“Adopt, Don’t Shop” Holiday Campaign Launched in Croatia


The Croatian Animal Protection Network has launched a big ”Adopt, Don’t Shop” holiday campaign. The main message: ”Love is Not for Sale.” Ads reminding people that an an animal is not a present to be placed under the Christmas tree can be seen in over 20 Croatian cities.

The holiday season is upon us, and many are already thinking about what to give to their loved ones. The Animal Protection Network has taken this opportunity to implore people not to buy animals as gifts, but to rather make the more sensible decision to adopt an abandoned animal, if they really want an addition to their family.

As part of the big ”Adopt, Don’t Shop” campaign, billboards are to be set up in over 20 Croatian cities displaying photos of abandoned animals conveying a very clear message, that love is not for sale.

“There are thousands of cats and dogs in Croatia that are currently either in shelters or in the care of animal rights volunteers while they wait for their permanent homes. The situation has possibly never been worse, so this holiday season we decided to send out a message to anyone looking for a pet, asking them to do so by visiting a local shelter or animal society to find their new animal companions,“ said Stela Cota, The Animal Protection Network coordinator.

Animals are not objects, and should therefore not be put on sale or bought as presents. The Animal Protection Network is appealing to people who want a new pet to adopt an animal, because if everyone were to adopt instead of shop, our shelters would soon be empty.

The “Adopt, Don’t Shop“ campaign will display cats, dogs, and bunnies on large billboards all over Croatia, with the aim of raising awareness of the worrisome number of animals in shelters waiting for permanent homes.

The campaign also hopes to draw attention to the need to enforce the Animal Protection Act, the need to establish permanent sterilization as a means to control population growth in cats and dogs as well as the need for microchip identification. Stiv the dog, featured in the ads, is just one of thousands of abandoned animals waiting for a new home.

At the Friends Shelter in Čakovec alone there are about 700 dogs, some taken in after a spaying/neutering plan focusing on Romani villages. All of these animals would love to spend the holiday season in a warm household surrounded by people, instead of being stuck at the shelter. The situation is hardly any different in shelters all across the country, which are overflowing with unwanted and abandoned animals.

The Animal Protection Network would like to emphasize that all of the over 40 member organizations in the network are working tirelessly to save animal lives, provide homes for animals, and raise awareness about animal rights and the growing need to adopt. The aim is to get the message across that whoever wants to do some good this holiday season can do so by adopting an abandoned cat, dog, or bunny, instead of purchasing one. There are, however, other ways to help out as well, including just helping to spread the message, volunteering at a local shelter, or donating to animal protection organizations.

This campaign represents an appeal to everyone to stop purchasing and gifting living beings, for the simple reason that they are not inanimate objects, and the practice of treating them as such means supporting the cruel pet market. Let us put into practice what we all already know – that love is not for sale.

Featured image: A dog wearing an “Adopt Me” vest. Image credit caruba, CC BY-SA 3.0.

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Animal Friends Croatia is a nonprofit non governmental organization, established with the goal to promote animal rights, animal protection and veganism as an ethical, ecologically acceptable and healthy lifestyle. Click to see author's profile.

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