On 11 November 2011, two drunken teenagers in Ilidža, Bosnia-Herzegovina, put a rocket explosive firework into a young German Shepherd’s mouth and duct-taped his jaws shut, setting the rocket alight. The firework caused horrific injuries to the dog’s face, but did not kill him. He wandered about for five days before being finally rescued by animal welfare volunteers who took him to a veterinarian’s office. The firework shell was still embedded in the dog’s head, and maggots had started to eat his ruined flesh. The vets determined his injuries could not be helped and he was euthanized.
The animal welfare volunteers named the dog, ‘Vučko’. Vučko means little wolf. In Native American medicine, the wolves are our teachers.
This image is how Vučko might have looked. It is not real, it is a reconstruction by Victoria Rider Galietta.
Images and a video of Vučko can be found here.
Several petitions were created to bring the perpetrators of this act to justice, to expose the severity of animal abuse, and to create proper legislation to protect animals in Bosnia-Herzegovina. No action was taken against the perpetrators because of the difficulty of implementing animal abuse laws. There are no animal welfare organisations like the RSPCA or ASPCA in Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Nearly 200,000 people signed these petitions which were sent to the authorities, but so far there has been no result.
Please don’t let Vučko’s suffering and death be for nothing. Please help animal welfare volunteers in their efforts to save other abused and suffering animals. His case is but one amongst many.
Acts of cruelty against dogs and cats are common in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country struggling to rebuild itself since the 1992 civil war. Up until 2009 no animal protection laws existed. Since then, authorities not consistently applied these laws. Their indifference to the problem reinforces a public perception that animals do not matter. With a burgeoning stray cat and dog problem, reports of animal cruelty, dog hunts, poisonings, dumping of animals, are still commonplace. There are many hundreds who are starving or hurt or abused, and many freeze to death in the cold winters. There are no government or society-funded animal protection programmes, no adequately funded or equipped animal shelters, no RSPCA or ASPCA organisations.
Thus the situation for stray animals in this country is dire. What happened to Vučko is happening to others, and worse. There are some images of other animals animal welfare volunteers have tried to rescue here. Be warned, they are shocking.
Even the smallest donation will help, one dollar or one euro. They need funds for medical and food supplies, veterinarian office visits, proper housing for animals awaiting care and re-homing. Go here to help.
Someone who is able to contact animals who have passed has tuned into Vučko. I sent her a photograph. One of the unaltered ones. This is what she says:
When I tuned into Vučko, I must say I wasn’t expecting to see a photograph like that, it is horrible, and words cannot express how seeing that made me feel. You know how some people sacrifice themselves for humanity, that is how Vucko sees himself. It was a blessing for him to be euthanised. I am not sure anything could of been done, but to see how he feels after it happened it is a good job he was found. He is a very deep thinker and I am wondering if you would of started to help the animals if you hadn’t of seen this boy. I feel there was in between three and five teenagers, one was the ring leader who thought doing this would be good fun, but now feel not a day goes by where these lads don’t dream about what they have done. Sometimes things have a way of turning round. I do also feel that the main man that did this is a bully, and would not change his ways and will probably get his just deserts.
Animals amaze me as they do not hold grudges by anyone and forgive anything. And when our loved ones leave us they change back into full health and fitness, all past hurts abuse cleared and healed.
Image by Snarling Flames on Deviantart
HATE, ABUSE, ANIMALS, VIOLENCE, COURAGE, BELIEFS
“Dogs yelp, cats cry. Animals have died over time. Animals are loving and sweet, and they’re asking you to please not beat. If you come join me, maybe then you’ll see just how cruel you people can truly be. Now you have a choice. A choice to come with me and save the animals that have no voice. Or watch them plea for help and be as cruel as the abusers can be. Choose wise, think hard. Help me win this battle that they are in. Help me save these animals that you see. Animals have thoughts and feelings too, but have no voice to share with you. Please help to be their voice.”
~ Written for Vučko by Barbara Semeiks