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

  • Survey of 600 people finds some parents regret having offspring for same reason

    People worried about the climate crisis are deciding not to have children because of fears that their offspring would have to struggle through a climate apocalypse, according to the first academic study of the issue.

    The researchers surveyed 600 people aged 27 to 45 who were already factoring climate concerns into their reproductive choices and found 96% were very or extremely concerned about the wellbeing of their potential future children in a climate-changed world. One 27-year-old woman said: “I feel like I can’t in good conscience bring a child into this world and force them to try and survive what may be apocalyptic conditions.”

    Continue reading...

  • The best of the week’s wildlife pictures from around the world, including desert-dwelling sheep and a plant that has evolved to hide from humans

    Continue reading...

  • With nearly 400,000 crew members trapped at sea by Covid restrictions, it’s time for retailers like Amazon to help press for key worker status

    This weekend is one of the planet’s busiest shopping sprees, with an estimated £66bn to be spent in the UK alone over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, much of it online. Yet as shoppers click and wait to collect, there is a crisis at sea among the people whose work brings us these goods.

    It is no exaggeration to say that without shipping the global marketplace would collapse. It is responsible for the movement of 90% of all global trade. Even in normal circumstances, more than a million seafarers labour daily on the vessels that make up the world cargo fleet, their work barely noticed by consumers. As Covid-19 has ravaged the world, they have helped keep the global economy functioning, unseen.

    Continue reading...

  • Amitav Ghosh, Margaret Atwood and Emma Thompson are among 20 activists and cultural figures to speak at Writers Rebel event

    Writers and activists including Emma Thompson, Margaret Atwood and Amitav Ghosh are to speak about their favourite endangered animals as part of a remembrance day for lost species.

    The snow leopard, pangolin and vaquita porpoise are among the endangered animals that will be championed by participants at the free online event, On the Brink, organised by Writers Rebel, which is part of Extinction Rebellion.

    Continue reading...

  • Public accounts committee says ignorance, incompetence and weak oversight to blame

    The Nuclear Decommissioning Authority (NDA) has a perpetual lack of knowledge about the state and location of waste on the 17 sites it is responsible for making safe, a powerful committee of MPs has found.

    This results from decades of poor record keeping and weak government oversight, the MPs said. Combined with a “sorry saga” of incompetence and failure, this has left taxpayers footing the bill for “astronomical sums”, they said.

    Continue reading...

  • Industry promotes materialism and lifts sales of climate-harming products, study says

    Advertising needs to be controlled and changed to reduce its impact on the climate, according to a report released as consumers prepare to spend billions on Black Friday.

    The report by the New Weather Institute thinktank and the charity We are Possible examines how advertising indirectly contributes to climate change and the ecological emergency.

    Continue reading...

  • The winning images of the 2020 British Ecological Society photography competition, taken by international ecologists and students, celebrate the diversity of the planet’s flora and fauna

    Continue reading...

  • An investigation into the Queen Hind sinking a year ago is yet to be published and the live export trade continues to boom

    Romania has been accused of “complete silence” over its investigation into the sinking of the Queen Hind last November, which resulted in the deaths of more than 14,000 sheep.

    Rescuers who rushed to the sinking Queen Hind vessel, which left Romania’s Black Sea port of Midia a year ago, managed to save just 228 sheep out of a total 14,600, but only 180 ultimately survived the ordeal.

    Romania’s prime minister Ludovic Orban vowed on television last year to end live exports in the “medium-term”. However, since the Queen Hind disaster more than 2 million live animals have been exported from Romania – mostly to north Africa and the Middle East.

    Romanian authorities have claimed the vessel was 10% below capacity and that the animals were “clinically healthy and fit for transport”. But campaigners say the vessel was overloaded and this ultimately led to the thousands of sheep drowning in the Black Sea.

    The only information to emerge since the sinking has been the discovery of secret compartments onboard with dead animals inside, by the company hired to remove the ship from the water.

    Romania’s transport ministry told the Guardian this week that investigations are concluded and said a summary of the report will be published on the ministry’s website. They also said that the purpose of the technical investigation was to establish maritime safety issues and to prevent future accidents, and “not to establish guilt in people involved”.

    EU law stipulates that investigations into maritime accidents should be reported in full within 12 months, but that if a final report is not possible in that timeframe, then “an interim report shall be published within 12 months of the date” of the event.

    Continue reading...

  • Report suggests tree growth will not store nearly as much carbon as scientists hoped

    Global heating appears to be making trees drop their leaves earlier, according to new research, confounding the idea that warmer temperatures delay the onset of autumn.

    The finding is important because trees draw huge amounts of carbon dioxide from the air and therefore play a key role in managing the climate.

    Continue reading...

  • Oyster Clough, Derbyshire: A decade ago, I wouldn’t have mentioned it in print, but now the number of visitors has soared

    The true start of winter is often debated, but none of the definitions I know include mid-November. That didn’t stop a razor-edged northerly blowing off the moors from knifing me in the ribs. I stopped to put on my spare jacket, but it seemed hopelessly unequal to the job. “Is that all you brought?” my companion asked. Luckily for me, by the time we emerged from the woods above the Snake Inn into bright sunshine, the wind had moderated. But the sky above was still cold-forged with that intense blue of winter, tinged pink in places in the low-angled light.

    Continue reading...

Eco Health News feeds

Eco Nature News feeds

Feed not found.