Another attack on activists trying to save dogs

10338314_669169486483282_5388223137706534855_nAs reported on Taco.net, two days ago Edina Pašić of the animal rescue charity Andjeo Sarajevo and Fahrudin Bravo were assaulted when they attempted to prevent the catching of dogs in Ilijaš, a municipality located north east of the inner city of Sarajevo in Bosnia and Herzegovina.  Edin Ismo, one of the dog catchers, lashed out with his keys at Fahrudin Bravo, causing multiple facial cuts. Edina Pašić was also injured as she tried to intervene. Fahrudin Bravo was arrested and held for 24 hours. Edina Pašić was assisted by friends and treated in emergency care.  Both have been charged for “obstruction of officers in their work”.

This would not be so hard if we managed to save the dogs,’ said Edina Pašić. ‘We have been told that nine puppies have been killed.’

Lawyer and animal welfare activist Dalida Kozlić states that the charges against the activists will not be accepted by the court since the charges are for obstructing the work of “authorised” personnel, and the dog catchers are not authorised official persons.

The dog catchers are employed by the ‘hygiene service’ created by Semir Efendic, the Mayor of Sarajevo’s Novi Grad Municipality. The intentions behind this ‘hygiene service’ are not to implement humane and effective methods of population control like TNR (trap-neuter-return) but, in a ploy to garner public support, to simply eliminate the stray dog population by any means possible. For more information about the infamous (and illegal) ‘hygiene service’ of Sarajevo please see Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy.

If you want to help, funds are desperately needed to support the ongoing legal investigation of and action against the activities of the dog-catchers and ‘hygiene service’. Please donate whatever you can to assist – nothing is too small. You can donate via Paypal to donations@awabosnia.org and mark your donation for ‘advocacy and legal costs’.  

You can also donate to assist reportage of the activities via Journalists for Animals

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Related articles:

Animal Advocates Assaulted in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life

Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?

The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.

Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.

If you want your contribution to go to a specific cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.

______________________________________________

This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

Puppy dies after horrific attack in Bosnia Herzegovina

1601086_10202750781791397_5218677706459359689_nThis is the saddest story. On the weekend a puppy was found in Sarajevo, horrifically beaten. People telephoned Edina Pasic of Andjeo Sarajevo to come and help. She was told that the local children had beaten the dog.

1978807_10202750781831398_7562240458887600789_nIn fact, currently there is no proof of who did this vile thing to a defenceless puppy, but there is no question human hands caused the horrific injuries, probably with a bat or stick to the little dog’s face. It’s likely it was not children, but someone who the dog had in fact been placed with for ‘care’ who was ultimately responsible, either directly or indirectly.  If we can get to the bottom of who did the crime we will, but as it is Bosnia, even if charges are pressed, nothing will be done.

It was clear to anyone that the puppy’s jaw was broken and probably the skull fractured. Edina luckily had some liquid Metacam painkiller medication brought over by Miska in Finland – there were no vets able to operate on the dog on the weekend. This is ‘normal’ in Bosnia: X-ray is the most delicate exam that can be done there, no intensive care unit working 24/7 as in Europe or the USA.

ne384053_10202751290364111_2928805855510233627_nEdina did everything she could for him while he was in her care, waiting to take the dog to the vet. Many people from all over the world rallied to help with donations. He was offered a wonderful forever home in England. His mom-to-be named him Gabriel.

Edina would have taken Gabriel straight to the vet this morning but by the time morning came, Gabriele was gone.

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Edina wrote: “Our baby Gabriel closed his beautiful eyes and didn’t wake up again… I`m so sorry that we lost you my baby… Damn the one who threw you out and did this to you… Rest in peace my fairy… If my tears could bring you back you ….. Life isn`t fair… His heart couldn`t take no more… Rest in peace my baby… We all love you so so much, this is so hard for me … You will be always in our hearts.. FOREVER BABY… From all my heart thanks to Caki Bravo who was with me, and suffered with me in these difficult moments… And thanks to all animal lovers who have given me words of encouragement— I know this is hard for all of us….

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With the help of fellow rescuer Caki Bravo, little Gabriel was buried in a little plot of land where so recently Edina buried another of her rescues who did not make it.

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We are sorry little one, you had a great future waiting for you and because of the cruelty of humankind it was torn away. There are no words for this sadness. Sleep well little soul. Rest in Peace.

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In Bosnia and Herzegovina torture and killing animals is a common occurrence. In adults the offence is punishable by fine or imprisonment, however the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes very rarely occur. Also note that there are thousands of stray animals in the country, and it is very common for dogs to have to live on the streets as the government is not implementing adequate spay-neuter programs nor are there adequate dog shelters (it is known that public dog shelters in the country are concentration camps and used for money laundering).

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Strays can be fed and monitored, and if there are funds raised, they can be put into pension (kennels). The costs are high: 90 – 120 euros per month. It would be impossible for all the strays to be taken into the rescuers homes for safety, there are thousands of them. In fact many landlords do not even allow animals. The few animal lovers in the country do the best they can, and often suffer for this, they are subject to acts of aggression from those who believe stray dogs are ‘vermin’.

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If you want to help you can donate for emergency vet supplies, for pension fees for rescued dogs and cats. Details are below. 

Related posts:

Loved Street Dog Hanged in Gradiska, Bosnia!
Boy steals puppy and hangs it – Prnjavor, Bosnia Herzegovina

Dog’s Skull Deliberately Crushed in Bosnia Herzegovina

Dog Slaughter in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina

Yet another brutal dog murder in Bosnia Herzegovina
Another Dog Tortured by Wire in Bosnia
DOG TORTURED IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!
More than 40 killed dogs found in garbage dump
Poisoning of Dogs and Cats in Glamoc, Bosnia Herzegovina
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Mass Murder of Dogs in Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog Massacre in Dobosnica, Bosnia Herzegovina
Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia

_____________________________________________
DONATIONS

Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia Herzegovina, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.

On our sister site, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org . Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.

If you want your contribution to go to a specific dog or cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.

______________________________________________

This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Go here to find out how to help them.  Money is needed for food, medicine and foster housing. Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

Loved Street Dog Hanged in Gradiska, Bosnia!

10733958_567716583374294_7622265513582938017_nSimo lived in the courtyard between three buildings in the town of Gradiska, Bosnia Herzegovina. He was much loved by several of the tenants of the buildings, who fed and looked after him. Although he was a street dog, he’d been neutered, vaccinated and microchipped. One of the tenants sometimes brought him into her flat and let him play with her kittens.

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Simo, when he was alive, spending time in the flat of one of the tenants who cared for him…

Last night Simo was with her in the apartment, and he went out at 2 a.m. Shortly afterwards, his life was brutally taken:  Simo was hanged.

Tenants say they always heard if he barked at strangers, so they assume that a person well-known to Simo was responsible for this atrocity as no one heard anything, they did not hear him bark.

In the morning they found him hanging from a pole, dead. The police were called and they inspected the scene. The lawyer of the animal welfare Association “SOS Sapice” in Gradiska will attempt to press charges against the unknown perpetrators.

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Found, hanging, dead….

This is a shame for our town…people…children… I hope that this will never happen again in our town….I hope that the miserable human will be shamed at least a little bit…

From the photographs of Simo taken when he was alive (see the slideshow below) you can see how much he was loved and taken care of, and how much he enjoyed his life. And now it is gone.

In Bosnia and Herzegovina torture and killing animals is a a common occurrence. In adults the offence is punishable by fine or imprisonment, however the arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes very rarely occur. Also note that there are thousands of stray animals in the country, and it is very common for dogs to have to live on the streets as the government is not implementing adequate spay-neuter programs nor are there adequate dog shelters (it is known that public dog shelters in the country are concentration camps and used for money laundering). Much loved strays can be fed and monitored, but it would be impossible for all the strays to be taken into homes for safety. In fact many landlords do not even allow animals. The few animal lovers in the country do the best they can, and often suffer for this, they are subject to acts of aggression from those who believe stray dogs are ‘vermin’.

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Much loved, much missed. R.I.P. Simo

If you have any information that can help the investigation, please contact the Association “SOS Sapice” in Gradiska at +387 (0) 51 813915 or Daliborka Čolić on + 49 (0) 17661297780 or contact us at info@awabosnia.org.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Related posts:

Boy steals puppy and hangs it – Prnjavor, Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog’s Skull Deliberately Crushed in Bosnia Herzegovina

Dog Slaughter in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina

Yet another brutal dog murder in Bosnia Herzegovina
Another Dog Tortured by Wire in Bosnia
DOG TORTURED IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!
More than 40 killed dogs found in garbage dump
Poisoning of Dogs and Cats in Glamoc, Bosnia Herzegovina
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Mass Murder of Dogs in Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog Massacre in Dobosnica, Bosnia Herzegovina
Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia

_____________________________________________
DONATIONS

Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia Herzegovina, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.

On our sister site, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org . Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.

If you want your contribution to go to a specific dog or cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.

______________________________________________

This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Go here to find out how to help them.  Money is needed for food, medicine and foster housing. Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

Animal Advocates Assaulted in Sarajevo

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAReported by Journalists for Animals on taco.net today:

Residents visited the newly formed veterinary centre in Reljevo, a suburb of Sarajevo. This centre is owned by Sarajevo County Novi Grad. The residents were trying to find out what happened to the dogs taken there by “Hygiene Service” Lokom employees. A security guard blocked the entrance to the facility and two of the residents, Maja Sujoldzic and Dalida Kozlic, were assaulted when they attempted to enter. They are home and recovering.

Eldar Kozlic, was one of the residents visiting and he stated: “Residents must know that the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Veterinary Inspection of Canton Sarajevo, and the police are together destroying the state law regarding the animal protection and welfare law and other criminal laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). Together they are taking dogs to execution with the help of the unlawfully established Hygiene Service Lokom. They are killing puppies along with their mothers, as well as dogs that were previously sterilized by public funds budgeted for that purpose. Due to the fact that Sarajevo lacks adequate shelters, these dogs are being taken to a heavily guarded veterinary centre to be killed. But, I should point out that at the same time they are logging and collecting public funds for regular veterinary services (sterilization/castration, vaccinations, pills against various parasites).

For more information please see Journalists For Animals: Maja Sujoldzic and Dalida Kozlic physically assaulted during an attempt to enter the veterinary center in Reljevo.

Video footage taken by Eldar Kozlic:


Related articles in this blog:

Animal Activist Interviewed about Flood Disaster in Bosnia (Dalida Kozlic)
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life

Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?

The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.

Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.

If you want your contribution to go to a specific cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.

______________________________________________

This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life

sv2-635x300The following is a translation of an interview with Snezana Vidovic, President of the association animal rescue and protection, Sapa Zenica. The interview was published on Taco.net on 4.10.2014, and the interviewer was Jelena Paunovic from Journalists For Animals. 

Snezana Vidovic: Let’s respect animals and their right to life

The entire world marks April 4th as the World Stray Animals Day. Five years after the Animal Protection and Welfare law came into effect, the situation for stray and uncared for animals on the streets of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) remains difficult. We spoke to Snezana Vidovic, President of the association for protection and animal rescue “SAPA Zenica” from Zenica, regarding the law, solutions to this problem, and the role of organizations in protecting animals.

Interview by: Jelena Paunovic

Today is October 4th, the World Animal Day. How do you view this date?

P1020072In celebration of the World Animal Day, the Association SAPA Zenica has for many years organized events, information stands, educational materials, sterilization weekends, film projections, workshops for children with an aim to help the general public, our fellow citizens to understand animal protection, to help them think about our relationships with animals and the need to respect and protect them, and to underline the idea that animal protection is an important social question. During these days we are reminding the public of the role of animals in our society, the way they are enriching and improving our lives, and how to treat them and to become a responsible society.

More than ever, it is important for us to be loud, united, and visible in the battle for those for whom we are the only voice.

October 4th is not a day of celebration, but for fighting and sending a clear message to a society that is tolerant of animal violence, abandonment, abuse, breaking laws, mistreatment of animals for various purposes as well as their slaughter; this is our daily reality for which we must be held responsible.

Every day we hear about how the Animal Protection and Welfare Law of BiH is not good and that it must be changed. Is that true? Would changes to the law lead to solutions?

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Strays fed by SAPA Zenica volunteers


Unfortunately, we are witnesses to the conversations about the Law for five years, and those in power are either not implementing it or partially implementing it. For five years the attempt to adopt sub-regulations regarding identification of pets has been obstructed; for five years no one has been fined for abandoning their pets (we have the highest rate of pet abandonment in Europe), for five years no one has been fined for animal abuse; for five years there has not been a systematic approach to sterilization across BiH, for five years the inspection authorities across BiH have failed to conduct inspections and oversight of shelters, which are in fact torture camps for animals that exist under dubious and even criminal conditions and hygienic services operating outside of the law and subordinate regulations; for five years BiH has lacked a central registry of pet that will lead to EU sanctions; for five years BiH has lacked an Ethic Committee and Advisory Council; for five years the majority of counties in the country have not implemented sterilization programs, built shelters, or establishing hygienic services; for five years no one was sanctioned for obstructing the implementation of the law; and for five years the authorities have been telling us that they cannot implement the law without offering a single reasonable explanation, but we conclude that these reasons are incompetence, inaction, ignorance, and unwillingness to eliminate practices that have failed for decades. Responsible societies do not debate whether or not to implement the law; responsible societies execute adopted regulations and seek solutions for problems which they created.

Here, the authorities allow problems to escalate; they contribute to public polarization and instigate the media propaganda machine to support an ad hoc method of slaughter, elimination, and removal of animals five years after failing to implement the law because now they see this as preventative measure under the guise of public security. There is not a word about causes, not a word about why the law was not implemented for five years, and not a word about their accountability. In the election period, the multiyear inactivity and incompetence is now being packaged as simulated action in response to the growing public pressure.

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SAPA Zenica volunteers feeding strays

The campaign against the law demonstrates the immaturity of BiH society and the unwillingness of the authorities and the relevant profession to accept responsibility for resolving the problem that was created by our own society. This law doesn’t only address the dogs on the streets, but many other segments that need to be addressed and are being ignored such as transport, farming conditions, welfare, cultivation, protection of wildlife, laboratory animals, establishment of an Ethic Committee and other similar matters.

This law has demonstrated to us the pitiful state of the veterinary field and just the number of veterinarians and veterinary inspectors who are unable to understand their role in implementing the law or understanding the trends in the areas of animal protection and welfare. We still have veterinarians who are advising pet owners against sterilization, inspectors who do not understand the processes of animal registry or the use of microchipping, or who has oversight over certain parts of the law and relevant regulations. The state of the veterinary profession across BiH and its continuing murder of street dogs is as if they have never heard of the law or their oversight responsibilities, and places it in the light as simply the agent of politically-motivated and illegal decisions, or in a role of a silent observer.

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Rescued from the streets of Zenica

Every law can be changed, however we will never resolve the problem if we seek to change it in the way that it only represents the view of one political party, in a selective way that does not contribute to the solution, only creating further confusion and raising legal insecurity, and completely absolving the years-long inactivity of those responsible; keeping parts of the law considered to be unenforceable and adding responsibilities that are not preventative in nature, obstructing adoption of animals, not highlighting preventative measures and resolving the causes of the problem, hiding behind unenforceable and expensive laws and forgetting to explain to the electorate that the problem will not be resolved and it will be the same as before 2009, year after year just adding more resources for the purposes of killing. Here we are talking about the difference between the implementation of preventative measures in their entirety, which would bring about the solution in half the time that it would take to continue to consistently give resources for killing. This means that preventative measures could not be undertaken because of the cost, but funds for killing will be available year after year because no one has informed the public that there will be dogs on the streets for as long as there are bad owners, illegal breeders, incompetent inspectors, veterinarians, authorities; but that is not important, it is easier to kill than to truly address the root cause of the problem, it is easier to kill than to build a system and establish a foundation for implementing a punishment system which would help sustain the state budget.

sv1Who is responsible for the condition of abandoned animals on the streets of BiH cities?

Those who have for five years been startled by the law and who for five years have been talking about how the pre-conditions have not been met, so they continued to NOT meet those conditions for the next five years. Those who for five years have not moved their finger to institute a registry, punish and discourage animal abandonment; those who did not implement sterilization, those whose contributions have escalated the problem, and who are now trying to flip the script and shift the focus away from their inactivity and irresponsibility to the dogs on the streets. Solving the problem does not mean removing, eliminating, and killing dogs. But this is not in accordance with the populist rhetoric which we are exposed to every day from other residents and dogs will remain on the streets for as long as the systematic solution does not entail a consolidated approach to registration, punishment, sterilization of pets and abandoned animals, establishment of shelters, as well as creating conditions to enable a functioning system.

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Rescued from the streets of Zenica

Encouraging ad hoc illegal solutions, or changes to the law similar to those from last year do not contribute to building of a system of good practices, eliminating the problem, and improving the standard of the veterinary profession, but it misleads all of those interested. Only through the full implementation of the existing law and with focus on preventative measures can we solve this problem.

Seven years of continual killing has barely reduced the number of street dogs by 32.5 percent, while five years of implementing preventative measures of sterilization and preventing new generations of abandoned animals would lead to a 95 percent reduction in the abandoned animal population.

But here no one is conducting an analysis of the absorption capacity of one region, or an analysis of the structure of street dogs and all contributing factors to the population growth, including the mentality, behavior of pet ownership and similar things. It is critical to consider this problem from the sociological and phenomenological points of view.

What are your views on the situation in Sarajevo?

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Rescued from the streets of Zenica

What we are witnessing in Sarajevo is that the beginning of the political campaign has opened a hunting season on the dogs, a typical witch hunt, anarchy, fragmentation, and the most blatant breaking of the law thus far, for which we hope those responsible will be held responsible on all level of the state judiciary.

“Either a legal state or a Sarajevo without dogs” is the most shameful political trick and pre-election promise which has provided the hygienic services permission to indiscriminately catch dogs, take them to an unknown location or obscure locations in the vicinity of Sarajevo like concentration camps to which the dogs may or may not be brought to. Inspectors are silent and watching, criminal charges are mounting and will be processed sooner or later, and Sarajevo is filling newspaper articles about how it has become the city in which animals are being slaughtered.

Everything that we are seeing as part of the pre-election campaign will have repercussions in the field and will destroy the small chance we have to bring back trust in the system and the profession, while it will not lead to the solution of the problem.

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Rescued from the streets of Zenica

Someone will have to provide answers to the questions regarding the dogs, such as from which locations they were taken, who ordered it, were they sterilized or not, where are female dogs with puppies disappearing to, what is the number of euthanized dogs and where are their bodies located? Very soon someone will have to answer for these actions and provide answers to these questions.

