Dog safety

Published in About Animals

Lost or abandoned? It's all too easy for a dog to get lost, often much harder to find it.

Puppe the wanderer reunited with Paula. Puppe the wanderer reunited with Paula. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

Croatia may be overburdened with far too many laws. Some of them could be ditched amid sighs of relief or even cheers. Two spring to mind very quickly. One: car windows must be shut when the car is empty. Shouldn't the owner be allowed to choose whether to let some air in when the sun is baking, even at the risk of thieves taking advantage? It's surely a personal risk that doesn't require State intervention. Two: dogs are not allowed in cafes and restaurants, even in outside areas. Why can't the cafe or restaurant owner decide whether animals are allowed in public areas which don't threaten hygienic service? The 'logic' that a dog hair might get into someone's coffee is too silly - it must surely be easier for human hair to fall down into a cup than for dog hair to jump up to it?

Old-style vaccination label. Photo; Vivian Grisogono

Yet, without wishing to add extra burdens to the legislation, we feel there is - perhaps - a law missing. Dog owners are not obliged to provide their pets with collars or identifying tags. In the United Kingdom, by law a dog must have a collar with a label giving the name of the owner and a contact telephone number. The dog's name should not be included, on the grounds that knowing the dog's name would make it easier for a thief to befriend and abduct it. In Croatia, not so long ago, dogs carried a special tag showing they were vaccinated, which was at least a sign that they belonged to responsible owners. Now, dogs have to be micro-chipped. It is a good system which provides a source of information on dogs and owners nationwide. The downside is that to identify an owner the chip has to be read by a veterinarian. On Hvar, the only veterinary surgery is on the outskirts of Stari Grad, on the road leading towards Rudine.

Puppe, found wandering in the road in Vitarnja, reunited with owner Paula after the vet read his micro-chip. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

What if your dog goes missing?

In the early summer of 2016 there have been several cases of dogs going missing from their owners. In two instances, the lost dogs had no collars. This complicates the situation. It creates the impression that the dog might have been abandoned by its owner - something which, sadly, is done at times, whether by local people or visitors to the island. A collar-less dog is harder for someone to take in hand, whether to remove the dog from dangerous situations or to take it to the veterinarian to see if it is micro-chipped.

Collar and tag: vital safeguards. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

When a dog is newly arrived on the island for a holiday with its owners, there is of course little chance of it finding its way back to them when it has wandered far enough away. Once the dog is lost, the owner should put out an appeal flyer with pictures and a contact phone number, so that anyone who sees the dog can let them know where it is. There are public notice boards in Hvar's towns and villages, and the local tourist boards will also willingly post such flyers on their boards. Some hotel, cafe and restaurant owners and workers are animal lovers who will take the trouble to publicize details of the missing pet. Of course, the veterinary surgery should be notified and given a flyer.

What if you find a lost dog?

If you are worried about a dog which is roaming around, there are several factors to bear in mind. If the dog looks well fed, it probably has an owner, especially if it has a collar. If it is skin and bones, and has no collar, it probably doesn't. If it is a hunting dog and is out barking in the fields or woodlands, it may have been let out by its owner and got lost or distracted after a training run. Local dogs who have good homes generally find their way home after a while. It is often worth asking local people if they know anything about the roaming dog. Sometimes you will get a reassuring answer.

If you are seriously worried, you can contact the local veterinarian. Many people contact Eco Hvar, and we do our best to help. There is a law against allowing dogs to roam freely in towns and villages, but there is no regular system for rounding up strays on the island. If you can take the dog to the vet to check for a micro-chip, so much the better. However, if it has no micro-chip, the question arises as to what happens next, as the vets are not registered for taking in strays.

Abandoned dogs

Every year, dogs are abandoned on Hvar, big or small, puppies or adults, hunting dogs or (former) pets. On an individual basis, I have saved as many dogs as I could, and have mourned many more which I coukldn't help. In the absence of an official system for dealing humanely and efficiently with stray animals, I have become the 'go-to' person when people want to help these poor creatures, while sometimes those who want to dump a dog or cat leave them 'conveniently' near my home. The Town Warden came to inspect my dogs a few years ago, summoned by a dog-hating neighbour. Having found everything in order according to the relevant laws, he called me a week or two later to ask me to take in a stray which was wandering around Jelsa. Similarly, the local vets have been known to direct stray dogs in my direction. Eco Hvar was formed to try to provide a solution to the problem.

Dr. Vesna Filipović with Lina, abandoned on Hvar as a puppy in April 2015. Photo: Vivian Grisogono

The situation has been much improved with the opening of the No-Kill Animal Shelter 'Animalis Centrum in Kaštel Sučurac just outside Split, founded and run by veterinarian Dr. Vesna Filipović. Now, we have established a working system through which dogs abandoned on Hvar can be cared for here until there is space in the Kaštela Shelter. From the Shelter, they have a good chance of finding homes on the mainland or abroad, especially in Germany, thanks to an excellent working relationship with some German animal welfare charities. When the dogs are homed, photographs are sent to the Shelter showing their new conditions.

Lina, originally from Vrbanj on Hvar, finds love in her new home in Germany, June 2016

Finances

Caring for unwanted animals costs money, for food, micro-chipping, inoculations, sterilizations, anti-parasitic treatments and any incidental medical expenses. Both Eco Hvar and Animalis Centrum depend primarily on donations. Our two voluntary organizations are now working very closely together to create more capacity for helping unwanted animals in our region. Contributions are warmly welcomed!

© Vivian Grisogono 2016

Veterinary Surgery Stari Grad: telephone 00 385 (0) 21 880022

Zaklada za Zaštitu Životinja (Animal Protection Foundation, umbrella for the Animalis Centrum Shelter), OIB 05786330179.

