11/25/10 Run Over Dogs - A Letter to the Police

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Croatian Ministry of Interior
Police Department Zadar
Andrije Hebranga bb
23000 Zadar

November 25, 2010

Subject: Demand to punish the driver of Liburnija's bus who hit and killed three dogs at Diklo

Dear Sirs,

Our letter concerns the case of Liburnija's bus driver, who killed three dogs at Diklo on November 22, 2010. We were informed about the case through the media, after which we also received numerous calls by revolted and appalled citizens, who expect adequate measures to be taken by the relevant institutions, especially the police.

You are probably well acquainted with the details of the event, regarding the fact that your officials investigated the case. Therefore we are surprised by the information from the media about the police having concluded that the driver was free of all guilt, and that only the dogs' guardians received an admonishment before the official charges for letting the dogs run around without proper control. We believe that these information are incomplete and that you must have taken appropriate legal measures to punish the bus driver; and of you have not, that you certainly intend to do so.

Namely, according to the information in the media, based on the witnesses' testimonies, the official statements of Liburnija d.o.o. company, and the shots from the crime scene, it is obvious that on November 22, 2010 the driver of a local bus at Diklo near Zadar hit three dogs who were crossing the road. The driver made no attempts at breaking or stopping the vehicle after killing the dogs. Moreover, eyewitnesses claim that the bus driver added on gas when he swathe dogs instead of slowing down.

We have pressed charges against the bus driver to the District Attorney for committing a crime of torturing animals according to the Croatian Penal Law, paragraph 1, Article 260; for endangering human lives and property through a generally dangerous action or means from Article 1, paragraph 263; and for failing to help at the scene of a traffic accident, by which he endangered human lives and property from paragraph 1, Article 269. Moreover, besides killing no less than three dogs at once, thereby inflicting great pain, he violated the Animal Protection Act, since he did not stop to offer help to the animals or enable someone else to do it, which he is obliged to do according to the Animal Protection Act, Article 6, for which reason we have pressed charges with the Veterinary Inspection.

Besides, we expect your urgent action regarding the fact that the bus driver violated the regulation of the Law on the Safety of Raod Traffic. According to Article 175 of that Law, a person who is involved in a traffic accident must "do everything in his or her might to prevent new forms of danger that may arise on the scene of the accident and to contribute to the normal continuation of road traffic, avoiding the alteration of the situation on the scene of the accident and preserve the existing clues," as well as to "inform the nearest traffic station or police station, then return to the scene of the accident and await the arrival of the official person in charge, who will perform the investigation." The bus driver did not even stop after the accident. He continued driving, thereby directly endangering other participants in traffic. He did not return to the scene to await the arrival of the police. The media reports do not state clearly whether the police proceeded according to the Article 181 of the Law, which refers to the duty of the police officer to interrogate the participants of a traffic accident with the help of adequate means and instruments in order to establish the presence of alcohol or drugs in the driver’s blood, so we expect your statement related to that issue as well.

Even though the police is obliged to react in cases in which animals are tortured on the basis of the Croatian Penal Law and the Law on the Disturbance of Public Peace and Order, Article 30, citizens often inform us on cases in which officials disregard these regulations in cases they personally consider unimportant, which sometimes results in failure to punish the perpetrators. However, in Croatia the civic awareness of the need to punish animal abusers is very high and the citizens demand that such cases should be treated seriously and responsibly. In this case, it is important to punish the bus driver for his unethical, irresponsible, and endangering behaviour and actions, thus making it clear that violation of state laws is unacceptable regardless of the fact whether the victims are humans (which could have been hurt as well) or animals.

Therefore, we ask that you take action against the perpetrator of statutory measures and we also ask you for the cooperation with institutions that will respond on the basis of our reports. We also ask you to notify us in writing on the progress and completion of the procedure so that we can forward the information to the concerned citizens and media.

Yours sincerely,

Luka Oman
Animal Friends



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