5 Croatian Animal Shelters to Volunteer At or Donate to

Lauren Simmonds

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croatian animal shelters

October the 2nd, 2023 – If you’re an animal lover and you’re looking to give back to the less fortunate furry, feathered or scaly friends among us, why not volunteer your time at one of the many Croatian animal shelters?

While Croatia’s animal protection laws have improved a lot since EU accession back in July 2013, things still aren’t up to standard. Lax laws on purchasing animals, punishments which don’t fit the crime for animal abuse and many who see animals (such as hunting hounds) as mere tools instead of companions, still cause huge issues for law enforcement.

Luckily, there are many Croatian animal shelters who selflessly give their efforts to those without a voice, and you can be their voice as well. Here are five Croatian animal shelters located in different regions of the country that would value your time and altruism – as would their (hopefully temporary) residents waiting to be adopted.

All of the Croatian animal shelters featured in this article are NO KILL establishments.

Dumovec animal shelter – Zagreb

Dumovec takes in all kinds of creatures (even sick and injured owls that are handed in by bus drivers). Naturally, the most populous residents are dogs and cats who have been abandoned, or simply born needlessly due to the lack of a tendency to spay and neuter adult animals.

Whether it’s walking the resident dogs, feeding and playing with the resident cats or helping the youngest puppies and kittens to learn to properly socialise with their peers and others – Dumovec will be a more than rewarding place to volunteer for anyone who loves animals. Who wouldn’t want to partake in a promotional campaign to see a cat or dog’s bad luck turned around and get them placed in a forever home?

Dumovec is open to volunteers from anywhere and everywhere as long as they’re over the age of fifteen. They’ll even do the leg work for you and provide you with the documents you’ll need to apply for residence in Croatia through a volunteering contract if you plan to volunteer long term (over ninety days).

You can contact Dumovec to find out more and how you can help by emailing them in Croatian or English.

Bestie – Split

Dalmatia is home to countless stray cats who keep on producing countless stray kittens. Instead of simply spaying and neutering cats, the sad fact is that many try to “control” the population of street cats by poisoning them. Kittens are born into less than perfect circumstances, often to unwell mothers, and many don’t see their first birthdays. The streets of Dalmatia, while picturesque, are often a very cruel reality for local cats born into sheer bad luck.

Thanks to Croatian animal shelters like Bestie, cats and dogs who have fallen on desperate circumstances have a place that provides shelter, food, medical care and love while they wait for better days. You can donate to Bestie by clicking here.

If you’re not in a position to help financially, Bestie always needs dog leashes, cat litter, vitamins for cats and dogs, dog and cat food, collars, leashes and harnesses, anti-parasitics, all kinds of medicine, toys and cleaning/disinfection products.

Zarkovica dog shelter – Dubrovnik

Located away from the crowds (and the money) of glamorous Dubrovnik up Bosanka hill sits Zarkovica dog shelter. The powers that be in Dubrovnik have always liked to keep the harsh reality of animals in need of care away from the tourists and, in some cases, the illusion. The cats and dogs who need love and attention are held away from the people who would gladly give it to them. It seems that things have finally changed, with the Project Adopt Zarkovica Dogs now having full City of Dubrovnik backing and the support of the international Network for Animals organisation.

Zarkovica, run selflessly by Sandra Sambrailo for many years, has struggled financially and in every other way for a long time. Zarkovica always welcomes volunteers and donations of money, food, cleaning products, animal medicine, blankets and more. The only thing that could make time spent in magical Dubrovnik even better is taking home a local abandoned animal.

You can view the animals up for adoption, see the dogs and cats who were lucky to find loving homes, donate and offer your services as a volunteer by clicking here.

Snoopy dog shelter – Pula

Snoopy is the temporary home of abandoned dogs from all over the Istrian Peninsula. You can donate financially, or you can provide medicines, dog collars, harnesses, leashes, bowls, food, anti-parasitics, blankets and more. You can also volunteer your time at Snoopy, walking the dogs, helping to socialise them with people and other animals, and helping to have them adopted into loving forever homes.

Find out how to donate, help out, volunteer or even adopt a new best friend of your own from Snoopy by clicking here.

Prijatelji (Friends) animal shelter – Cakovec

Cakovec is situated in continental Croatia not too far from the Hungarian border. This shelter is full of animals who have fallen on hard times. You can volunteer your time, money or material goods by clicking here.


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