It is critical to establish a system and a centralized method to humanely control the population of stray dogs in Canton Sarajevo, but these actions are not building a system or creating trust in it. This is not the way to implement the law, especially Article 14 of the law which is being misused. The law must be implemented in its entirety and with the intent to prevent the cause of the problem through oversight and monetary fines.

Instead of building a system and a tolerant society, the agitators are calling for the spread of fear and hatred, misunderstanding, and are joined by educators who are purposely supported by the teacher’s union. Dogs are always present, visible, an easy target to take away the focus off of other burning election and nonelection related topics. The question is for how long the electorate will be vulnerable to the same trickery. At the same time I am not denying that the problem exists, but I am pointing out that this is not the way to solve the problem. This is not a question of love, but the question of choice between good and bad practice with the full understanding that residents expect a magical solution to a city without dogs; this problem cannot be solved overnight but gradually, especially because some residents are contributing to the problem. All of the other promises are insincere and are just another lie fed to the public. The easier way is not the right way. Everything that is occurring in Sarajevo today and across other cities in BiH is at the cost of animal lives while the authorities remain silent, which makes it a criminal activity.

Studies across the world have shown that the catch-sterilize-release method is the most efficient in terms of animal population control. Why has that method failed to produce results in BiH?

P1020078Catch-sterilize-release method is the most effective way of controlling population in mid and long term. But, like any other method, it cannot bring about a solution if it’s conducted in isolation; it must work hand in hand with registration of all pets, fines for abandonment of pets, education in terms of responsible pet ownership, sterilization of pet and promotion of pet adoption. In a situation where you are conducting sterilization of the current generation of abandoned animals while you are receiving new generations of abandoned pets or stray dogs, or those that are migrating from other regions, you will not see a positive drop in the population; in this case, the best case scenario would be population stagnation. You cannot expect to conduct sterilization in just a few cities across BiH and achieve success. It is critical to have a systematic and continuous approach, and for years we have been fighting for a country-level strategy for implementation of catch-sterilize-release program. I am sure that a program like this would offer BiH support from big international organizations, even resources from IPA funds because a project like this would also mandate rabies vaccinations for all dogs. Moreover, continuity is critical for sterilization efforts to be effective; recommendations from all global authorities on the matter state that sterilization must be conducted in a way that would encompass as large of a population in the shortest time possible in order to ensure that while you are working on one generation, you are not absorbing a new generation due to the prolonged duration of the project. So, continuity, a comprehensive approach, and focus are needed.

One dog removed from the street is replaced by another one; that has been empirically and scientifically proven.

After seven years of continuous killings, the dog population on the streets has been reduced by nearly 32.5 percent. While after 5 years of implementing preventative measure such as sterilization to impede new generations reduced the number of abandoned animals by 95 percent. The calculation is clear, exact, and unequivocal.

sv3The media has reported that a shelter for abandoned animals is under construction. The cost of the project is 250,000 KM, while the capacity of the shelter will be 60 dogs. Do you think it is critical to invest that amount of funds? And, do you think that the shelter will resolve the problem?

There is a general misunderstanding of the purpose and function of animal shelters. Shelters are not the only measure for resolving the problem of stray dogs, but they are needed as one of the critical pieces in controlling the population of abandoned animals; besides, opening shelters is mandated by law. Good shelters are built in accordance with professional standards and conditions directed by law and relevant acts. What’s more important is that the shelter is managed properly and in accordance with standard operating procedures and practices. The better the shelter and the management are, the better is the security of the animals, their health (less risk of diseases spreading), and less cost for veterinary costs. A shelter in which animals are taken care of and have regular veterinary care and food, and where the hygiene standard is maintained, have a much greater chances for taking steps to being adopted or something similar. You must invest money is certain projects in order to receive a return on investment. I cannot state an opinion at this moment as we are talking about an incomplete project in Zenica, but we are as always available to help with education, implementing good practices, and developing guides, instructions, and similar.

P1020061Shelters are necessary in order to remove certain animals from the street, such as those that may have behavioral issues and require monitoring and socialization, or those in need of veterinary care, or those that are candidates for adoption, including puppies or small dogs that have difficulties surviving on the streets. Function of shelters and their purpose is not to accumulate large numbers of animals in one place while the cost grows. We will never be able to remove all dogs from the streets and that is not even the purpose of shelters. Their function is to help us remove those that can no longer survive on the streets and for the purposes of adopting them. Shelters are not waiting rooms for death or a gathering places for animals waiting in line to be euthanized. Shelters should not be like the modern Alcatraz, but should be places that have an open door policy, transparency, are responsible and have a work ethic, and are places that you want to visit to adopt a dog. In the meantime, catch-sterilize-release projects as well as registration of pet owners and breeders must take place precisely because they are financially sustainable and will deter animal abandonment. This is the only way forward in addition to education, changing minds and bad habits of animal ownership, elevating standards of the veterinary profession and education of veterinarians, controlling waste and the environment in order to produce mid-term results; therefore, consolidate all known preventative measures.

The problem of abandoned dogs must be analyzed through phenomenological sociology, and provide an overview of all causes, including people’s habits, structure of animal owners, structure of animal owners by gender, age, sterilization, the method of homing dogs (house or on the chain), motives behind having pets, etc. For example, an analysis of 100 abandoned dogs demonstrated that 80 percent of full bred and mixed dogs had familiar owners and are dogs that are young or old sick dogs. We must educate pet owners, change culture of pet ownerships, and our relationships with animals. That is a process and all citizens must participate, including pet owners, nongovernmental organizations, and veterinarians. Unfortunately, the veterinary profession has not responded to this problem in a responsible and ethical way.

In your opinion, are we being manipulated by information on dog biting?

Information on dog biting is definitely being manipulated both from the statistical and political point of view for purposes of scaring the public, hiding the authorities’ incompetence to solve the problem, and demonstrating that the problem is unsolvable and using this to take attention away from other problems or causes of this problem.

P1020069It’s almost as if a part of the public and the political elite actually likes it when a dog bites a person because they can use that to justify a witch hunt against dogs, which crosses into the domain of psychopathology. We see this daily and it constantly forces us to deal with the consequences and not the cause for having so many dogs on the streets.

