Dogs Trust Representative Office organized a one day study visit to the city of Zagreb for the representatives of the Canton Sarajevo Government on 23.11.2015 with the aim to exchange experiences in the field of dog population management (DPM). The visit is a part of the Dogs Trust’s support in establishing a DPM system in Sarajevo that would permanently solve the problem of stray dogs in a sustainable and humane manner, in full compliance with the state animal welfare legislation.
The representatives of the city of Zagreb’s Office of Agriculture and Forestry shared their experiences from Zagreb with the guests, and the delegation of the Canton Sarajevo Government, including Canton Sarajevo Prime Minister, Elmedin Konaković, and Minister of Public Utilities and Infrastructure, Senad Hasanspahić, visited the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine in Zagreb and Zagreb’s shelter for abandoned animals “Dumovec.” On this occasion, the delegation also visited the Mayor of Zagreb, Mr. Milan Bandić.
The representatives of the Canton Sarajevo Government expressed their satisfaction with the visit and pointed out that it was extremely helpful to see good examples of the city in the region that found a successful and sustainable way to resolve the problem similar to the one Sarajevo is facing at the present time.
“The stray dog problem in the Canton of Sarajevo escalated because of years of inaction and only selective implementation of the legislation since 2009. DPM system that Zagreb has been using for almost 15 years now has been recognized as one of the better ones in Europe and it is certainly one of the best in the region. Therefore, we will definitely implement some of its elements in our environment, along with our Veterinary Faculty, clinics and shelters”, said Prime minister Konaković.
The city of Zagreb has been using the DPM that combines joint effort of all the relevant institutions and associations, but also the citizens. The Ministry of Agriculture and Forestry coordinates the system in this city, and keeps the database of owned dogs, while the shelter for abandoned animals “Dumovec” performs animal pound services and care and adoption of the abandoned animals. Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Zagreb, which today bears the title of Centre of Excellence in veterinary surgery, and receives students from all over Europe, has played a significant role in solving the problem of stray dogs in Zagreb by turning a problem into an opportunity. Specifically, while the injured animals received the necessary assistance, students were given an invaluable practice.
Due to economic and organizational convenience, the shelter, this operates since 2001 is under the administration of the Zagreb Zoo. It is located just outside the city and connected by city bus line. The shelter is also easy to find due to the vicinity of the nearby shopping centers. Along with the Zoo, in the city center there is the Zagreb City Centre Corner for animals which helps in good communication with citizens, especially children. “Dumovec” has a capacity for approximately 200 animals, and rehoming campaigns result in the adoption of approximately 600 rehomed dogs during the course of one year.