10/28/14 Request to the Ministry of Agriculture Regarding Revision of Supervision Inspection of DVM Branka Horvatic in the Shelter Utinja, Karlovac

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Ministry of Agriculture
The Veterinary and Food Safety Administration
c / o Dr. Mirjana Matausic-Pisl, DVM., Assistant Minister
Planinska ulica 2a
10000 Zagreb

October 28, 2014

Dear Ms. Matausic-Pisl,

We are writing encouraged by the great concern of the public due to lack of transparency and suspected violations of law related to the care and adoption of abandoned animals in the Karlovac County. Specific problems that last for years are appalled by the citizens that are often writing and asking for a solution, which raises doubts about the professionalism and legitimacy of veterinary inspector Branka Horvatic.

The City of Karlovac has entrusted the business concession for holding and disposal of dogs from the area of ​​Karlovac County to private company CRPK Ltd. from Karlovac. CRPK performs the capture, keeping and taking care of stray dogs in Utinja. For years, the CRPK company and the City of Karlovac have been called out in the media and by the public due to their non-compliance with regulations and poor conditions in which dogs are being kept, first in hygienic service in Mostanje, and then in the "shelter" in Utinja. However, the veterinary inspector Horvatic has not previously noticed deficiencies that would lead to closing of the "shelter".

Public scandal was created back in 2006 due to media reports stating that dogs in Karlovac hygienic service center in Mostanje, who have not been homed, are being poisoned, sometimes with insufficient amounts so dogs are dying for hours and bleeding to death. Cats are killed upon the arrival and they have been kept in the same room with live dogs. Veterinary inspector Branka Horvatic stated that city of Karlovac sanitary service center has not aligned its work within the legal deadline with the Ordinance conditions and she extended their deadline for another six months.

The CRPK company closed hygienic service center in Mostanje and from 2007 began to take "shelter" in Utinja. In 2008 the media wrote again about "new scandal and shame" by stating that the CRPK in order to earn and avoid the costs of euthanasia is drowning captured stray dogs and that procedure is being paid by city taxpayers and municipality with which the company signed a contract.

In 2009 Animal Friends documented a series of photographs of violations of the law in terms of keeping and treatment of dogs in Utinja and in 2011 filed charges against the CRPK company, warning that the company with the costs of euthanasia gains unlawful material profit. In Branka Horvatic veterinary inspector response was stated that, during the inspection, there have been identified deficiencies in the work of shelter and related work of the veterinary services and that decision on removal of deficiencies have been made, as well as charges against legal and responsible persons due to those irregularities.

Nevertheless, recently the media published photos of sick dogs in poor conditions in the "shelter" in Utinja. Veterinary inspector Horvatic said: "I did everything according to the law. I found 74 dogs and they were all good. None of them was depressed, nor can any of you say they were in poor condition." Then she added that all legally specified measures have been made.

From the above it is clear that already for years there have been unresolved problem and different point of view regarding the work and terms and conditions of keeping dogs in "shelter" in Utinja between veterinary inspector Horvatic and the public. The inspector Horvatic did her best to meet the CRPK company benefits, specially in 2006 by tolerating violations of the law and non-compliance with the veterinary legislation. Despite the statement in 2011 that indictment proposal "against legal and responsible persons due to irregularities" was made, new images of dogs in Utinja show that the CRPK company continues to operate smoothly even though the entire public, for years, is seeing dogs in conditions that individuals who have companion animals could be criminally charged for animal abuse.

We believe that new evidence in the photographs and longtime indications made by the citizens and associations about repeated violations of the law in the "shelter" in Utinja are basis for a reasonable suspicion that a veterinary inspector Horvatic doesn't act to protect the animals but to protect the interests and profit of the CRPK company. Therefore, we are asking to make the revision of supervision inspections that have been conducted by inspector Horvatic in the "shelter" in Utinja and to explain to the citizens who, against their will, are funding the company.

Documented conditions of the dogs with all previously sent reports and photographs are not according to legal regulations.

In order to inform public, please reply within the stipulated legal deadline.

Thank you and best regards,

Luka Oman
Animal Friends


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