Statistics regarding dog bites and attacks are often used to justify public fears and an unjustified hysteria that has been coming and going for years now. These fears are allowed to escalate and when that happens all reasonable solutions appears impossible, which the acclaimed journalist, Ozren Kebo, best described in a recent article for Gracija, and then everyone skillfully hides behind that “impossibility” to solve the problem and instead calls for ad hoc “solutions” known as mass slaughter. At the same time no one is held accountable for the fact that the law has not been implemented for 5 years and that the problem escalated, but who is allowing it to escalate and who is preventing the implementation of prevention measures mandated by law is unclear and questionless. No, because it is easier to kill under the guise of public safety than to implement the law and preventative measures, develop a system, regain trust in the system and the profession, register pets, and punish irresponsible pet owners which also generate state funds. But that would require for someone to do their job, but that is obviously impossible or difficult because to start someone would need to tell our citizens the truth that there will always be stray dogs as long as there are irresponsible owners, illegal breeders, incompetent veterinarians, inspectors who ignore their work, and that the problem which has been created over decades in best case scenario can be resolved in a few years, and not just during the month of election campaigning.

A good number of dog bites can be attributed to owned dogs, and we are hardly ever provided an analysis of the situation that led to the dog attack or if a certain number of attacks is initiated by the same group of dogs. That type of analysis is critical to resolving the problem responsibly and to exclusively removing dogs that are shown to have unstable behavior.

You are the leader of Association “SAPA Zencia.” Since 2009, you have conducted 23,000 interventions in the field, you have adopted 700 dogs, you lead education campaigns, serve as an informal information center, and you have conducted 2000 cases of catch-sterilize-release. Who did you manage to accomplish all of that? Does the Zenica County provide financial support for that work?

P1020066Association SAPA Zenica is a small team of hardworking, loyal, dedicated and motivated volunteers, which since 2009 have unselfishly fought by giving our time, love, money, and working in very hostile environments and being exposed to attacks, insults, and threats as well as being vilified. Surviving in that environment and preserving our Association as a public service in the framework of animal rights and a partner to other stakeholders is absolutely an achievement. To resist all attacks, challenges, attempts to divide us, and to preserve a unified front in Zenica, a city that may have the highest number of stray dogs within its and surrounding counties, is something that we are very proud of. SAPA is characterized by big internal strength and unity, its ability to see the big picture, and a sense of responsibility that we have accepted as a group of volunteers; it’s our wish to survive and contribute to the society in terms of resolving the problem connected to animals and to change consciousness and to show that we can and we should be recognized by the authorities as a strong partner working P1020060from the place of understanding, knowledge, and experience. It is hard to survive because there are many challenges and the public refuses to understand the causes of the problem and look at the big picture; instead they view the problem selectively, call for ad hoc solutions and it is very difficult to convince the public that we cannot resolve this problem overnight especially if we are not doing any prevention and dealing with the causes of that problem. It’s hard because the moment when you choose to be a volunteer in our society, there is an effort to destroy you instead of supporting you, and you are vilified and accused of being the reason for the existence of stray dogs because if you were not there, the dogs would be cold-bloodedly killed; and we just keep going in circles without holding accountable those who are truly responsible and going forth bravely by admitting that the only solution is to have prevention and implement consolidated measures. The majority of people hate you, accuse you but also have demands because they are confusing oversight and responsibility and not understanding that you as a volunteer wish to be there even if there are limits to the possibilities. Association Sapa Zenica has always known what it wants, we have a vision and a wish to do this volunteer work for the rest of our lives because animal protection is not a hobby to fill free time when you have nothing better to do, as some see it, but it is a way of life.

P1020153

Rescued from the streets of Zenica

To answer your other question, Zenica County does not finance the work of the Association Sapa Zenica. Our work and activities are financed by our members and sympathizers, and it includes the cost of animal health, number of procedures, shelter fees, food, medicine, sterilization projects and other logistical costs, education materials and similar things. Some of our sterilization projects have been financed by international organizations which covered the cost of some logistics and veterinarian fees. Zenica County does provide partial financial resources for sterilization project up until 2013, which fulfilled some of its law mandated responsibilities in implementing Article 43 of the Animal Protection and welfare Law to provide medicine and materials for conducting sterilization and providing vaccinations. The Zenica County provided financial resources in 2010 and 2012 to a veterinary facility to promote animal health, for which we are grateful, and it covered 20 percent of the needs and costs just in Zenica; this didn’t include the cost associated with transporting animals from Zenica to Sarajevo for operations and diagnostic procedures.

Recently rescued from the streets by SAPA Zenica volunteers

Recently rescued from the streets by SAPA Zenica volunteers

Without outside help, Association SAPA has financed all of its logistics since 2009 with the help of its members. These project-related costs include transportation for catching and returning animals, food, hygienic equipment, some medicine, diapers and similar things. For years we have covered our own costs of rescuing in Zenica, and a number of other operational costs. We have a growing number of wounded and sick animals, growing needs and we need help. [To help SAPA Zenica, please see the end of the article]

Do you collaborate with international organizations for protection and welfare of dogs?

Association SAPA Zenica works with a number of organizations in BiH and outside of the country on education, pet adoption, sterilization projects, exchange of knowledge and experiences. Every day we are learning.

Ms. Vidovic, do you have a pet?

I have two girl dogs, Tyru and Suska. Both were adopted from the streets and that happened during my son’s first year. Tyra is with us since 2010 and she was saved as a baby with a difficult injury to her hip and legs. Suska was adopted from the street as a puppy as well in 2011 when she was about three months old; we found her in a state of hunger and with a difficult skin condition which was successfully treated. They are truly members of our family and are daily enriching our lives; they remind us that animals are a blessing. We are surrounded by prejudice, and with a lack of knowledge people sink into delusion; they think that if you have a child, you cannot have a dog, or two dogs. Everything can be done without problems and stress, it just requires a little good will and open hearts and mind, and children who grow up with animals are shown to be better, more empathetic and responsible people. We have indescribable luck to have Tyra and Suska in our lives. To all people thinking about getting a pet, I recommend that you adopt an abandoned animal and not to buy animals, but to open their doors to street dogs and cat, and they just might be waiting for you. Their affection and love are our biggest gift.

Message for the end

Let’s respect animals and their right to life. Let’s not allow to have other create fears and hatred in us. Let’s not sink into delusion and allow others to manipulate us. Let’s open our hearts and mind for others and those different than us and understand that we are not the only ones on the planet, ruling over life and death.

