A letter from Sandra's father, Marin Sambrailo (born 1936)
This letter was published few days before attack on shelter
City Mayor of Dubrovnik,
I addressed several letters to you on different occasions asking for a meeting with you. It appears that „an insignificant pensioner” like me is not worthy to be received by the City Mayor of the richest and the most beautiful town in Croatia, presently rattling weapons over my children and other volunteers, and I am therefore approaching you in this way.
I was born back in 1936 as the seventh child in a poor, but a hard-working and honest family in Petrača, Župa Dubrovačka. I was raised by my good mother together with my brothers and sisters, as my father had left for America, looking for a better opportunity to feed his large family. In spite of hard childhood, marked by misery, poverty and hunger, thanks to our fragile but proud mother, we started our own lives as stable and moral people, full of confidence in people and life, which I tried to convey to my own children.
You might ask why such an introduction? Because you and your poltroons have ruined my old days. Because I am fed up of your lies, arbitrariness, arrogance and failure to comply with the laws of this country, for the sake of which perished many innocent young lives. Because a group of young and human people work in the animal shelter of Žarkovica for you and instead of your well paid employees for free. While you and your family calmly sleep in your warm beds, our children spend days and nights at Žarkovica whatever the seasons or weather conditions, exposed to storms and thunder, floods, fires, unbearable cold and heat, working day and night as slaves, risking their own health and lives in order to secure abandoned and abused pets of our heartless fellow citizens, who have never been punished for such acts. My daughters, together with other volunteers of the Association who were, unlike you, also granted the status of the Homeland War volunteers, having sacrificed their youth for the country in the Nineties, aware of the importance of their contribution, are now sacrificing their lives by securing the weak ones from you – who was finally sentenced and who is interpreting the laws if this country when it suits him and as it suits him. You are now threatening them by the Police and rattling weapons. Why didn’t you take a gun in 1991 and show your power where it was needed instead of demonstrating force over innocent animals and those who perform your job for now fifteen years? If only one hair misses from my children or any of their fellow volunteers, I will hold you, together with Vedran Kunica and Svjetlana Milin Radić, personally responsible; for you had enough time to build, under Law, a shelter in the last fifteen years, given that all necessary permits were issued and the budget assured by the Town Council in 2015, or at least you had time to prolongate the deadlines for its construction. But no! Instead, manifesting every day over and over again the motto “THE TOWN EQUALS ANDRO VLAHUŠIĆ”, you just decided to kill them all. You are a coward, not even having courage to say it openly, hiding behind allegedly compliance with the law after fifteen years of inaction.
Instead of being grateful to the Association volunteers and keeping them “as a drop of water in the palm of the hand”, as they solved a huge communal problem working in the shelter for fifteen years, in addition to the humanitarian part of the story, you dare declare they will not be allowed to enter Your shelter tomorrow, threatening by sending the Police after them. But who are you to prohibit entrance to anyone? Is that going to be your private shelter, your dowry, financed by your family, or by us, the taxpayers? There is no shelter in the world to which the entrance of the volunteers is prohibited... everyone prays and cries out for their presence, while you send the Police. Ironically, you granted them the Town’s Award in 2014 and proclaimed them the Volunteers of 2015... CRAZY! There are 71 million Kuna left on the Town’s account... I am quite interested what might be those capital projects you are planning on realizing with our money, except the fact you spent, according to your own words and in twenty days only, more than 5 million Kuna for the New Year’s celebrations. You suddenly remembered, together with your right hand, Kunica from Sanitat, to comply with the laws of this country and with the Decision of the Veterinary Inspection, the same that you also received in 2009 and in 2013... Whom are you trying to cheat? Do you really believe anybody trusts you?? IS IT BECAUSE THE ŽARKOVICA AREA REPRESENTS AN ATTACTIVE AREA THAT YOU ARE SUDDENLY SENDING ALL THE ANIMALS ALL AROUND CROATIA, TO THE SHELTERS THAT KILL ANIMALS, AND NOT TO “NO KILL” ONES AS YOU LIKE TO SAY IN MEDIA. For years now you have been building a shelter “in media”, first the most beautiful in Europe, with a veterinary clinic and a hotel for dogs and cats; then a smaller one, but for all the animals with the co-financing of the neighbouring municipalities; and in the end, a shelter for 150 dogs and thus at Žarkovica (???), but first by killing them all in kill shelters. The easiness with which you talk is incredible. You were presented with another location. WHY ARE YOU NOT TAKING IT INTO CONSIDERATION? The relocation, according to your Deputy, would be “optimal and comfortable for animals”, although you know very well that all shelters in Croatia are filled, and the “comfort” would mean DEATH. You are terribly upset with the fact that 97 out of 318 dogs and 197 cats in feeding places come from other municipalities. But do you know that 100-120 dogs and some 50 cats from Žarkovica find their new homes in those municipalities. Or you think they are all adopted in Dubrovnik only? The neighbouring municipalities might prohibit the “import” of the animals from Žarkovica to their territories. You mention the optimal number of animals (year after year, the number of the animals is lower and lower, which is a huge success of the volunteers)... optimal for whom? For you doubtlessly, so you can travel around the world with your entourage on our account, spend millions on self-promotion, buffets and dinners, numerous fraternizations. You are planning on spending 50 million Kuna in 2016 for your department only... what is that work of the City Mayor’s Department worth 50 million Kuna (???)? You are now building an escalator (whatever it means) in Gruž, buying “smart benches”, investing in a mega-aquarium, purchasing summer villas, “embellishing” the streets, etc., but lack money for the reconstruction of the kinder garden, the construction of a sports centre arena, a water supplying systems for some villages, a water purifier, the adaptation of public buildings to the disabled, the construction of a nursing home, or a social home in Mokošica, as well as for finding a solution to a shelter for abandoned animals, which would be a solution of a human and of a communal problem. Have you ever heard of a partial co-financing of shelters, where taxpayers contribute in small amounts to the existence of a shelter? Why would you care when a group of naive people perform that huge work for you for zero Kuna, being continuously emotionally blackmailed by you. You think that delivering dog food worth the maintenance of the ridiculous monument to the Defenders at Pile solves the problem. I will now defend them by my own life at the age of 80 years.
Finally, I would like to point out that I have always been proud to say I originate from the Town. I am now terribly disappointed and angry since you’ve made this town of extraordinary past, beauty and culture, an ideal of measure, harmony and protection of vulnerable groups, into a Honey-Town”, where profit is God and all the rest irrelevant. SHAME ON YOU!