10/28/14 A Letter to Marina Kolakovic, Deputy Mayor of Karlovac

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City of Karlovac
Attn. Mrs Marina Kolakovic, deputy mayor
Banjavciceva 9
47000 Karlovac

October 28, 2014

Dear Ms. Kolakovic,

We write to inform you of our own displeasure and shock at recent media statements which you have made. This, together with, your year-long failure in the City of Karlovac and Karlovac County to resolve the problem of a lack of transparency in the work and suspicions about; breaking the law regarding the care and housing of abandoned animals in the area of Karlovac County.

The City of Karlovac delegated the activities of the keeping and caring for dogs from the area of Karlovac County to the company CRPK d.o.o. from Karlovac through concession, which performs the tasks of catching and caring for abandoned dogs in the Utinja "shelter". Even though the City of Karlovac has been criticized for years about poor conditions in which dogs are kept and for not meeting legal provisions, your statements regarding recently published photographs from Utinja show ignorance and further disinterest of the City to do act upon it.

You have stated in the media that the City of Karlovac allocates a great amount of money for dogs, around a million kuna per year. Unfortunately, that money is not allocated to dogs, but rather, it is allocated as a result of the carelessness of the City of Karlovac in enforcing the Animal Protection Act. Dogs are victims of irresponsible citizens, and not themselves their own culprits which deserve punishment. In Articles 56 and 58, the Act stipulates that the units of local and regional government have the obligation of building and financing a shelter for abandoned animals; organizing an information centre for abandoned and lost animals and the obligation of encouraging the protection of animals and the education of citizens through developing the "consciousness of the public, especially young people, about animal protection." Therefore, your statement that it is not city's obligation, but the obligation of "animal lovers" association to raise the consciousness of citizens about responsible relationships towards companion animals and to find ways to house animals" is particularly inappropriate and ill-informed of you, as the deputy mayor of the City of Karlovac.

It is tragic that in the 21st century the City of Karlovac believes that the citizens and "animal lovers" associations should resolve the problem of caring for and housing animals, while the city's only responsibility, according to your statement is "to keep stray dogs from carrying various hazards to people, away from the streets." Unlike the bleak and over-embellished statements of those deemed 'responsible' including the representatives of the City of Karlovac, the citizens, instead, show caring humanism in action. The problem of animal abandonment does not become then the problem of compassionate individuals, but the solution for it by the entire community. Government and local institutions have the obligation to care for and house animals and educate citizens, and they should resolve the problem in a systematic way and in such a way so as not to wantonly hurt innocent animals which suffer as a result of the carelessness and irresponsibility of citizens.

The City of Karlovac has been financing a private company for years to perform the animal shelter activities and in turn, not questioning the frequent complaints made by citizens and animal protection associations. They warn that the company operates under suspicious circumstances, that its work is not transparent; that it does not meet the conditions prescribed by the law; that there is evidence documented by photographs on the poor condition of dogs in the "shelter" and on the violation of law. Transferring responsibility to veterinary inspection for allowing the work of the "shelter" does not then justify the indifference of the leaders of the City of Karlovac regarding this problem because they are accountable to citizens whose money they use to pay CRPK.

As regards the legitimacy of the above, we request you , kindly, to examine the provisions of the Animal Protection Act so that you may be fully informed of the obligations of the City, to then terminate the contract with the company CRPK . To thus remove those interested in callous profiteering and to then co-finance, in co-operation with other units of local government, a modern city shelter for abandoned animals in which dogs will not be killed after 60 days and which will operate, humanely, in accordance with the law.

It is in the interest of the City of Karlovac to direct that money to a properly-provisioned animal shelter until they are housed, instead of wasting taxpayers' money on years-long problematic co-operation with the company CRPK, which has been repeatedly and disreputably violating the laws and neglecting the well-being of animals for which it should care.

We are also inviting you to visit the Shelter for Abandoned Animals of the City of Zagreb in Dumovec so that you may see how a truly real animal shelter should look like and function - with organized programs of abandoned animals castration, citizens' educations, animal ads and their housing. We can introduce you to the shelter manager and the representatives of the City Office for Agriculture and Forestry, with which we co-operate as an organization and project managers of the Network Against Animal Abandoning.

By establishing its own shelter, the City of Karlovac, i.e. the Karlovac County would create transparent conditions for the activities of the shelter and enable the true care and housing of abandoned animals. Since the treatment of animals is a known symbol of civilization, civic progress and an established mutual and ethical level of awareness, we expect you and other responsible persons in the City of Karlovac to promptly resolve listed problems in the favour of animals and the citizens of Karlovac County, and in favour of the interest of individuals and companies to make wholesome profit.

We are at your disposal for full co-operation and assistance in law enforcement and shelter establishment.

Best regards,

Luka Oman
Animal Friends



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