Becky Bridges with some of the strays at Dubronik Animal Shelter.
Becky Bridges with some of the strays at Dubronik Animal Shelter.

A veterinary nurse has returned from a week in Croatia where she volunteered for an animal shelter, donating supplies given by animal health company Virbac.

Becky Bridges, who works at Brookfield Veterinary Practice in Hereford, spent a week at the Dubrovnik Animal Shelter in the hills of the Hrvasta district.

More than 360 dogs, together with 60 cats, are cared for at the shelter, and Virbac provided Mrs Bridges with a wide range of products, including:

  • antibiotics
  • anti-inflammatories
  • parasiticides
  • ear cleaners
  • eye drops

Pets left behind

Mrs Bridges said: “Because it is such a popular tourist destination, Dubrovnik does not have a stable population. Many locals leave the city and rent their homes out during the summer, leaving their pets behind. The other problem is Croatians don’t tend to rehome animals as we do.

“The team at Dubronik Animal Shelter work so hard to keep the streets free from strays, which are regarded as off-putting to tourists, yet they receive very little support from the government. Their situation is desperate.”

Mrs Bridges’ husband accompanied her on the trip, and the duo walked the dogs, particularly those that have to be kept apart from the others.

She said: “As a VN I’m used to ‘fixing’ animals, so the hardest thing was not being able to fix the overall situation for the shelter team. But we did make a difference during our visit and the dogs were happy to have the extra attention – this was undoubtedly the highlight of our stay.

Future plans

“We hope to stay in touch with the charity and possibly arrange a follow-up neutering visit with my colleagues from Brookfield.”

Virbac senior territory manager Alys Webb said: “Volunteer trips make a real difference, both to the animals and to the dedicated staff and volunteers who try to care for so many animals. We were delighted to support Becky.”

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