For six years, we have supported hundreds of dogs at the Zarkovica shelter in the Croatian city of Dubrovnik. It is a private shelter run by one severely overworked woman, because the city has not built a municipal shelter - even though it is legally obligated to do so.
The national government has ordered the shelter be closed IMMEDIATELY. We have brought precious time for the dogs but have to move them QUICKLY!
This is an unmitigated disaster for the hundreds of dogs.
Zarkovica is the only refuge in Dubrovnik for sick, unwanted and unloved street animals - dumped because they are old, sickly or no longer wanted by their owners. Now the authorities have spoken, and the shelter has been ordered to close immediately. We know what this means for the dogs: up to 40% of dogs need medical care, and those that are sick, old and too expensive to treat could face the killer needle. We are desperately fighting to stop this happening.
Along with a number of local organizations who are helping on the ground, we have proved to the officials that foster homes for over 70 dogs have been found, and an appeal is in progress to fight for more time. Our executive director flew to Dubrovnik and pleaded for more time, which has been granted, but we have no idea how long we have left: the authorities could move in and close the doors forever at any time. What could happen to the dogs then does not bear thinking about.
Zarkovica shelter is supposed to SHUT DOWN immediately. We have bought a little time, but the 200 dogs there MUST be get medical treatment and new homes urgently. If we cant help, the old and the sickly face EUTHANASIA. It is THIS serious, and THIS URGENT.
The shelter has been a horror story from the beginning. Initially, the then city mayor refused to help the shelter because it is illegally situated on a world heritage site. We stepped in, the mayor was removed, and we have been helping to care for the dogs ever since.
But the story is not that simple. The city has a legal obligation to build a municipal shelter, repeatedly promised to do so, but broke those promises. As a result, conditions at Zarkovica have deteriorated as the woman who runs it became increasingly overwhelmed.
Now, the patience of the national government has run out. Zarkovica will be closed. The dogs must be adopted or moved to other, legal shelters and this must happen now… OR ELSE.
The government does not care that other, ‘legal’ shelters could kill any animal considered too ‘costly’ to treat, due to existing health conditions.
These are animals we have fought to save! We have fed, treated and cared for them for SIX years. We cannot let them die now! We cannot turn our backs on them when they need us most!
We have been working tirelessly to help to catalogue and assess the dogs, and are already paying for health treatments for some of the dogs who have been relocated, but up to 40% of dogs still need complex care before they can go to their forever homes.
Zarkovica is the only ‘home’ Dubrovnik’s street dogs know. It’s not their fault it’s a mess, but they are the ones who will suffer. We MUST help the remaining dogs get the urgent care and treatment that they need to help them find homes, FAST.
We have helped the dogs of Zarkovica for TOO LONG just to let them die now!
Before the 200 dogs at Zarkovica can find forever homes in other European countries, they must receive medical treatment and be in good health. The city of Dubrovnik will cover ONLY the basic and most urgent treatments for dogs, but many dogs need much longer and expensive medical help and, most importantly of all, they need animal lovers to step up and adopt them FAST.
Put simply, this is a terrible crisis for dogs. Their lives are in peril because if they do not get the urgent care that they need, their fate is sealed.
We promised to ask our supporters for help treating the animals, and for transport costs for every dog who finds a home. Truthfully, we can’t yet even guess at total costs. But this is a real emergency. There are 200 lives in our hands - your hands and ours - and we ask you earnestly to donate right now if you possibly can.
If you are interested in adopting or fostering a dog from the Zarkovica shelter, you can view all the available animals at www.adopt-zarkovica.eu and www.facebook.com/adoptzarkovicadogs.We are prioritizing homes in mainland Europe and the UK.
We are working with three other Croatian organizations and have volunteers working around-the-clock at Zarkovica to help the animals. We are also pleading with the authorities to extend the deadline. If we can buy more time, we can save more dogs.
Please help the dogs of Zarkovica in their time of dire emergency, by donating as generously as you can right now. Your donation is their only hope of finding a loving home and a brighter future.
For the animals,
Brian and Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
Network for Animals
P.S. Network for Animals has struggled with this problem for dogs in Dubrovnik for six years. We thought that, finally, a solution was in sight because plans are ready for a municipal shelter and land has been found to build it on, but alas, it has come too late. We MUST move the dogs and we must do it FAST, or else the animals we’ve worked so hard to save, for so long, face a dismal and hopeless future - if they even survive at all. Please, donate as generously as you can right now.
P.P.S. NFA receives no government grants to do this life-saving work. We rely totally on generosity like yours. Another way you can help is to become an NFA monthly supporter today by donating a reasonable amount automatically every month via PayPal or a credit card of your choice. This option provides the steady funds that let us act FAST for animals, wherever they need us! Thank you with all our hearts.