     Donations: Splitskabanka  IBAN: HR9324070001100371229; SWIFT VHR2X

     Account name: ZAKLADA ZA ZAŠTITU ZIVOTINJA

     Address of account holder: Kukuljevićeva 1, 21000 Split, Croatia

Eco Hvar details for donations: Privredna Banka Zagreb, IBAN: HR37 2340 0091 1106 0678 6; SWIFT CODE: PBZGHR2X

     Account name: ECO HVAR

    Address of account holder: Pitve 93, 21465 Jelsa, Croatia

 

You are here: Home about animals Dog safety

Eco Environment News feeds

  • The leader of the 2015 Paris accord talks about her new book, The Future We Choose, and why it’s crunch time for humanity

    • ‘The only uncertainty is how long we’ll last’: the worst case scenario for 2050
    • ‘Air is cleaner than before the Industrial Revolution’: the best case scenario for 2050

    Christiana Figueres is a founder of the Global Optimism group and was head of the UN climate change convention when the Paris agreement was achieved in 2015.

    Your new book is called The Future We Choose. But isn’t it too late to stop the climate crisis?
    We are definitely running late. We have delayed appallingly for decades. But science tells us we are still in the nick of time.

    Continue reading...

  • Activists aim to raise awareness of sustainable design and the need to reduce emissions from flights

    Activists from Extinction Rebellion (XR) blocked traffic outside a London fashion week venue on Saturday and also staged a protest at Gatwick airport.

    Dozens of demonstrators prevented traffic from passing through a busy intersection leading to the Strand in Westminster, where the fashion trade show was being held.

    Continue reading...

  • IEA welcomes appointment of Alok Sharma but others worry about nature of his dual role

    Boris Johnson must put the climate crisis at the top of his government’s agenda if crunch UN talks this year are to be a success, leading international figures have told the Guardian.

    Alok Sharma was appointed on Thursday as the business secretary and president of Cop26, the UN talks on the climate crisis to be held this November in Glasgow. Some climate experts are concerned that he won’t be able to stand up to governments reluctant to make strong commitments to cut greenhouse gases, while at the same time supporting British businesses struggling in the turmoil of Brexit.

    Continue reading...

  • In UK, students march on first anniversary of nationwide protests by young people

    Striking students have joined Valentine’s Day rallies across the world as the protest movement attempts to ratchet up pressure on governments and companies before crunch UN climate talks in Glasgow later this year.

    In London, the young demonstrators held banners proclaiming “Roses are red, violets are blue, our Earth is burning and soon we will too” and “Climate change is worse than homework” as they marched through Parliament Square on Friday to mark the first anniversary of nationwide climate strikes in the UK.

    Continue reading...

  • Campaigns to promote consumption of pork and veal labelled ‘indefensible’ in light of health and climate concerns

    The EU has been accused of an “indefensible” approach to human health and the climate crisis in spending tens of millions of euros each year on campaigns to reverse the decline in meat eating and trying to rebut so-called “fake news” on the mistreatment of animals bred for food.

    Campaigns range from those designed to counter official warnings about the risk of cancer from eating red meat, to improving the public image of veal products said to be crucial in “deriving value from young male calves” superfluous to the dairy industry.

    Continue reading...

  • Scientists describe 20.75C logged at Seymour Island as ‘incredible and abnormal’

    The Antarctic has registered a temperature of more than 20C (68F) for the first time on record, prompting fears of climate instability in the world’s greatest repository of ice.

    The 20.75C logged by Brazilian scientists at Seymour Island on 9 February was almost a full degree higher than the previous record of 19.8C, taken on Signy Island in January 1982.

    Continue reading...

  • As governments dither and emissions rise, pressure will be on UK at UN climate summit


    Alok Sharma, the new president of the Cop26 climate conference to be held in Glasgow in November, has experience of working closely with developing countries on the climate crisis in his former role as secretary for international development.

    This may be valuable in helping him forge the “grand coalition” that experts say is needed to break the deadlock on international climate action.

    Continue reading...

  • Activism can be lonely in rural areas, but social media lets lone children’s voices be amplified

    In a remote village in north Norfolk, nine-year-old Amelia Bradbury has been standing alone outside her school gates every Friday for months. Like hundreds of thousands of young people across the world, she is following Greta Thunberg’s lead and campaigning for action on the climate crisis – but, far from any of the big city demonstrations, she’s having to go it alone.

    “I was quite scared the first time because no one was doing it with me,” says Amelia. “But I’m doing this because I care about something. I really want people to listen to me and to make a difference.”

    Continue reading...

  • Research shows abundance at sites in Europe has plunged by up to 80% in two decades

    Two scientific studies of the number of insects splattered by cars have revealed a huge decline in abundance at European sites in two decades.

    The research adds to growing evidence of what some scientists have called an “insect apocalypse”, which is threatening a collapse in the natural world that sustains humans and all life on Earth. A third study shows plummeting numbers of aquatic insects in streams.

    Continue reading...

  • In the wake of destruction caused by wildfires, most recently in Australia, experts are seeking ways of limiting their impact by managing forests better

    Vast waves of fire have torn through Australia in recent months, leaving forests of skinned trees in their wake. The wildfires have been one of the most damaging in the country’s history – more than 11m hectares (27m acres) have burned, killing 33 people and decimating wildlife populations.

    But they are just the latest in a succession of destructive blazes that have been flaring across the planet – even in the Arctic circle – in the past five years. The response from authorities, in Australia, the Americas and the Mediterranean often seems scrambled and ineffective.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds