02/23/23 Microchipping and Castration Protect Dogs from Abandonment
Zagreb adopted the Program for controlling the population of abandoned dogs
- Importance of prevention: 10 castrations can be paid for the cost of caring for one animal
Zagreb City Assembly at its 20th session adopted the Program for Controlling the Population of Abandoned Dogs in the City of Zagreb. It was confirmed that for the implementation of the Program budget funds and projections for 2024 and 2025 were secured. Association Animal Friends Croatia praised that finally this, prescribed by the Animal Protection Act, adoption of measures and activities for the purpose of reducing the number of abandoned animals in Zagreb. The Association specifically pointed out the importance of microchipping dogs and (co)financing castration.
Namely, Animal Protection Act also prescribes a Coordination Work Force for Animal Protection for which for the Zagreb city area the Association Animal Friends Croatia also prepared a proposal of measures according to which the Proposal Program Controlling the Population of Abandoned Dogs in the City of Zagreb was prepared. The Program is based on general principles of protection and treatment of abandoned and lost dogs. This includes adequate housing, veterinary care, prevention of deceases, careful handling of animals and feeding of animals and most importantly developing the awareness of the public, especially young people, about animal protection, dog tagging and dog breeding control.
The Program is aligned with the Animal Protection Act that entered into force beginning this year. Animal Friends Croatia informed local communities about it pointing out that the Law brings an important novelty – the obligation of tagging dogs with microchips „prior to relocation for the purpose of ownership change”. This means that every puppy, regardless of whether adopted or sold, must first be microchipped and after that, the ownership should be changed. This is extremely important because abandoned dogs are exposed to uncontrolled wandering, diseases, and neglection, which can cause traffic accidence and be injured in them, and non-castrated dogs are a constant source of abandoned animal population increase. Taking them into a shelter is the responsibility of local communities.
Amongst the measures listed by the Program, the encouragement of reproduction control is pointed out, promotion of dog castrations and responsible caretaking, subsidizing castration of guardian dogs, promoting the benefits of dog adoption from shelters (vaccinated, adequately tagged and castrated), as well as encouraging the dog guardians on responsibility for the purpose of reducing the number of abandoned dogs through education leaflets, jumbo billboards, media announcements and public events.
Two years ago Animal Friends Croatia prepared analyses of the Animal Protection Act implementation in 2020. The obtained data showed that, even though it is mandatory to continuously improve Law enforcement, there are, nevertheless, more and more good examples of local communities that (co)finance castrations and implement the control of dog microchipping by visiting the households, and more than half of them have prescribed the obligatory permanent sterilization. However, until today, the Istrian and the Požega-Slavonian Counties have not accepted the Program for Controlling Population of Abandoned Dogs.
That is why Animal Friends Croatia concludes that Zagreb too as well as other cities and municipalities can, through the Program of Population Control of Abandoned Dogs, stop this irresponsible individual behavior through the implementation of preventive measures. This would protect the animals and reduce the financial burden of local self-government units caused by irresponsible guardians.