P1020139

Rescued from the streets of Zenica

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Many of the photographs in this blog were taken during a recent visit to meet the volunteers of SAPA Zenica and the dogs they help. If you wish to support SAPA Zenica in their work in Bosnia Herzegovina, donations can be made via bank transfer to:

UniCredit Bank d.d.
SWIFT: UNCRBA22
Address of the bank: Kardinala Stepinca b.b. Mostar
Details of beneficiary:
IBAN CODE: BA393385804819527135
Full beneficiary’s name: Udruzenje za spasavanje i zastitu zovotinja SAPA Zenica
Full beneficiaries address: Fra Grge Martica 15

Or you can make a donation via Paypal to AWABosnia (details below), but please be sure to mark your donation for ‘SAPA Zenica’.

For more information about SAPA Zenica, please email: sapa.zenica@gmail.com

Petitions:

BOSNIA! IMPLEMENT HUMANE STRAY-DOG AND CAT POPULATION CONTROL AND TREATMENT
Stop massive killing of dogs in Sarajevo
Petition to save Bosnia’s stray dogs! Please sign!
Also see the petitions on the Petitions page.

Related articles in this blog:

Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dog?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!

Related media:

Ambassador’s Notes: Embassy Sarajevo Views from U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jelena Paunović: I got bi’en by a dog in the election campaign /  Jelena Paunović: Uj’o me cuko u predizbornoj kampanji
Masovni pokolj pasa u KS košta 680.000 KMMassive dog slaughter in Canton Sarajevo will cost 340 000 EUR
AlJazeera: Kontekst: Problem zbrinjavanja pasa u Sarajevu  (Context: The problem of disposal of dogs in Sarajevo)
Emergency phone numbers available for Canton Sarajevo residents to report dog attacks / Hitni telefoni za prijavu napada pasa dostupni građanima KS
Criminal Charges Pressed Against Acting Prime Minister in The Government of Sarajevo Due to Forming Illegal Dog Catching Service
Bosnia: Sarajevo creates unit ‘to catch stray dogs’
U državama u kojima ne vlada zakon prava, vlada zakon linča
Stranka za BiH: Odluka Vlade KS o uklanjanju napuštenih pasa je neustavna i nezakonita
Sarajevo: Podnesena kaznena prijava zbog formiranja ilegalnog šintorskog servisa

 

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DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.

Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.

If you want your contribution to go to a specific cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.

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This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?

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Gladno Polje ‘Shelter’ in Sarajevo, BiH

The following is a translation of an interview with Inga Dujmovic, Senior Associate of the State Veterinary Inspector for animal welfare in Bosnia Herzegovina.

Interview with Inga Dujmovic: Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina has jurisdiction but so far we have not undertaken inspections of dog shelters
Published on the BiH media portal Taco.net 04/10/2014
Author: Predrag Blagovčanin

ingaState law on the protection and welfare of animals was passed in 2009. This law clearly defined the solution to the problem of abandoned street dogs and a series of subordinate regulations were adopted which fully encompassed the protection of animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH). We spoke with Inga Dujmovic, State Veterinary Inspector for control of animal welfare regarding the lack of implementation of the law for years, the work and jurisdiction of the Veterinary Office of BiH, the problem of stray dogs, and a number of other issues.

Interview By: Predrag Blagovcanin

Are you satisfied with the work of the federal, canton or county authorities as well as the work of RS Inspectors regarding the fulfillment of the Animal Protection and Welfare Law?

Regarding that question I can speak about an incomplete implementation of Act 38 of the law which obligates inspection authorities to document their oversight and report inspection results and measures taken for protection and welfare of animals to the Veterinary Office of BiH. We have received a very small number of reports in 2009 and 2010. Veterinary Office of BiH believes that the inspection authorities are conducting their jobs to the best possible extent and maybe there are specific sanctions issued due to violations of the Animal Protection and Welfare Law, but the Veterinary Office of BiH is not familiar with any such enforcements issued by the inspection authorities although by law we should be informed.

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

Why is the Veterinary Office of BiH unfamiliar with enforcement and work of inspection authorities?

Because we are not receiving the law mandated reports from the inspection authorities.

A significant amount of work is conducted by the Federal Administration for Inspection; however, those reports are cumulative from all of their oversight. Unless it is explicitly indicated, it is impossible to determine if the inspection was conducted in relation to animal welfare. Based on the provided reports, we are unable to see how many inspections are conducted under this law.

In May 2013, Council of Ministers of BiH adopted information regarding the implementation of the Animal Protection and Welfare Law composed by the Veterinary Office of BiH. Thereafter, all counties were mandated to issue summonses to dog owners to register their pets through local community councils. I am interested in finding out if that was accomplished and what is the general problem with the central registry?

As far as I am aware, that was only conducted by the Novo Sarajevo County. I am unsure about the remaining counties in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The terms for establishing a registry for the entire BiH are contingent on the existence of the protocol for identification of dogs and cats. That protocol is still in the proceedings stage. Hence, we are awaiting the recommendations of the entity ministries in order to move it forward to the Council of Ministries.

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

What is your opinion regarding the unconstitutionality of the 2008 Animal Protection and Welfare Law of Republika Srpska and its inconsistency with the State law?

The question regarding constitutionality can only be considered by the Constitutional Court of Bosnia and Herzegovina if a hearing is initiated. In terms of inconsistencies, and considering the fact that the Animal Protection and Welfare Law on the state level was identified as one of the Action Plan priorities for fulfillment based on priorities for European Partnership with BiH and adopted by the Council of Minister of BiH as well as one of priorities to harmonize Entity and State veterinary laws, I hope that the Animal Protection and Welfare Law of RS will be harmonized with the State law.

At the July 26, 2012 session of the Council of Ministers of BiH, they were familiarized with Human Rights Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina’s recommendations regarding the fulfillment of the Animal Protection and Welfare Law and the related Veterinary Office of BiH’s goal to resolve the problem of stray dog population. What has the Veterinary Office of BiH done from 2012 to now?

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

Based on the recommendation by the Human Rights Ombudsman of Bosnia and Herzegovina and as the result of the misconduct under the Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights and Freedoms due to the lack of implementation of the law by local community councils, the Veterinary Office of BiH was not specified for shouldering the recommended measures.

Considering that the responsibility for regulating the stray dog population lies with the local community councils, as mandated by law and recognized by the Ombudsman, the Veterinary Office of BiH has tried to recommend and establish a common model for the implementation of the law during its meetings with local community councils given the difficult financial situation across BiH.

