In progress for improving animal welfare, Croatia has made important changes to laws to protect animals from being callously abandoned by their guardians, as reported by Balkan Insight.

Updated protections reportedly provide harsher sentencing for animal abuse and abandonment — which could result in fewer animals being discarded and left to suffer starvation and neglect, psychological distress, and untreated illnesses and injuries

Specifically, the newly amended criminal code now enacts more severe penalties in the form of increased prison time for abandoning companion animals or torturing animals for profit. People convicted of animal cruelty will reportedly be unable to keep animals for one to five years after their conviction — helping to keep animals out of the hands of people who may hurt them

These changes speak to the growing awareness that cats and dogs are sentient beings who deserve to be protected.

Dubrovnik, Croatia recently established the city’s first shelter to provide aid to the hundreds of abandoned dogs in the region, according to local news.

The recent legal changes are a victory for animal protection in Croatia and are a direct result of the successful lobbying of the Ministry of Justice, reported the Balkan Insight.

Lady Freethinker celebrates the power of advocacy and is grateful for the protections provided to these animals as all living beings deserve a life free from cruelty.