Seven Years of Lobbying for National Pet Register in Bosnia Comes to Fruition

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-22-47-18Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer and activist writes:

The BiH Council of Ministers have just passed a long awaited by-Law on the identification and keeping of a registry of dogs and cats. All rescuers have waited for this for years. It’s a critically important law covering the implementation and endorsement of a registry and central database at the state level for owned companion animals, and as such is a pre-requisite to fuller implementation of the laws against animal abuse, abandoning pets and so on. Who knows how long will it take for the State Veterinary office to put into place an operational database and ensure local level vet station endorsement and data flow, but at least the first formal step is finally in place.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-22-50-18In 2009 the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals of Bosnia and Herzegovina was legislated and entered into force by the BiH Parliamentary Assembly. Torturing and killing animals is a criminal offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According the Act, every municipality is obliged to establish and finance shelters for stray animals and hygienic services are obliged to catch and transport stray animals to the veterinary stations and shelters. Two very important laws were legislated in 2010: laws which concern the establishment of and conditions within shelters for stray animals and how hygienic services must undertake their activities. These laws provide very strict and humane procedures for establishing and maintaining shelters and hygienic services.

Overall, Bosnia and Herzegovina has one of the best animal welfare legislations in Europe, but the reality is different and cruel for stray animals.

The animal welfare laws of BiH are in fact extensive and cover the responsibility of people regarding the protection and welfare of animals in terms of: breeding/keeping, providing shelter and food, protecting from torture, animal protection in the process of slaughtering, being exposed to stress while transported, wildlife protection; treatment of abandoned animals, pets and laboratory animals, establishing ethics committees and expert councils/boards concerning the welfare of animals.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-22-51-05The Ministry Council of Bosnia and Herzegovina has just enacted the Ordinance on registration, microchipping and identification of ownership of animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, seven years after the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals had been legislated.

Despite the fact that rescuers, activists and all domestic and foreign animal advocates had been waiting for so long, the legislation of this by-law is a huge success for many reasons.

The increased numbers of dogs on the streets is always and only a direct result of irresponsible ownership and a direct result of the failure of the authorities to implement preventive measures that are provided by the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals. The authorities do not punish those who abandon animals, they have not ensured the full identification of ownership of pets, have not adequately ensured spay/neuter projects with vaccination and tagging of stray animals in an appropriate form and number, and have not created education and information campaigns aimed to raise public awareness about the causes of the problem. Furthermore, because of the lack of a register of breeders, irresponsible and unregistered breeders also creates an increasing of number of stray animals.

The stray dog and cat populations are a result of all of these failures.

screen-shot-2016-11-13-at-22-51-28Enacting this by-law on the identification and keeping of a registry of dogs and cats will force the Veterinary Office to establish a national database of pets which will enable veterinary inspectors to punish those who abandon animals in Bosnia. The fine for abandoning a pet is 5000 Euros in Bosnia and Herzegovina. This is eight month’s salary for the average citizen in the country. Until now, violators of the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals could not be punished because such a national database of pets did not exist, and the database could not be established because this ordinance was not legislated.

Of course, it will take some time for the Veterinary Office to implement this Ordinance on registration, microchipping and identification of ownership of animals and it will require further lobbying but enacting of the ordinance is a huge step forward.

The implementation of the law will directly affect the consciousness of citizens, encouraging them to make different choices regarding their pets. Once the registry of tagged animals and owners of animals is created, it will enable the authorities to identify, prosecute and punish those who abandon or abuse animals.

If you want to support the strays of Bosnia please join Dalida’s Facebook group and AWABosnia Facebook group.

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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. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

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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.

Dogs Have Become Public Enemy Number One

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-21-39-48Interview with Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, in “Tacno“, 8 September 2016
Author: Predrag Blagovcanin
Translator: Jelena Martinelli, www.sprachenboutique.com

Dogs have become public enemy number one and the lightning rod for a society which suffers from all kinds of problems. If this society thinks about how to kill as many dogs as possible rather than how to make a living, here the problem starts. We are a psychopathic society that suffers from mass aggression and a society that has misdirected its aggression.

“All his life my father has been rescuing abandoned dogs. Already in Ex-Yugoslavia he was fighting against hunters and the killings of dogs in the streets. In August 2004 we barely survived a shooting in front of our family house that a member of the Breza hunting society had started and during which a dog was killed right in front of my eyes. This was the point in time when in addition to being a rescuer I became an activist and lobbyist for the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina. After I graduated from law school I continued my fight through legal protection of animals.”