However, the scarcity of financial resources is always listed as the reason for the lack of implementation of the law regarding the care of stray dogs. In principal, this refers to the establishment of shelters as causing the highest demand for financial resources. For implementation of preventative measures, such as castration/sterilization and vaccination of stray dogs, the counties have more or less appropriated funds. Hence, we cannot say that nothing is being done, in some way they have been awaken by the Ombudsman’s recommendations and have begun implementing the law. The point that the counties are responsible for the implementation of the law is confirmed by a big number of payments to residents for damages sustained due to dog bites. So, the counties are processing payments as a result of court orders which further demonstrate their responsibility. Otherwise the court would not rule in favor of the claimant, namely the person who suffered a dog bite. Counties are well aware of this fact but are continuously maintaining the story of funding scarcity. However, if the law would have been implemented and the funds budgeted in a timely manner, it could have resulted in a much greater number of animal shelters that are not capped at 500 animals. It is important to stress that the cost for building shelters and daily stay of animals in shelters has been publicly overstated.

In your opinion, has the castration and sterilization of dogs been successful given that the number of stray dogs in Sarajevo has increased yearly?

P1020660

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

Based on the counting conducted by Dogs Trust over the last three years, this year we have noted a decrease in four city counties where counting is performed. However, the number has overall increased as a result that dogs are being brought to Sarajevo. It is impossible to have such a big number of unsterilized dogs presented at sterilization programs in certain parts of the city. That means that when we announce a sterilization program, we are seeing adult dogs which after three years of sterilization and castration should have previously been sterilized. However, it is evident from the behavior and general state of packs consisting of five to six dogs that they have been brought from some other region. They are scared and unfamiliar with the region to which they were brought to. The notable aggression of dog packs is due to the fear and unfamiliarity of the region. These dogs, at least the ones I saw, are in a poor state, lack nutrition, a large number have skin problems due to neglect, but most of all they are scared. Therefore, these are not dogs from the city that are being looked after, and that is evident from their condition and behavior.

Does that mean that certain counties are resolving their stray dog problem by bringing dogs to Sarajevo?

That is the case and I think that the situation would be much better and we could see the results of sterilization if each county conducted sterilization as mandated by law.

What kind of collaboration exists between the Veterinary Office of BiH and animal protection non-governmental organizations?

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

The Veterinary Office of BiH has an advisory role in its collaboration with Dogs Trust to develop the program. We are attempting to point out main problems with implementation of the law and where Dogs Trust, as an experienced and knowledgeable organization, can help to resolve the problem. The Veterinary Office of BiH is insisting that Dogs Trust expand its area of operations to a broader region of Bosnia and Herzegovina and step outside of Sarajevo. Our opinion is that this would be highly useful to local communities, particularly due to the reason I previously mention that dogs are being brought to Sarajevo under the impression that the problem is being resolved in Sarajevo. In smaller communities, the source of stray dogs comes from abandoned puppies of dogs owned dogs, which are traditionally left “in front of strangers’ doors.” Veterinary Office of BiH maintains that the problem must be resolved in the local communities through castration of owned dogs to prevent population growth, and of course, the number of abandoned dogs. Those are two parallel lines that must be addressed.

Based on your knowledge, how many stray dogs are in Sarajevo?

Current estimates indicate that the number is around 8,000.

What are the legal procedures under which owners are punished for abandoning their pets?

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

If we are able to establish a connection between a dog and the owner, which is critical for punishment, the law has provided the course for punishment and has strictly forbidden animal abandonment. The ability to punish irresponsible owners exists and the essence of this law is to promote responsible ownership and to punish irresponsible owners. At the moment this is not possible because we do not have a protocol for registry which would require owners to register their pets. At the moment, in most cases, inspectors are unable to determine ownership of dogs.

Why has the protocol not been established?

I really don’t know how to answer that question.

Can we then say that the question of stray dogs is a matter of politics and not professionalism? Does it appear to you that this matter is being impacted by politics more than the profession, and that is the reason why the Advising Council and Ethics Committee has not been established yet?

It is obvious that this matter is being impacted by politics more than by the profession. Not the entire law, but exclusively the matter of abandoned dogs. Dogs are visible and if they were removed we would quickly see the result of someone’s work. The way that would be done or those results achieved is less important. This law never intended for dogs to be on the streets or to have the current situation as its aim. Had the law been implemented over the past five years and all measures applied as mandated by law, the situation would be different. In the first, second and third year we were not mandated to have established shelters, but by the fourth year we should have had a certain number of shelters; and if we would have consistently performed sterilization and castration, I don’t think that we would have this situation today. In the end, if Article 14 of the Law was implemented and aggressive dogs were euthanized, we would not have this many dogs in my opinion. By that I also mean stray dogs that are sick, meaning dogs with compromised welfare. Despite our good collaboration with nongovernmental organizations, we developed divergent opinions. In that sense the nongovernmental organizations assumed a burden that is not delegated to them by law.

After four years of not implementing the Animal Protection and Welfare Law, is it even possible to resolve the problem of stray dogs through the means mandated by law?

I believe that is it. Precisely because the law encompasses the entire population and has

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

exactly outlined steps for what is necessary to achieve this. I believe that if we begin fully implementing the law that the problem would be resolved, provided that we count on adoptions of which we must have more of. That’s precisely what I see the role of nongovernmental sector to be, and that its current focus should be redirected to adoptions in order to ensure effective shelters and a way for animals to leave shelters.

When we speak about dog shelters across the entire Bosnia and Herzegovina, how many shelters have been closed by the Veterinary Office of BiH due to violations of regulations for operating shelters?

The Office has not closed any, and neither have the inspection authorities as far as I know.

Have you personally visited shelters for abandoned dogs in Gladno polje and Praca in the vicinity of Sarajevo and what do you think about the conditions under which dogs are kept in the shelters?

I did not visit them. I attended the opening of Praca but I have not been involved in the oversight of those shelters and cannot give an opinion on their fulfillment of regulations.

Based on photographs circulating in the media, we can conclude that shelter dogs are living in inhumane conditions. Why are we seeing such pictures from shelters which are receiving significant financial resources?

