Animal welfare on the Dalmatian coast
From ANIMAL PEOPLE, November 2005:
DUBROVNIK–The Austrian-based Vier Pfoten mobile veterinary
teams often seemingly drive back into time in formerly Communist
central Europe, but usually just decades, not centuries.
In Dubrovnik to sterilize dogs and cats for two weeks
overlapping the October 2005 International Companion Animal Welfare
Conference, Vier Pfoten international project manager Amir Khalil,
DVM, and surgical team headed by Katica Kovacev, DVM set up outside
the building that was the city quarantine station during the Black
Death in the 14th century.
The marble walled central city just beyond, little changed
since the 13th century, reputedly inspired the Minas Tirith “white
city” scenes in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy. Among the oldest
ports on the Dalmatian coast, Dubrovnik has had a breakwater since
Yet organized animal welfare work only began in Dubrovnik
circa 2001, with the formation of the dog rescue group Drustvo Za
Zastitu Zivotinja. The group gained a shelter early in 2005,
winning civic permission to put up fences and use outbuildings at a
ruined artillery outpost overlooking the city. The stoneworks were
probably built in Napoleonic times, but were used most recently by
Serbians who shelled the local World Heritage landmarks in 1991-1992,
killing about 250 residents.
Managed by Amica Sambrailo, who cofounded Drustvo Za Zastitu
Zivot-inja with her sister Sandra Grljevic, the shelter houses about
100 dogs, none purebred Dalmatians but about 40% of Dalmatian build,
with black-and-white coloration.
The cats of Dubrovnik are also mostly black-and-white. The
surrounding cliffs and rugged shore were historically a stronghold of
eagles and other birds of prey, depleted by human persecution during
the 20th century but now making a comeback. When the raptors were
many, black-and-white colors might have protected puppies and
kittens among the stones and shadows below the aiires.
Cat welfare work is represented by shopkeeper Katarina
Uremouic, who collects funds to feed cats at the end of a Dubrovnik
CONTACT: Drustvo Za Zastitu Zivotinj, Put Kupara 48,
Mlini, Dubrovnik 20207, Croatia; phone 091-591-8434. Katarina
Uremouic, Za Karmenom, BR 2, Dubrovnik 2000 Croatia; phone