Dalida Kozlic is an activist for legal protection of animals. For years she has been drawing public attention to the consequences of the non-implementation of the Animal Protection and Welfare Act. For her rescue efforts and hints at financial corruption and the non-transparent public spending with respect to abandoned animals, Dalida and her family continue to suffer pressures from the local government. This interview was done after her father Eldar Kozlic was physically attacked in the premises of the municipality of Breza earlier this month. We also have spoken about the decision of the Sarajevo Canton to remove all abandoned and stray dogs from the streets for community safety reasons, the relationship between the citizens and the officials who fail to solve the problem, the politicization of this issue and other topics…

Tacno: Last week your father was physically attacked in the premises of the municipality of Breza. Can you tell us what preceded this attack and why you and your family have been under constant pressure from the local administration in this municipality?

Dalida Kozlic: In 2013 my father Eldar Kozlic and myself learned that one part of the abandoned dogs, that were in the city centre of Breza, had been caught and brought from the territory of Breza to the hunting grounds of the municipality of Ilijas. Some of the municipality officials were involved in this. The problems started, after my father and myself had reported this to the authorities in charge: First we came under attack by our neighbor Edin Velic, who was campaigning and collecting signatures against us, because we were keeping dogs on our property. Later it turned out, that most of the signatures were falsified. Many other pressures started against my family. During the trial Edin Velic admitted that he was influenced and pressured by municipality officials to give us a hard time because of our battle for animal welfare. Then, the cantonal veterinary inspection checked our premises and confirmed that our dogs were well nourished, vaccinated, medically checked and that the boxes in which they were accommodated fulfilled all the requirements of the Regulation concerning protection of dogs, who are kept as pets in Bosnia and Hercegovina. Later on we learned, that the officer for economic affairs and deputy mayor of the Breza municipality, Salih Hasanspahic, had put pressure literally every day on the veterinary inspection to issue an unfavorable report. Nevertheless, the cantonal veterinary inspection followed the findings of the local sanitary inspection: they too confirmed that all sanitary requirements were fulfilled, dogs were kept properly and that there was a sewage system. It became quiet for a while, but it seemed to be like the calm before the storm: As soon as I continued to report a series of animal abuses in Breza and killings of dogs in the county of “Rudnik Mrkog Ulja Breza”, the pressure was back on.

Then, a new decision regarding the treatment of abandoned dogs and pets was taken on the community level, and, without any legal basis, a new community inspector Elsada Sehovic took office. She too issued a report confirming that the dogs were kept in accordance to the law, however she decided that my dad had to remove the dogs from the property.

I want to emphasize that it was Muris Nuhanovic, donor to the party “Association for a better future Bosnia and Hercegovina”, who had reported us to the local inspection. This party did everything they could to change the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina, although they failed, and they are promoting killing as a solution. Also it is important to know that Muris Nurhanovic is our neighbor who I have reported to the police because of the brutal stoning of a dog, for which there is also photo evidence. The dog is safe, and against Muris Nuhanovic an investigation is being carried out. He had reported us to the local inspection after he was summoned as a suspect concerning this criminal offence. His complaint against the decision has been rejected in an accelerated procedure, while I have initiated a legal action against the local administration which is still not closed.

Once the community officials realized that they would lose the legal battle and that they could not influence my work, Halil Tuzlic, the mayor, asked for cooperation during a meeting with my father and me, and suggested that the municipality of Breza offer a piece of land where a dog shelter could be built and thus the Animal Welfare and Protection Act implemented. He asked us to help with our contacts and especially wanted me to help with the legal work and the supervision of the shelter.

Salih Hasanspahic was responsible for the coordination. The time limit to find a property was one month.  However, after two months even there was no concrete proposal, since he insisted that me and my family had to solve the entire problem of the abandoned dogs in the municipality of Breza, that the community bore no responsibility at all and that we moved our dogs to this shelter. It also turned out that he deliberately obstructed the whole process in order to put through his own interests.

My father made an appointment with him on the 2nd September 2016 in his office in the Breza town hall. When my father entered Salih Hasanspahic’s office, Salih left the office and came back in with Edin Velic. My father reacted saying that he had nothing to talk about with them. Right after that, Salih calls in Muris Nuhanovic and the local inspector and locks the office. My father tells them that he is being kept hostage, that there is nothing to discuss and demands to be set free immediately. Salih is not willing to unlock the door and tells my father that he is going to “stay until dawn if it’s necessary to solve “their” problem”. Now Muris Nuhanovic attacks my father several times who cannot leave the office, while Salih refuses to unlock the door. All this lasts for about 15 minutes, when Salih finally opens the door after Nuhanovic had tried to punch my father.