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

From what I have seen in photographs, and I am only referring to photographs that I saw through media sources and internet portals, it is in fact true that those are inhumane conditions. First of all, those are unsanitary conditions and the focus on the facilities is not as important as the human factor, unkempt hygiene and the lack of the protocol for operating shelters. It is not enough to just build shelters. You must build an entire infrastructure of people to work in shelters in order for them to function. Especially because you are dealing with a large number of animals and there is an enormous amount of work. Hence, whoever goes into the business of running shelters must be ready for the fact that it entails a lot of work and that everything depends on the prescribed regulations. Conditions are definitely unhygienic and it appears that the shelters are over capacity.

Who has oversight over shelters and who controls work procedures?

Oversight is based on territories. These include canton level, republic, and county level inspector of Republika Srpska.

Does that mean that the Veterinary Inspector Department does not have jurisdiction over shelters?

Veterinary Inspector Department does have jurisdiction, however, we have not conducted shelter inspections.

Why?

Answer to that question must be sought from the Director of the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

You have mentioned microchipping of small animals. I am interested in why the Veterinary Office has not developed a protocol for microchipping of small animals given that the protocol was supposed to be established in 2009 when the Animal Protection and Welfare Law went into effect?

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

Microchipping, which means registering all animals on the territory of Bosnia and Herzegovina, has been mandated by the veterinary law of Bosnia and Herzegovina since 2002. Therefore, this law did not dictate mandatory animal microchipping, but has reconfirmed that responsibility. In the respect of abandoned dogs and cats, the protocol on the registry of dogs and cats is a crucial component to implementing the law in a way that allows inspectors to do their jobs and to fill the budget through paid fines from the start. This law is not fully effective due to the fact that no one has been successful in issuing fines for the reasons I previously stated. We cannot connect an animal to the owner that abandoned it. The moment we are able to fill the budget through this law, I believe that the story regarding the inability to implement it would fall off or significantly decrease.

When can we then expect the implementation of the law?

When everyone responsible for the implementation begins to behave that way and take action, when we begin working on preventing the source of the problem, and not on resolving consequences of not implementing the law. That is the more expensive option.

Do you have a pet?

I do. I had dogs for twenty years, more precisely I had two dogs. Now I have a cat, but I am close to making a decision on adopting a stray dog. I am cognizant of dog ownership responsibilities and have been vacillating for a long time; however, I think that I have exhausted all of the reasons “against,” which in truth there have not been many.

Gladno Polje "Shelter", Sarajevo, BiH

Gladno Polje “Shelter”, Sarajevo, BiH

As you can see from the photographs in this article, Gladno Polje shelter in Sarajevo is in terrible condition. It is but one of many public shelters in the country. Please see: Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia and many other posts in this blog. The dogs at Gladno Polje are at least monitored by animal activists, but they need your help. Please join our FB Event: Help the dogs in Gladno Polje survive the winter! 

And you can donate via YouCaring: Help the Gladno Polje dogs survive winter

Petitions:

BOSNIA! IMPLEMENT HUMANE STRAY-DOG AND CAT POPULATION CONTROL AND TREATMENT
Stop massive killing of dogs in Sarajevo
Petition to save Bosnia’s stray dogs! Please sign!
Also see the petitions on the Petitions page.

Related articles in this blog:

The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!

Related media:

Ambassador’s Notes: Embassy Sarajevo Views from U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jelena Paunović: I got bi’en by a dog in the election campaign /  Jelena Paunović: Uj’o me cuko u predizbornoj kampanji
Masovni pokolj pasa u KS košta 680.000 KMMassive dog slaughter in Canton Sarajevo will cost 340 000 EUR
AlJazeera: Kontekst: Problem zbrinjavanja pasa u Sarajevu  (Context: The problem of disposal of dogs in Sarajevo)
Emergency phone numbers available for Canton Sarajevo residents to report dog attacks / Hitni telefoni za prijavu napada pasa dostupni građanima KS
Criminal Charges Pressed Against Acting Prime Minister in The Government of Sarajevo Due to Forming Illegal Dog Catching Service
Bosnia: Sarajevo creates unit ‘to catch stray dogs’
U državama u kojima ne vlada zakon prava, vlada zakon linča
Stranka za BiH: Odluka Vlade KS o uklanjanju napuštenih pasa je neustavna i nezakonita
Sarajevo: Podnesena kaznena prijava zbog formiranja ilegalnog šintorskog servisa

 

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.

Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.

If you want your contribution to go to a specific cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.

______________________________________________

This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo

GEDSC DIGITAL CAMERAJournalist and animal activist Jelena Paunovic walked the streets of Sarajevo to film the so-called ‘aggressive’ stray dogs of the city. She has taken photographs and a video of her findings… One of the photographs is above. Here is the video she took:

Please read Jelena’s post on her blog, Journalists for Animals:  Sarajevo: Are abandoned dogs truly dangerous?

I too wandered through Sarajevo recently, and not a single stray I came across was aggressive in any way. Here is just one of many:

P1020748P1020750

Petitions:
BOSNIA! IMPLEMENT HUMANE STRAY-DOG AND CAT POPULATION CONTROL AND TREATMENT
Stop massive killing of dogs in Sarajevo
Petition to save Bosnia’s stray dogs! Please sign!
Also see the petitions on the Petitions page.

Related articles in this blog:
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!

Related media:

Ambassador’s Notes: Embassy Sarajevo Views from U.S. Ambassador to Bosnia and Herzegovina
Jelena Paunović: I got bi’en by a dog in the election campaign /  Jelena Paunović: Uj’o me cuko u predizbornoj kampanji
Masovni pokolj pasa u KS košta 680.000 KMMassive dog slaughter in Canton Sarajevo will cost 340 000 EUR
AlJazeera: Kontekst: Problem zbrinjavanja pasa u Sarajevu  (Context: The problem of disposal of dogs in Sarajevo)
Emergency phone numbers available for Canton Sarajevo residents to report dog attacks / Hitni telefoni za prijavu napada pasa dostupni građanima KS
Criminal Charges Pressed Against Acting Prime Minister in The Government of Sarajevo Due to Forming Illegal Dog Catching Service
Bosnia: Sarajevo creates unit ‘to catch stray dogs’
U državama u kojima ne vlada zakon prava, vlada zakon linča
Stranka za BiH: Odluka Vlade KS o uklanjanju napuštenih pasa je neustavna i nezakonita
Sarajevo: Podnesena kaznena prijava zbog formiranja ilegalnog šintorskog servisa

 

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.

Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.

If you want your contribution to go to a specific cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.

______________________________________________

This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.