01/24/09 The Network Against Animal Abandoning

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More than 40 associations from 28 Croatian cities

Due to the extremely bad situation regarding abandoning animals and lack of enforcement of the Animal Protection Act, the Network Against Animal Abandoning has been formed. The Network gathers more than 40 associations from 28 Croatian cities, with shelter managers and individuals who take care of abandoned animals.

Although the Animal Protection Act, which was put into effect over two years ago, clearly states that local communities must deal with the problem of abandoning animals, very little has been done so far and the situation is turning into a crisis.

The number of animals which are bought and then abandoned is increasing, the associations and individuals who take care of those animals are losing their power, irresponsible citizens go unpunished, microchipping for dogs is not obligatory, and there are no castration programs.

Very few cities' authorities have made an effort to enforce the Animal Protection Act or build animal shelters and adoption programs for animals.

The fourth meeting of the Network Against Animal Abandoning will be held on Saturday, January 24, 2009, at the HDLU house, at Trg zrtava fasizma in Zagreb, in order to give the representatives of the associations an opportunity to establish their demands to state and local authorities.

The bad situation in the whole of Croatia was identified at the last meeting, held at the Shelter for Abandoned Animals of the City of Zagreb in Dumovec. The legal duty of the local communities has been left to volunteer organizations and citizens, which is inadmisible and impossible to implement. Existing shelters need concrete help, and many new shelters need to be built, along with the enforcement of castration programs and adoption of animals.

The Animal Protection Act sets a transition period of two years in which local communities were supposed to fulfill their legal obligations. However, the transition period has passed, the situation has deteriorated, and the inactivity of local authorities and insufficient cooperation with animal protection associations makes the problem even worse.

The problem of a large number of abandoned animals is present in urban areas as well as in smaller towns. Throughout the country there is a lack of animal shelters regulated by law, along with proper veterinary care, castration programs, adopting animals and penalties for irresponsible citizens.

After the meeting, the Network will present its demands to the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Rural Development, all counties' officials and all cities' authorities. Expecting progress, the Network will offer its cooperation in solving the urgent issue created by irresponsible citizens, who cause animal suffering every day.

Mr. Volker Fritzmeier, who runs a German association which supports animal protection programs in Croatia, will also be present at the fourth meeting of the Network.

In the interest of informing the public, representatives of animal protection associations of the Network Against Abandoning Animals will be available to the interested media.

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