My father immediately goes to the police office, which is 50 meters away from the town hall building. The police officers find them still on site, and the criminal investigation department immediately takes over the case since there are several criminal offences involved. The public prosecution department is in charge of the case. I would like to emphasize that the illegal restraint committed by Salih Hasanspahic is especially important, and it is also very significant that it happened right on the first day of the election campaign, which is noteworthy, since I have noticed a certain resistance from Salih Hasanspahic to follow orders from the mayor, as well as a resistance against the mayor personally. The public prosecution department of the Canton of Doboj-Zenica has to take the case very seriously and take all measures foreseen by law to punish the perpetrators. This was an attempted lynching of a family that takes care of 120 dogs, which we have taken from the streets, which again would have been the duty of municipality authorities, and a family who is fighting for the implementation of the act.

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Tacno: The latest decision of the government of the Canton of Sarajevo to remove all the dogs from the streets of Sarajevo has upset the animal welfare organizations. Why?

Dalida Kozlic: The decision taken by the government of the Canton of Sarajevo on the session of the 30th June 2016, which orders catching of abandoned dogs on a massive scale on the territory of the Sarajevo Canton, is not only a gross violation of the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina but also a serious form of organized business crime. This decision was preceded by the preparation of the project “Monitoring of zoonotic infectious and parasitic diseases in the population of abandoned dogs in the Canton of Sarajevo”. Project executors were the cantonal public company KJP “Veterinarska stanica d.o.o. Sarajevo”, the Veterinary faculty in Sarajevo and the Cantonal administration for inspection – the Inspectorate for the veterinary inspection. The value of the project was KM 133’000 (USD 76’000). The mentioned large-scale catching of dogs had been entrusted to the cantonal public waste management company KJKP “Rad d.o.o. Sarajevo” and KJP “Veterinarska stanica d.o.o. Sarajevo”. Responsible for the execution of the above mentioned decision was the ministry of public utilities and infrastructure of the Sarajevo Canton, while the decision and the project were financed from the budget of the Canton of Sarajevo. The Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina bans any type of experimenting and unauthorized testing on abandoned animals, while the veterinary laws and regulations of Bosnia and Hercegovina state that only the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Hercegovina is allowed to undertake projects to determine and control diseases of any origin in the population. The scandalous, inhumane and illegal way of treating captured dogs is best observed in the example of the illegal shelter in Zunovnica. It is confirmed also through photos taken in the mentioned building, that dogs are obviously held without food and water, that they are starved and skinny and that they are literally lying in their own feces which have not been removed for a long period of time. They are exposed to contagion, they are running the risk of injuring one another, and because of these inhumane conditions they die in agony. Also, we have found out, that the dogs are taken for neutering/spaying and then are brought back not just to a dirty place, but to a place covered with feces. Zunovica is literally a concentration camp and the most horrific example of the breaking of many laws by the cantonal government itself, which spends tax money on this horrific torture of abandoned dogs.

Tacno: Can you as a lawyer explain to us, why to date the Animal Protection and Welfare Act still has not been fully implemented, although it has been adopted in 2009?

Dalida Kozlic: The Animal Protection and Welfare Act has not been implemented at all. Not because it is not possible or because it is too costly, but because in this way criminal activities become possible, just like those on the territory of the Sarajevo Canton. At first, after the act had been adopted, public authorities were not interested. Then they quickly realized that it was financially rewarding to offer illegal shelters and illegal sanitary services. There are many illegal shelters that have been set up by people who are close to politicians and people in power. These people set up illegal “shelters for abandoned animals” that are basically concentration camps, and then bill for fictitious veterinary services and food that never reaches the animals. They invoice for euthanasia drugs, while the abandoned animals are agonized and killed in the most brutal ways in these so called “shelters”. Also, according to the same principle, they set up illegal sanitary services and take money from the budgets of various municipalities. This way big money is stolen from the budgets at all levels of public administration, because, if you have legal shelters that accommodate the dogs conforming to the law, there is no possibility to steal money. If, on the contrary, you build a fence around a piece of land, where you put hundreds of dogs, for which you receive money while the dogs die of starvation, and at the same time you bill for many other “services”, then you get rich. This is the main reason why the act has not been implemented – because of organized business crime at the highest level.

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Tacno: For years you have been pointing at the fact that enormous sums of public money have been taken from the budget to mitigate the effects of this problem. Is this the actual reason why there is no systemic solution?

