June 2021 – The nationwide registry/register of captured and stray animals (RCSA), that was launched last year by the State veterinary and food administration (SVFA) is available to the public. It serves as an official electronic tool for everyone responsible for the care of stray animals.

There are thousands of registered users, people authorized to capture stray animals, shelters, quarantine stations, cities and municipalities and even state supervision over the entire process
The public has access to the database with pictures and chip numbers, which serves mainly the owners of lost animals, but it is also useful to those interested in adopting. The app was developed by YMS, a.s., Trnava, that has been managing the veterinary information systems of SVFA for more than 15 years.
As expected, the electronization of evidence of caught animals has saved a lot of paperwork and has increased the level of supervision over stray animals in Slovakia. The registration of findings and captures has been made more clear and simple, which gives everyone involved less work because the data is processed directly to the computers or phones and is immediately visible in the database. Last but not least, the finding of a homeless animal increases the chance for a new life, because the database can be viewed by anybody considering adopting a pet.
Animals are visible to the public in our database for 3 months. That is the amount of time the owner has to find and retrieve their lost pet. Based on the photos, chip, specific markings, possibly the place and time of capture, many return to their owner easily. If the original owner of the animal doesn’t come for the animal in those 3 months, based on the currently valid laws the captured animal becomes the property of the municipality (§ 22 par. 17 of Act No. 39/2007 Coll.), and the municipality decides where it will be kept. Whoever has an interest in saving a stray dog, of which there are currently more than 500 visible to the public, can view the pictures in the database and mark in which shelter they are in. When the 3 month period expires, they leave the nationwide registry/register, but it is still possible to adopt by asking the shelter directly,” says MVDr. Mária Čelková from the Department of Animal Health and Protection SVFA SR.
The electronization of the registry and its implementation temporarily increased the workload of the employees of SVFA, who shouldered the responsibility of teaching thousands of users. “We are aware that the transition into a completely new process of registering animals takes time, especially with so many tasks, stakeholders and users with different levels of IT skills. However, currently, the application runs more or less smoothly, the number of registered active users is more than 1,500 and in the 10 months of operating they have successfully registered more than 2770 animals, continues Mária Čelková.
RCSA is effective across all of Slovakia, its use is required by law and all caught animals can be found in it. At the same time, it is an open system ready for further development and integration with 3rd party systems or other technologies. “Presently we are already connecting RCSA with the Central Registry of Pets (CROP), which means that if a chipped animal is caught, every person approved to capture will immediately have the contact information of the original owner, and the animal can therefore be returned home faster. This connection will also eliminate current duplication of information.” adds to the continued development of RCSA Mária Čelková.
Further development of RCSA will most likely be focused on helping animals even after they are caught and registered, which is mainly support for adoption. However, adoption does not fall under the competency of SVFA, instead, it is currently covered by more than 80 registered organizations that have private animal records and information about new owners and their control, so cooperation from multiple sides will be necessary. This is why it is necessary to create a strategy that will help the animals, people looking to adopt, SVFA, and organizations that take care of adoptions and take care of the animals.
In the long run, the central character RCSA has the potential to help all abandoned animals, not just those that are registered by people approved to catch stray animals. “Authorized users could have a special section in RCSA available for a volunteering section useful to processing adoptions. For example, it would have information about a new owner, generate a contract, and create statistics and reports. It would be interesting to be able to, in time, provide data from RCSA to registered shelters for the registration of all their animals, not just registered captures. Data like this are owned by shelters and quarantine stations, but inputting it into the central platform, SVFA would gain greater control over all abandoned animals. The result of such a complex long-term activity could one day lead to a single central system, the platform RCSA, which would unite data about abandoned, stray and discarded or abused animals in Slovakia,” says Tomáš Kizák from the non-governmental organization Help and Protect, regional center of Animal Freedom Humenné.
As mentioned, RCSA is made of a publicly accessible database of captured animals and an administrative part for eligible entities. “The public has access to not only the registry of animals, which includes the date, time and place the animal was caught, pictures, location in quarantine station or shelter, and if it is chipped a chip number but also to a list of shelters, quarantine stations, and veterinarians. The private administrative module is available only to authorized users. The application it integrated with a map using a so-called map plugin, so each capture can be exactly localized. RCSA runs on the YMS platform yAgenda for electronic services, which we adapted to the requirements of SVFA. The system fulfills the requirements arising from act no. 95/2019 Z. z. about informational technologies in public administration and standards defined by the decree of MF SR Č. 55/2014 about standards for public administration information systems,” adds Tomáš Mišovič, RCSA project leader and project manager of YMS, a.s.
The report on the launch of RCSA was also broadcast by RTVS, you can view it here: <https://m.facebook.com/watch/?v=308558803669017&_rdr>