07/11/23 Inspection Unconcerned by Long History of Dirty Shelter, and its Sick and Unspayed Dogs
Animal Friends Croatia submit a detailed complaint against animal shelter in Beli Manastir
- Female dog attacked by a pack of dogs is only one in the line of many incidents that have taken place at the notorious animal shelter since 2011
Following last month’s incident in which a pack of dogs attacked a female dog at the Beli Manastir Veterinary Clinic Animal Shelter, Animal Friends Croatia filed a complaint against the notorious shelter. “Citizens are shocked by the fact that the dogs were allowed to live in a pack at the shelter unsupervised, and we would not even know about the poor female that was torn apart by the pack and probably died as a result, if the attack had not been witnessed by a concerned citizen who raised the alarm and called the relevant services. The latest complaint includes a host of irregularities, as well as many examples of dogs’ poor health and living conditions witnessed at the shelter over the past decade,” said Snježana Klopotan Kačavenda, Project Coordinator at Animal Friends Croatia.
The detailed complaint submission, available at www.prijatelji-zivotinja.hr, lists a long history of illegal actions by the shelter. Since 2011, the dog pound within the Beli Manastir Veterinary Clinic at the time has witnessed horrendous, irregular, and highly unsanitary dog-keeping conditions. Since then, numerous complaints and witness statements quoted unbearable odour at the “shelter”, highly disturbing both for the nose and the eyes; dogs lying in their excrement and urine because of lacking water escape, sparse cleaning routines; filthy water bowls filled with dog hair; numerous dogs visibly sick, dying as a result of fights, various viruses and illnesses; no advertising for animal adoption while banning volunteers from taking photos; no medical or flea treatment for dogs, no microchipping, vaccination or spaying.
In 2018, the public was shocked by a gruesome video of a dog eating a dead dog in the shelter. Unlike the local veterinary inspection in charge that ignored the evident neglect of animal welfare for years, the Zagreb veterinary inspection attended and banned further dog reception, conducted a detailed survey of the shelter operations and confirmed the claims previously made by volunteers. Among the numerous irregularities, the Zagreb inspection established that the dirty shelter hosts too many dogs; the dog isolation space is used for permanent accommodation; dogs are not vaccinated for rabies, micro-chipped, spayed, or treated for parasites; dogs showing aggression to each other are kept together… The inspection ordered the rehoming of dogs “as a matter of urgency” and submitted a proposed complaint against the Beli Manastir Veterinary Clinic and the person in charge.
The shelter was temporarily closed, while residents in nearby buildings signed petitions to have the shelter moved to another location due to no sound and visual isolation, however, without success. Animal Friends Croatia filed another complaint against the shelter in 2019. The veterinary inspection established that the rehoming procedure of one dog was not carried out following regulations “which resulted in consequent administrative measures.” The latest complaint by Animal Friends Croatia informs the veterinary inspection that the Single Information Centre for Abandoned and Lost Pets in Beli Manastir Shelter records show evident breaches of statutory regulations. Even though the shelter has signed an agreement with about forty cities and municipalities, the last dog was registered on May 20, while admitting only two dogs in April, one of the many absurdities found. Most dogs that the shelter is offering for rehoming have not been spayed, even a dog that has been at the shelter since 2019.
“It is worrying that, despite numerous complaint submissions, the measures imposed by the veterinary inspection so far have not ensured the safety and adequate care for dogs at the shelter. The public perception of the shelter is that of an illegally operating dog pound, harming animals. We, therefore, find it necessary for the veterinary inspection to carry out thorough monthly supervision of the Beli Manastir Veterinary Clinic Animal Shelter and to continue monitoring the operation of the shelter in accordance with the statutory regulations, which, at the moment, is not the case,” says Snježana Klopotan Kačavenda.
The veterinary inspection stated it had carried out a check at the shelter “following a disturbing video shared on social media” and that it would initiate criminal procedure against the responsible persons at the shelter. However, a close review of the frequent illegal actions and endangerment of abandoned animals left in their care, financed by substantial local self-government subsidies, shows a long continuum of poor practices at the Beli Manastir shelter. Therefore, Animal Friends Croatia demands that the Zagreb veterinary inspection be included in the close monitoring of the work of the shelter in accordance with the Animal Protection Act and the Book of Regulations on Conditions for Animal Shelters. Although Animal Friends Croatia requested the veterinary inspection to conduct a revision of all animal shelters in Croatia back in 2020, this has, unfortunately, not materialised yet.