IF YOU FIND A LOST/ABANDONED ANIMAL:
If the animal’s life is not in imminent danger, call the municipal monitor responsible for the area where you are located. If problems arise, you can contact the veterinary inspection service in Šibenik on 022 488 278 during office hours, every day except on weekends. They will provide you with information on further procedure.
Under the title “Protection of Abandoned and Lost Animals,” part nine (Art. 62) of the Animal Protection Act (NN 102/17, 32/19 in force since 01/04/2019) prescribes the following:
(1) The tasks of collecting abandoned or lost animals are organised and financed by the local self-government units.
(2) At least one shelter must be established in the territory of each regional self-government unit, with a minimum capacity for 50 animals.
(3) All local self-government units are obliged to participate in the financing of the establishment and operation of the shelter from paragraph 2 of this Article.
(4) A local self-government unit may conclude a contract on the collection and care of abandoned or lost animals with a shelter established by the person from Article 61, paragraph 1 of this Act, which is situated within the territory of the regional self-government unit including the local self-government unit.
(5) The manner of handling abandoned or lost animals is prescribed by general acts of the representative bodies of the local self-government unit.
(6) Local self-government units may prescribe permanent sterilization as a compulsory manner of reproduction control.
Wondering why we sometimes resist putting animals that have been found into the local self-government shelters mentioned above (in the case of Šibenik, into As Eko)?
The mentioned shelter houses a very large number of dogs that are all kept together, in caged areas where the rule of the strongest sometimes prevails. Weak and injured dogs sometimes do not fare well in that environment and it is easy for puppies to pick up a disease. This is why we try to keep those vulnerable groups out of shelters and instead try to find them a temporary foster home where they can receive intensive care and socialization until they find their forever homes.
IF YOU FIND AN INJURED ANIMAL:
Help the animal or make sure that it gets help. Call the municipal monitor responsible for the area where you are located. If problems arise, you can contact the veterinary inspection service in Šibenik on 022 488 278 during office hours, every day except on weekends. They will provide you with information on further procedure.
Under the title “Fundamental Provisions on Animal Protection,” part two (Art. 7) of the Animal Protection Act (NN 102/17, 32/19 in force since 01/04/2019) prescribes an obligation to provide assistance to animals:
(1) Any person who injures an animal must render the necessary assistance to the animal, and if they are unable to assist, must arrange for assistance to be provided.
(2) If it is not possible to determine who injured the animal, the provision of the necessary assistance to the animal must be organised and financed by the local self-government unit in whose territory the animal was injured.
(3) If the owner of the injured animal is ascertained, the costs from paragraph 2 of this Article shall be borne by the owner.
IF YOU WITNESS ANIMAL ABUSE:
If you witness an animal being neglected and kept in bad conditions on someone else’s property (i.e. in the case of human-owned animals), you cannot act alone in order to save it. Call the municipal monitor responsible for the area where you are located. If the animal’s life is in imminent danger, call the police - 112 or 192. Don't wait, make the call right away and report the owner anonymously! Under the new Animal Protection Act passed on 1 April 2019, municipal monitors will take over the control of the keeping conditions of dogs, which means it will not be allowed for dogs to be kept in caged areas or on a chain for extended periods of time without the ability to move freely. The full text of the Act can be read here.
If you witness similar treatment of animals (i.e. harassment, abuse, beating, killing, inadequate keeping conditions) in a public place, you should also contact the police. Animal abuse, torture, and neglect are considered acriminal offence. The law is very clear on that and it is covered in Article 205 of the Penal Code (NN 125/11, 144/12, 56/15, 61/15, 101/17, 118/18 in force since 01/04/2019), which prescribes the criminal offence of “killing or torturing animals.”
The aforementioned Article clearly states:
(1) Whoever kills an animal without justifiable cause or severely abuses it, inflicts unnecessary pain on it, or exposes it to unnecessary suffering, will be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.
(2) Whoever commits the criminal offense referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article out of self-interest will be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding two years.
(3) Whoever withholds food or water from an animal out of negligence or otherwise exposes it to distress for an extended period of time will be punished by imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.
(4) The animal referred to in this Article will be taken away.
It should also be noted that police officers are required to respond to every report of abuse, torture, or another kind of ill-treatment of animals given by citizens, as well as to determine all of the relevant facts necessary for filing a misdemeanor or criminal complaint. Citizens can report these kinds of cases by calling 112 or 192 or directly through MOL’s app MOL - Safety and Trust.