Tuesday, 24 May 2022

Construction of Quality Dubrovnik Animal Shelter 1 Step Closer to Reality

May the 24th, 2022 - The future Dubrovnik animal shelter, which is desperately needed and which would, at least theoretically, become one of the most modern in all of Europe, is one step closer to having boots put on the ground.

As Morski writes, the e-conference in the regular procedure for issuing a construction permit for the would-be new Dubrovnik animal shelter has now been completed, during which there were no objections from the invited public bodies, thus successfully completing this necessary step.

After the expiration of the legal deadline in which the parties to the proceedings are heard, a building permit will be issued, which will fulfill the last precondition for the construction of the Dubrovnik animal shelter. The move will come as an extremely welcome move following Sandra Sambrailo and company's tireless and selfless work at the current makeshift Zarkovica animal shelter, for which very little support has ever been provided from Croatia's extremely rich southernmost city.

For the realisation of the project of the Dubrovnik city shelter for animals, the adoption of the Amendments to the Spatial Plan of the City of Dubrovnik previously included a new location of the future city shelter, which removed a basic but problematic administrative barrier. The project has now been improved in terms of energy efficiency and sustainability with the completing of the project documentation, which has been fully prepared in accordance with reference regulations, laws and the guidelines of international animal protection associations.

The up and coming Dubrovnik animal shelter will receive electricity from solar energy, which, they say, will significantly contribute when applying for the project's financing with European Union (EU) funds.

The future complex will be located in the Grabovica area, spanning an area of ​​12,000 square metres, and it will be one of the largest facilities of its kind in Europe managed by a local government unit. It will have a maximum accommodation capacity for 352 animals in a total of 12 pavilions. It will consist of a central building with facilities for staff, visitors and employees, a veterinary/medical service area and other service facilities, and a pavilion area with associated open spaces for the accommodation and recreation of resident animals.

For more, make sure to check out our dedicated lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 11 August 2021

Hungarian Tourist Kills Innocent Skradin Swan After Jumping From Yacht

August the 11th, 2021 - One horrific event involving a Hungarian tourist and an innocent Skradin swan has caught the attention of many, and the police have been involved in the sad matter.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes, on the afternoon of the 8th of August at around 17:00, right in front of the waterfront in beautiful Skradin, a foreign national jumped straight from the top of the yacht and directly down onto a passing swan.

''It was all happening right in front of my eyes. And it wasn't just me who saw it, there were about 20 other people who found themselves on the waterfront and saw it all happen. I immediately called the police, who arrived very quickly and it was clear that they took this act extremely seriously,'' said a witness to this disgusting event in conversation with local portal SibenikIN, who wished to remain anonymous.

According to him, in order to entertain those present on the vessel, the man jumped from a height of six to seven metres from the yacht, straight onto the innocent Skradin swan who was passing by at the time and killed him.

''The man from the yacht, a foreigner, as if it were all just a joke, jumped from the top of the boat straight down onto the swan. The children on the ship were laughing, and his present friend was filming it all on his phone, it was hilarious to them. After that jump, the swan struggled for a few more minutes, couldn't lift its neck up again and eventually died,'' says a reader who is still distraught by the whole horrendous event.

''Another foreigner shouted at him from the waterfront that he was crazy and asked him what on Earth he thought he was doing, and I said the same thing and I still haven't recovered from the shock of seeing this. I heard people from the yacht say the swan came to his senses and carried on. This morning I received information that the police are in possession of footage in which they are taking the Skradin swan's away corpse by dinghy. This must not go unpunished and they can't get away with their lies that the swan was okay and went away, because all of us who were present saw exactly what happened,'' said the horrified reader.

Sibenik police spokesman Sime Pavic told SibenikIN that the criminal investigation into the incident had been completed.

''The Sibenik-Knin Police Department received a report at around 18:00 on August the 8th, and when we went out into field, we found out that a Hungarian citizen had jumped from an anchored boat down onto a Skradin swan. Subsequently, a dead swan was found in the evening, and all the measures and actions carried out (interviews, inspections, etc.) didn't reveal that the unfortunate animal had been jumped on on purpose. In coordination with the competent state attorney's office, it was determined that there are no elements of a criminal offense, it was an accident, and a special report on the matter will be forwarded to the state attorney's office,'' said Pavic.

The police spokesman also confirmed that it was a swan involved and that is a protected species, but after a criminal investigation, it was determined that there were no elements of a criminal offense.

Otherwise, such an act woud result in a fine of over 9000 kuna.

For more, follow our lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 19 May 2021

Youth for Stray Dogs Project Talks About Current Animal Rights and Welfare in Croatia

May 19, 2021 - What to do when you see an animal being abused or abandoned? Who do you call? Learn the answers and find out more about current animal rights and welfare in Croatia, what we can do to improve it and get inspired to do volunteer work in this interview with Luana Matošević, the project coordinator of Udruga Prizma whose idea launched the project Youth for Stray Dogs held in Zadar just a week ago!



Photo credit: Udruga Prizma


Luana Matosevic and Udruga Prizma's Creation of the Project 

What was the inspiration behind this project? 

