Croatian Town Enforces Sterilisation of Cats and Dogs

Lauren Simmonds

New, responsible rules for pet owners in Karlovac.

There are a great many places which suffer from the somewhat ”relaxed” attitude towards pets in Croatia. Dubrovnik is among the most talked about with its eternal problem with the charming yet overpopulated stray cats, and the never-ending issue of the Zarkovica dog shelter.

For years, there have been talks about forcing pet owners to be responsible and have their pets sterilised, or coming up with a more affordable or subsidised program for the spaying and neutering of both pets and stray animals, but until now, nothing has really come to fruition, sadly turning two cats or two dogs into hundreds in no time at all, with diseases, infections, and parasites such as fleas, earmites and worms quickly following suit.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of April, 2018, the aim of this move is to gradually reduce the number of stray dogs in the Karlovac area, as an alarming number of dogs, more specifically 489 of them, were transported to the animal shelter just last year alone, of which 264 were puppies and young dogs. Around one million kuna is being spent annually on the unfortunate animals living at the shelter.

On Friday, Karlovac City Council adopted a decision on pets, abandoned/stray or lost animals. There will now be an enforced obligation for animal owners to sterilise (neuter or spay) their pets.

Numerous comments, 32 to be more precise, were received on the topic of this decision on pets and abandoned/stray animals through public consultation, and all of them, much like the remarks by the councilors, referred to the drastic proposal of the “mandatory sterilisation of pets”. Some asked for the article to be removed, others believed it to be the responsible thing to do.

According to a majority of the votes accepted, in the future, all the owners of dogs and cats from Karlovac will be obliged to spay and neuter their animals, and those who refuse to sterilise will have to submit a report on their cat or dog to the city administration in order for the appropriate controls to be carried out.


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