Motovun Municipality Sets Animal Welfare Example to Rest of Croatia

Lauren Simmonds

July the 20th, 2019 – When it comes to animal welfare, it’s an understatement to say that there is a lot to be desired for in Croatia when speaking in general terms. Of course, on an individual level the care tends to be good, bar a few cruel and disgusting acts which unfortunately take place all over the world. The state’s initiatives for animal welfare however, are desperately lacking.

One of the charms of the Croatian coast are its many, many cats wandering around the stone streets in search of a dropped fish or a bit of meat from under a restaurant table. While some find the presence of so many (often loud) street cats a bit off-putting, most people find that multicoloured cats, sometimes with a missing ear or eye, searching for scraps among the array of legs to be sweet.

Dubrovnik, where the cat colonies reign strong, is one of Croatia’s problem cities when it comes to the care of these animals. Instead of introducing a capture, sterilise and release program funded either by the local government or indeed possibly through the EU, Dubrovnik chooses to completely ignore the increasing issue of too many feral cats wandering the streets, breeding not only among themselves but in turn breeding parasites and potentially dangerous diseases.

Cruel individuals tend to try to ”fix” this problem by placing poison down, resulting in a slow and absolutely agonising death for the animal that has eaten it, as well as for any animal which then comes to eat its body.

The famous makeshift animal shelter located on the top of Bosanka, Žarkovica, run by the tireless animal lover Sandra Sambrailo and receiving no support from the city is just another shame of Dubrovnik which it has tried to push further and further away from the glitz and the glam of the centre of town, as if exporting its problem out towards the border with Bosnia, so as to have as little to do with it as possible.

This ugly side of Dubrovnik isn’t seen by many, and that is, just as with many other Croatian tourist destinations – just how they like it.

Fortunately, unlike the City of Dubrovnik and its continually neglectful, shameful policy towards its stray animals, a municipality in Central Istria with much less international popularity has taken charge in caring for its stray cats. 

The Motovun Municipality writes on its Facebook page:

”In cooperation with activists, the vet hospital and the Motovun park communal company, the Motovun Municipality is taking care of stray cats. The cats are regularly sterilised/castrated, and a few days ago, the Motovun Municipality also received two wonderful new cat feeding stations.

The feeding stations consist of a covered area for food and water, and in the extension, there is a separate space in the form of a box where the animals can escape from the cold and rain.

The feeding stations are located beneath the first city gates, and below the kindergarten. The aim is to provide the animals with a safe and quiet feeding and living space to try to keep as many cats as possible away from the city squares and off the streets, as well as from the terraces of hospitality facilities.

We’d like to thank Radijal K Izrada Stolarije carpentry, who made and donated the feeding stations for the cats, we’d like to thank activists for caring for the animals and for their cooperation, we’d also like thank the vet hospital in Poreč for its excellent cooperation and professional work, suggestions and assistance, and the utility company Motovun park d.o.o. which transported the new feeding stations here to Motovun and set them up at their foreseen locations.

The Municipality of Motovun is a pet friendly destination!”

Bravo, Motovun!

Follow our dedicated lifestyle page for more information on animal welfare in Croatia, how you can help, and much more.


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