Before moving to Croatia from Switzerland, I'd never seen a stray dog. When I arrived here in Zadar, me and my boyfriend found a puppy in a carton box on a road and this pushed me to start writing a project for young people on the subject of strays. Also, in the Erasmus Plus programme, there are still not many projects/youth exchanges related specifically to the protection of animals and raising awareness of their rights, and in my opinion, it is time to increase their presence. After that, the collaboration for the drafting of the project also began with other animal lovers, including the president of the Prizma association, Silvestar Petrov, and our partners from Serbia - SFERA Serbia and Ljubitelji životinja i prirode Zelene šape and from Greece - NGO Youth Active Minds

How did the situation with COVID-19 affect the creation of this project? Was it difficult to get participants? 

Yes, it affected it, because it became more complex at an organisational level: prevention measures against the spread of the virus must be taken into account (and therefore we need to avoid gatherings, try to do as many activities as we can outdoors and hope for sunny weather, find open structures for accommodation, etc.), tests must be organised before and after the trips of the participants, while always trying to stay within the project's budget. In addition, several  participants had to be changed due fear of travel or contracting the infection a few days before departure. As a result, finding participants was also more difficult than usual. But I can say that once the project started, they were all very happy to have chosen to participate and went beyond any fear of the pandemic. In addition, everybody tested negative for the novel virus at the end of the youth exchange! 

How important are the youth in the development of a better and more empathic community? How important is volunteering? 

We think that in order to contribute to solve the problem of strays (in general, I'm talking about animal rights), it's more efficient to prevent the causes and therefore inform and make future owners of animals aware about how to be a responsible owner. Young people are also full of desire to do things and make changes, they put their hearts into what they do and in this way, they're also able to motivate the less stimulated youngsters. Volunteering actions benefit the community, but they also benefit individuals on a personal level. People who volunteer, especially if they have economic/cultural/social obstacles, have the opportunity to feel part of a group, to feel useful and active in society, to take initiatives. And then it certainly increases the sensitivity of those who do it and this is never a bad thing. It is important on all levels and is also a way to learn new things in a non formal way.

About Animal Welfare 

With regard to responsible ownership:

What are the most common reasons why people abandon their dogs? 

  • Unwanted pregnancies (due to the absence of control of the dog outside the home, the absence of sterilisation and awareness campaigns on the subject)
  • Families which rush to get a puppy without being informed about what it means to take care of an animal (the dog becomes too big, too expensive, too big of a commitment) 
  • A dog is seen as something to be used (for hunting, for competitions, for fighting) and then when it is no longer in the best condition, it is no longer needed 
  • Dogs with complex behaviours that the owner doesn't know how to manage (and there is also lack of qualified dog trainers) 
  • The owner moves/has children/doesn’t have time for the dog anymore, or experiences economic issues

What are the things that people need to consider before getting a pet? 

  • Having a pet is a responsibility as it is a sentient living being that needs care, space, socialisation and movement for many years. 
  • It is useful to be informed about which breed you want to adopt - depending on the lifestyle you have. Not all breeds, for example, are optimal for families with children or for elderly people. 
  • Neutering, microchipping and vaccinating pets is important! 
  • In the case of dogs, especially for some breeds, training is important by using positive reinforcement (treats, playtime, pets, verbal rewards) 
  • It is certainly a daily commitment, but the love that the animal gives back is priceless. Furthermore, the benefits of having an animal are many: having a pet decreases stress neurotransmitters (epinephrine and norepinephrine), is an anti-depressant and helps us to stay active (and as such, we reduce the chances of developing numerous cardiovascular diseases). 

Volunteering, Animal Rights and Adoptions 

For all those who are interested in helping and volunteering in the shelters, what are the things animal shelters need most? 

Dog walkers, dog groomers, the cleaning out of their boxes, doing maintenance activities on the structure, adoptions and donations! 

What can we do and who can we contact when we see an abandoned and abused animal?

Here in Croatia, if the dog has an owner/it is in a private place: ask for a local vet inspection from the vet inspector of the city. If he doesn’t do anything, contact the regional veterinary inspection office. If the office doesn’t react, you can contact the office responsible for veterinary inspections at the Ministry of Agriculture. (Useful Source: https://prijatelji-zivotinja.hr/index.en.php?id=1547). 

If the dog is in a public place:

  • Try to find out if the dog has an owner (check the collar)
  • Bring the animal to a local vet and ask for the microchip to be read
  • If the animal doesn’t have a microchip, contact a local non-profit animal welfare organisation, or the municipality (depending on the city). 

Other good things to do: 

  • Try to find out information about the animal in the neighbourhood by asking around and by posting photos on social media 
  • Provide care, water and food for the animal 
  • Try to find a temporary or permanent home for the animal  
  • Call the police (and if the news goes public the police tend to react more quickly) 

What is the law regarding keeping your dog chained permanently outside the house in Croatia? 

