01/22/24 Unregistered Shelter in Crikvenica Shut Down, Dogs Relocated!
The scandalous story initiated by animal rights activists has a happy ending
- Inspection failed to react to illegal shelter operations and violations of laws and animal welfare for four years.
After the animal protection organization Animal Friends sent multiple complaints, the veterinary inspection prohibited the operations of Veterinary Clinic Crikvenica Ltd., which, as a legal entity, carried out the activity of a shelter for stray animals. The State Inspectorate has also ordered the relocation of eight dogs housed at a location not registered as a shelter and lacking proper conditions to other registered shelters!
The scandalous story, which the animal rights activists have been addressing for three months, has come to a fortunate conclusion. However, Friends of Animals emphasizes that, despite this significant success, the entire story is, in fact, tragic: "It is disheartening that animal protection organizations are forced to act as supervisory bodies and perform inspection tasks. Usually, when we point out legal violations, we receive template responses stating that no irregularities were found during inspection oversight and that everything complies with legal regulations. In this case, a positive outcome was achieved thanks to engaging a lawyer and our persistence."
Recall that for over four years, dogs and cats were housed in an unregistered shelter at an address different from the one reported in the Register of Animal Shelters, for which Veterinary Clinic Crikvenica Ltd. obtained permission to operate, and which was closed. Throughout this time, the Clinic signed lucrative contracts with cities and municipalities to care for abandoned animals based on a decision allowing the operation of a shelter for a closed shelter. This was a continuous and conscious violation of the Animal Protection Act and the Regulation on the conditions that shelters for animals must meet!
Upon learning of this, concerned about the health, safety, and welfare of the dogs, Animal Friends reported everything to the veterinary and labor inspections in early November 2023 and urgently requested the closure of the illegal shelter and the relocation of animals housed there to registered shelters. "We were astonished that the veterinary inspection did not react to the illegal operation of the shelter in Crikvenica for at least four years. Incredibly, they did not conduct oversight of the shelter to find out that dogs and cats are not located at the address of the approved shelter, as indicated on the website of the Unique Information Center (UIC) of the Ministry of Agriculture, or to the fact that animals are placed in a shelter that does not have a valid decision confirming compliance with spatial, accommodation, hygiene, and logistical conditions for shelter activities."
They point out that shelters must register each animal in the UIC, where they must record that each has been neutered. They are also required to oblige adopters to neuter puppies and kittens, which should be monitored. Many shelters violate these regulations. A particular problem is that some shelters sign contracts for the care of abandoned animals with too many local communities given the limited capacity for which they are registered. In addition, they sign contracts with cities and municipalities that are too far from the shelter to provide them with services within the prescribed deadline, for example, ensuring veterinary assistance within two hours of receiving a report of a found injured animal.
The Association recalls that three years ago, they requested the State Inspectorate to revise the work of all shelters in Croatia, but this has not happened: "We are appalled that the inspection does not react to obvious irregularities, which can be easily seen by simply reviewing the UIC, such as animals in the shelter not being neutered. Local government units, which generously finance private companies running shelters, should demand all necessary records from them, clear reports with photos of each dog from notification, capture, veterinary treatment, accommodation, advertising, neutering, vaccination to adoption, as well as transparent operations and the possibility of regular checks." Shelters must have the highest standards in dealing with animals because the animals already suffer due to human irresponsibility.
"We thank the volunteers who will find homes for the relocated dogs from the unregistered shelter in Crikvenica and who are actively engaged daily to ensure shelters in their area operate transparently, legally, and to adopt animals. After the closure of the shelter and the relocation of dogs, we expect the shelter to be sanctioned, without attempts to cover up or delay the proceedings. It is unacceptable for competent institutions to commit violations themselves!" Animal Friends concludes.