Dalida Kozlic: First, the administration stated, that one dog in a shelter costs KM 157 (USD 90) per month, which is not true. But this unsubstantiated story has helped that the budget provides for unjustifiably high sums for illegal shelters and sanitary services. This way the public administration worsens the problem, since as long as there are dogs on the streets, there will be stealing money from the budget. The attempt to partially implement the act will only increase the agony of the abandoned dogs on the streets as well as that of the citizens, and budget money will be wasted for the umpteenth time to solve the problem in a nonsystematic way. Apart from the many abuses and obstructions during the execution of the act, today’s failure is also the result of public authorities focusing on the effects of the problem, i.e. killing the dogs, which by the way is a criminal act and a violation of the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Hercegovina. At the same time the authorities in charge do not care about solving the root cause of the problem, which is the abandonment of the dogs and the uncontrolled reproduction.

Tacno: Who is responsible that through the indifference of the public authorities, the problem of the strays has grown from a local problem to a health and safety problem for the citizens of the Sarajevo Canton and others?

Dalida Kozlic: First and foremost, the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relation of Bosnia and Hercegovina, under which the Veterinary Office operates, which is responsible for the oversight and implementation of the mentioned act. The Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Hercegovina has been a passive bystander for years and with that is also an accomplice, because it does not perform the duties provided by law. Then the veterinary inspections which are not only not acting in those cases in which they are legally obliged in order to stop the horrors, but which even openly support the criminals. Then the public administration departments that did not fulfill their part of the obligations imposed by law, and that have artificially created a bigger problem, even though the obligations to systematically resolve the problem are clearly stated. Then the public prosecution office and the police who are not taking legal action against business crime and money laundering, and finally the citizens themselves, who have failed to demand that the federal act be implemented. The problem of the abandoned dogs has not endangered the health and safety of the citizens. Of course it is a problem that needs to be solved lawfully, and the sooner the law is executed the better. But the whole story about the threat to the citizens is just a pretext for this society, which suffers from mass aggression towards those who are weaker, to do whatever they want to those who cannot protect themselves. This is not a question of the human-animal relationship anymore; it’s about the future relationship of our children with their fellow humans.

Tacno: Has the resolution of the problem of abandoned animals become a politicized issue? In your opinion, why does it become a hot topic every time during an election campaign?

Dalida Kozlic: This is a political question, indeed, however, the periodic reissue of the story of how to resolve this problem, is not only a classical election campaign story. It is a story that has been created 3 years ago in order to draw attention away from much bigger problems. It is in the best interest of the authorities if there is an atmosphere of fear, and they have chosen the dogs to be public enemy number one. Post-war societies in general feel the need to vent their feelings of stress and frustration. Normal societies in post-war times focus on reconstruction and renewal. Unfortunately, our society is neither normal nor does it focus on renewal, instead the majority of our citizens are focused on non-existent issues. If people do not earn enough to meet their needs, they become dissatisfied. This can lead to changes. The authorities in Bosnia and Hercegovina always had the “perfect” way to fuel tensions through nationalism. Over time however, this was not enough anymore and they needed a new enemy. The dogs have taken this place. While our citizens tremble at the sight of an abandoned dog, they are not even aware how dangerous our society is, how high the crime and corruption rates are. While they warn their kids to stay away from the “dangerous” abandoned dogs, they fail to warn them of pedophiles, of which there are more than one would think in our society. Our citizens are so much focused on the story of the dogs; they have no idea what is going on around them.

Tacno: Has the public perception towards the people responsible for the problem changed, since very often animal welfare organizations are mentioned when it comes to responsibility for the street dogs?

Dalida Kozlic: The public perception has changed completely. First of all, the non-governmental sector has no institutional power whatsoever. These are true NGOs, people who are pointing out what needs to be improved, changed, but also what is illegal. Citizens need to be aware, that without activists, animal lovers, associations and citizens who just feed the strays, there would be up to 50% more dogs on the streets in certain areas. Can some citizens grasp that the law has clearly stated the responsibilities, obligations and competences to resolve this problem are the government’s jurisdiction, while the animal lovers and associations actually do the government’s job? We are the victims of emotional blackmail, since our only choice is to either take a dog or to leave him to the authorities for better or worse. If I say that I have 120 dogs under my care, what do the citizens think happens if I set them all free? On paper, everybody supports a united state of Bosnia and Hercegovina, but as soon as a part of the civil community promotes execution of a STATE law, then that civil community is made responsible for the problem they are, in fact, trying to solve. When in a meeting Dino Konakovic (prime minister of the Sarajevo Canton – translator’s note) says that he “couldn’t care less about a state law”, he basically says, that he is above the state, that he can do anything he likes. This is called a coup d’état. When associations and activists demand the law to be executed, then we are called crooks and liars, that we wish that there are dogs on the streets etc.… The citizens have to learn to demand that the laws be executed. We demand that. And if I say “we”, I mean every decent animal lover who does not want their money to be spent on bloodshed and finance crime.

