Animal Shelters and Associations in Croatia: Macke & Co in Split

By 16 June 2020

June 16, 2020 - How are animals coping in Croatia in the corona era, and who is looking after them? A new TCN series meets the volunteers behind the animal shelters and associations around Croatia. Today, TCN meets Macke & Co from Split.

There are hundreds of incredible shelters and associations in Croatia working tirelessly, with little to no support, to ensure no animal is left behind. In a new TCN series, we meet the people behind the animals. 

Today, TCN meets Donation Group Macke & Co from Split. 

"Everyone who has ever walked through Split has surely noticed the large cat population. The warm climate suits them and instead of once a year, cats have more litters throughout the year. So many cats, of course, cannot survive without the help of humans. And the best way to help them is castration. In this way, their uncontrolled reproduction is prevented, and the number of sick and trampled on the streets is reduced. The goal of this group is to help them in just that way. Castrated cats have their ear marked, either by a V-shaped mark, or the very tip of the ear is removed. The V mark is common in Split. We invite you to join us by participating in auctions, sharing albums, and adding new members," begins the Facebook group description of Macke & Co, which is led by Olivera Bibic Biocic, Silvija Kelam, Natalija Randelovic, among others. 

I was first introduced to Olivera after I feared one of the street cats hanging around my property would give birth to another litter of kittens. Of the last litter she had, I took in the one she abandoned, and the other two passed from an infection. I couldn't bear the thought of that happening again. 

Based on the recommendation of a friend, I got in touch with Olivera to see if she could come over with a trap to catch the mother cat so she could be taken to the vet to be sterilized. Without hesitation, Olivera was there the next day - and each day after until the cats on my property were finally caught, taken to the vet, sterilized, recovered, and brought back to my property. I have admired Olivera and the team behind Macke & Co ever since.  

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While Macke & Co is not technically an animal shelter, its leaders have taken in hundreds of sick cats who they've nursed back to health for life on the street, or ultimately found them homes in Croatia or abroad, mostly in Germany. 

"Since the beginning of the year, we have sterilized over 100 cats, cured dozens and put them back on the street, and we are trying to get the others adopted," said Olivera. 

But without nearly any support from the city or state, Macke & Co must find creative ways to stay afloat for the street cats of Split. 

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Thus, the group regularly hosts auctions on its Facebook page with items donated by its members. Thanks to those that bid, they're able to fund many sterilizations and operations, should cats require additional medical care. 

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Olivera and her core team each house dozens of cats, all of which are either ready for adoption or are recovering after time at the vet. 

The group is currently working on one Split habitat with over 30 cats who were regularly fed by the tenants, though only one had been sterilized. With the help of volunteers from the Sapama od Srce Association from Makarska, and with the financial support of German Association Fellnasen Stuttgart e.V., Macke & Co has already caught 22 for sterilizations! 

But this is just part of the Macke & Co story. 

If you're interested in getting involved in the auctions, would like to help foster or adopt, or simply just want to support Macke & Co in all of its endeavors to rehabilitate and sterilize the street cats of Split, be sure to join their Facebook group.

And if you're in Split? A bake sale will be held on Sunday, June 21, at Trogirska 8, from 10 am to 6 pm, where all proceeds from the baked goods bought will go directly to helping Macke & Co finance sterilizations! 


Do you have an animal shelter or association in Croatia and want to share your story? Get in touch at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

To read more about lifestyle in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.