measure for limiting the numbers of animals.
So, in the end, who is ready to vote for the regulation which says that someone should kick out a friend from his home which has lived there for years, or to get rid of a family member? Can you imagine the pain caused by such an act for both, animal and human family members, and how can someone even decide which family member should leave home?
I ask you to consider these facts and to bring the righteous, legally right and human decision and to discard the decision which regulates the exact number of companion animals.
Thank you in advance.