From this year on “Prijatelji Zivotinja” and other members of the Animal Protection Network are calling for an urgent amendment to the existing Animal Protection Act by introducing a complete ban on keeping dogs chained. There is no law in the Animal Act that which prohibits keeping dogs on a chain, only general sentences that say:

Animal Protection Act, Part 1, Article 5.16 “It is prohibited to neglect an animal in terms  of its health, housing, nutrition, and care”

Animal Protection Act, Part 1, Article 5.19 “It is prohibited to restrict the movement of animals in a way that causes them pain, suffering, injury or fear, in contravention of the provisions of  this Act” 

About Udruga Prizma 

How many members does Udruga Prizma currently have? 


Are there any activities and projects you want to promote? 

We're doing a regional project called Generator Kulture which is for young people from Benkovac and the surrounding small villages. The aim is to organise several activities and events for them, for giving the opportunity to youngsters with fewer opportunities (young people who live in remote places) to do something creative in their spare time. One example is the following - this summer we're going to repeat the workshop “Kamp Ilustracija”, where the participants will focus on storytelling and the art of illustration while staying in contact with nature during the camp week.


If interested in doing volunteer work, visit Udruga Prizma's site and Erasmus + Program and learn more about their upcoming and current projects.

If interested in adopting and doing volunteer work in an animal shelter, CLICK HERE.

For more lifestyle news in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Friday, 2 October 2020

Vukovar Student Becomes Croatia's First Animal Rights Lawyer

October 2, 2020 - Ivana Kramer from Vukovar became Croatia's first animal rights lawyer after graduating from the Faculty Of Law in Osijek

Ivana Kramer from Vukovar has become Croatia's first animal rights lawyer. She did so after graduating from the Faculty Of Law in Osijek, having received her diploma on September 23. The Faculty Of Law in Osijek is the only one in Croatia that has an elective course in animal rights.

In a recent interview with Vecernji List's Suzana Lepan Štefančić, Ivana explained that her desire to become Croatia's first animal rights lawyer stemmed from always having been around animals. “I have three dogs,” she said, in explaining her choice of the elective course in animal rights, “and my mother Željka adopts and helps abandoned animals.”

Some of the animals that Ivana's mum Željka looks after in Vukovar. Photos from the Facebook of Željka Kramer.

Ivana commuted to the Faculty Of Law in Osijek for five years in order to complete the course, choosing to stay living at home in Vukovar rather than move to the Slavonian capital. She says she would ideally like to stay in Vukovar to begin working in this field of law.

Her elective course in animal rights was undertaken in the final year of her studies and was the step that propelled her to the status of Croatia's first animal rights lawyer. During this final year, she researched the Animal Protection Act, which was implemented in 2017, with an emphasis on the situation in the Osijek-Baranja and Vukovar-Srijem counties. Her research included dog shelters in Vukovar and Osijek, where she occasionally volunteers.

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Tuesday, 18 June 2019

Police Determined to Find Cruel Owner of Donkey Abandoned on Ravan

Animal cruelty unfortunately knows no borders and no bounds. With countless disgusting acts towards animals carried out by humans on a daily basis across the whole world, it's our duty as decent humans to try to do the right thing and step in when we can. One cruel donkey owner obviously decided their donkey was no longer of any use to them, abandoning her on the island of Ravan in the Šibenik archipelago in the heat with no food or water.

It seems, however, thanks to the media and to the general public, that this poor donkey is going to enjoy a happy end to her unfortunate story written by heartless individuals.

As Morski writes on the 18th of June, 2019, ust nine hours after an article about a poor, abandoned donkey on the island of Ravan in the Šibenik archipelago was published, the police responded that they had launched a search of the cruel owner who abandoned the poor creature on Ravan, and the Tribunj Tourist Board have openly stated that they are more than willing to do everything in their power to save the life of the donkey, and take care of her themselves.

From the police administration of Šibenik-Knin County comes a notice stating:

''Regarding today's mail from you regarding the stranded donkey on the island of Ravan, we'd like to inform you that the police, based on the received mail, are conducting a police investigation in order to determine and locate the owner of the animal in question, and all other circumstances related to this event.''

Nikola Perkova from the Tribunj Tourist Board, a place known for its care for the donkeys, was also contacted:

"We have a donkey farm and it's possible for us to accommodate her, but I'm worried about the legal status of going and taking this unfortunate animal awat from the island, since we don't know if there's an owner who might react.''

However, if the police manages to establish the criminal responsibility of the owner who abandoned the poor animal on Ravan without any food or water, they could insist, under Article 205, paragraph 1 of the Criminal Code, punish the wrongdoer with imprisonment for up to one year.

''Here with us in Tribuj there are donkeys from that island and from the island of Logorun, and if necessary, we'll make sure that this donkey, who seems to me to be pregnant, is saved from the torture of this heat,'' Perkov promised.

Meanwhile, a reader of the Morski portal who initially discovered the abandoned and possibly pregnant donkey stated:

''The animal is very sweet. She immediately approaches people and she asks for help. During the first meeting and before we were even anchored, she came down to the shore and began to call out to us. After we had fed her and gave her some bread and fruit, and went back to the ship, she followed us and tried to wade into the sea calling out to us sadly again. I can't stand to do nothing now, I'm going from Vodice out to the island again. I'll cut out a 25 litre canister to give her water, and bring her carrots and something else to eat. Thanks to all for the measures taken,'' said the obviously upset reader.

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