02/10/10 Mandatory Chaining Of Dogs In The Community Of Novigrad Podravski

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Community Novigrad Podravski
Blaza Madjera b.b.
48325 Novigrad Podravski

February 10, 2010

Dear Sirs,

On the offical web site of the Community Novigrad Podravski from November 12, 2009 a notice on dog keeping has been posted. Among other, the notice states that the Community wants to warn "about the basic legislative regulastions concering dog keeping: dogs in a house yard or garden or orchard must be chained, and when walking they must be on a leash or wear a muzzle; in citizen's business areas (catering, camps and such) dogs must be kept out of range of customers, must be leashed and wear a muzzle. Authorized persons will charge preset fines if the regulations are not obeyed, means they will start procedures of owner prosecution."

Embittered citizens think of this regulation as to opposing to the welfare of the animals and "a rough violation of privacy and property right." Truly, it is incomprehensible that you have determined such an official decision by which you violate the Animal Protection Act and you deny any so far accepted civilized reaches in animal treatment, which we particularly stress because of the by law regulated commitments on public awarness of animal protection.

We want to inform you how not with the Animal Protection Act nor any other relevant laws and regulations it is ruled that dogs must be kept in chains when in a fenced yard. Contrary, that kind of regulation roughly violates the Animal Protection Act, in which it states how it is prohibited to force animals to behavior that causes them pain, suffer, injuries or fear; It is prohibited to: force animals into a behavior that causes them pain, suffering, injury or fear, neglect an animal in terms of its health, housing, nutrition, and care, restrict the movement of animals in a way that causes them pain, suffering, injury or fear, in contravention of the provisions of this Act (Article 4, paragraph 2, items 12, 16 and 21), as well as companion animals must be kept in conditions appropriate to their needs (Article 48, paragraph 1).

Dogs are extremly social animals that are seeking closeness to humans. Chaining dogs, limiting their movement space exclusivly arround the dog house causes them frustrations because of the incapability of performing basic life functions – movement, relieving themselves far from the place where they live and sleep, company of humans and other dogs. Often the chain curves itself deeper and deeper in the skin, causing painful wounds. Longterm keeping of aimable dogs in chains with the time makes them more and more agressive and dangerous, which is why they are often destroyed by a shot with a fire arm or a blow of a hoe or axe in the head which is obviously against the law.

Concering the muzzle wearing when taking the dog out for a walk, in the town of Zagreb e.g. "The Decision on keeping and treatment of companion animals and dangerous animals for people's life" defines that dogs which are dangerous for the society because of their natural and agressive instinct or their aptness must be held on a leash, with an obligatory muzzle. Each city/county is expected to determine such regulation with which the way of dog keeping so called dangerous species is regulated. Your demand that the owners walk their dogs with a muzzle is unreal, taking in consideration that it is impossible to, for example, walk a poodle with a muzzle.

So we demand that you thoroughly acquaint yourself and don't take advantage of the nescience of your citizens, as well as you don't intimidate them by replying to non-existent law and regulations. With this kind of demand you break the Animal Protection Act, for which you alone can be held guilty and responsible. This kind of treatment is opposing to the spirit of civilized relations with animals and the effort of animal protection groups to raise public awareness in regard to responsible treatment of dogs. Also, such directive can lead to the upgrowth of agressive behavior among dogs, which can have tragical consequences for people.

Animal Friends offers cooperation to the community of Novigrad Podravski by encouraging the creation of a program taking care of abandoned animals which would include the mandatory microchipping of all dogs, spaying/neutering program, vaccination, prosecution of irresponsible persons for abandoning animals, raising public awarness on animal protection, starting from schools and kindergardens and encouraging citizens through media and public speakers to adopt dogs. Please feel free to contact us.

We expect you to correct your demands and that you will encourage a culture on keeping of dogs as sensitive living beings, and not to make regressive decisions, that are unprecedented for civilized reaches of the 21st century.

Best regards,

Luka Oman
Animal Friends

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