Our member league Animal Friends Croatia was invited by the Mayor of the City of Zagreb Milan Bandić to a meeting on December 15, 2020 on finding a joint solutiont and suggest improvements in order to increase transparency in the Shelter for abandoned animals in Dumovec and inform the Municipality about several problems in many other shelters all across Croatia.

These suggestions have been recommended to guarantee a better welfare and protection of the animals hosted in the shelter.

The meeting was attended as a representative of Animal Friends Croatia by lawyer Ivana Lunka, who is also the coordinator of the Animal Protection Network, which consists of more than 50 animal protection associations from Croatia.

Suggestions from Animal Friends Croatia:

– Revision of the employment procedure with the inclusion of a check on the manner of treatment of dogs in the shelter before employment and a clear and publicly available procedure on the manner and conditions of employment of new persons (through, for example, a job vacancy).

– Create a section “Our team” on their website and put the names, photos, and descriptions of the duties of all employees so that volunteers and visitors know whom they are communicating with during the visit to the shelter.

– Provide additional powers for the management of the shelter towards employees in terms of the possibility of issuing warnings, including warnings before dismissal, for cases of inappropriate treatment of animals.

– Short course for all employees who are to sign the declaration of appropriate treatment of dogs.

– Renewal of the procedure for answering staff on the phone with greater emphasis on explaining situations such as the reasons for the impossibility of taking a dog to the shelter and kindness in communication.

– Introduction of video surveillance of dog care with the possibility of recording so that dogs can be seen at any time.

– Adopt a document, in accordance with the law, on non-killing of animals in the shelter.

– Renew the procedure for checking foster care conditions with an immediate response to reports of poor conditions with foster carers.

– Revision of all protocols and presentation to the public of all renewed procedures on the operation of the shelter and the manner of dealing with animals.

– Establishment of an independent commission whose members are not employees of the shelter in Dumovec, which would perform on a monthly or semi-annual basis the assessment and evaluation of the attitude of each employee towards animals and regular control, ie renewal of the assessment.

– Keeping records of complaints about the work of each employee so that at any time it is possible to check for which person there are frequent and repeated allegations and which are an indicator of inappropriate treatment of animals. This channel for complaints can be on the website of the shelter in Dumovec, without notifications reaching only the shelter but also certain persons and services in the system of the City of Zagreb that will be in charge of control.

– Introduction of one day a year when the media, volunteers, and citizens will be invited to inspect the entire shelter and meet all employees and volunteers of the shelter in order to make suggestions for improving the work of the shelter or report irregularities during the year or during the inspection. Such a day should be organized as an event of the Open Shelter Inspection type and that on that day all shelter employees with whom visitors can get acquainted should be present in the shelter and that the procedures and work of the shelter should be presented.

– Increase the availability and presence of volunteers in the shelter.