Tacno: How can we solve the problem today? Can the issue of abandoned animals today, seven years after the enactment of the law, be solved just by executing this law?

Dalida Kozlic: When the number of the dogs on the streets increases, it is always and only the direct consequence of the behavior of irresponsible dog owners. Also, it is the consequence of the authorities’ failure to take preventive measures foreseen by the law: by not penalizing owners who abandon their dogs, by not enforcing full identification of ownership, by not following through with spaying and neutering projects and vaccinations. The authorities have failed to systematically mark the abandoned dogs, and failed to carry out education and information campaigns which should have raised public awareness about the causes of the problem. The mentioned law has determined a very clear and decided system how to solve the problem of abandoned dogs. The first legal obligation is to provide shelters with the goal of accommodating the animals until adoption. The modus operandi are described in the Regulation about forming shelters and the conditions that need to be fulfilled by the shelters for abandoned animals in Bosnia and Hercegovina. The second legal obligation in the system is the registration of pets. Until the construction of the shelters is finished, the municipalities can help with food for the abandoned animals, and of course they are obliged to spay and neuter the abandoned animals as prescribed by law. Should the shelters, which are supposed to be “centers for adoption and medical aid for abandoned animals”, be built and maintained in accordance with the public regulations, and as long the shelters are managed professionally, the costs will not be huge. With a good information campaign and by raising public awareness, the number of adoptions will increase.

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Tacno: To what extent are the dogs in our society stigmatized because of the neglect by the local administration and the responsible institutions, as well as because of the unprofessional journalistic reporting?

Dalida Kozlic: People are afraid of dogs; dogs are the subject of discussion and debate. Meanwhile we are one of the poorest and the most miserable country in the whole of Europe, so the deprived people take their frustration out on those who cannot protect themselves. Dogs are a channel for the anger people should feel towards those who are responsible for the way we live today. Dogs have become public enemy number one and the lightning rod for a society which suffers from all kinds of problems. If this society thinks about how to kill as many dogs as possible rather than how to make a living, here the problem starts. We are a psychopathic society that suffers from mass aggression and a society that has misdirected its aggression.

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Interview on Tacno: Dalida Kozlić: Psi su vještački stvorena meta i proglašeni su zlom u društvu

If you want to support Dalida in her work, what she needs most is support to keep her rescues safe so she can not worry about fundraising and focus on her legal work fighting for the rights of strays of Bosnia. This month there are two YouCarings for her:

For food for over 100 rescues:

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-21-36-23Pension (kennel) costs for 45 rescues:

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Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:

Money laundering behind killing of stray dogs in Sarajevo
Evidence of crimes against dogs ignored!
Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo
Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?

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!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

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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. 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.

Barney the Miracle Dog from Bosnia

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This is the story of Barney, the miracle dog – the beaten, battered and broken street dog from Bosnia who captured all our hearts. This is Barney’s miraculous story of how he cheated death more times than we could count. With his will to survive, bravery and infectious personality and love of humans, his story is one that will stay with you forever.

Please watch his amazing story on this video… if it doesn’t pull your heartstrings, then we sincerely believe nothing will! This story has a happy ending, and most importantly this story spreads LOVE! Barney has brought so many people together in a common cause, people who never knew each other before and who now will remain friends forever.

Barney’s story begins on the 20 October 2015

Animal Welfare Advocate and Rescuer, Edina Pasic from Sarajevo wrote:

This truly left me speechless. Totally broke me. We went to feed the dogs on the streets today. And we went to one of our usual spots, where we always go when we have food. We started to call on the dogs and then we saw a horrible sight. One of the dogs we have been feeding for a long time lay on the ground and looked like he was sleeping. When he heard us, he lifted his head and then the rest of his body. Then he stopped and just looked at us for a few minutes. I wondered what was wrong with him because he’s always the first to run up to us. Then the darling tried to come over to us. Jumping little by little on his four legs with the first right leg totally fractured. He couldn’t walk on it at all.

I walked over to the man who’s guarding the area where these dogs stay and asked him about what had happened to him. He told me that there are a lot of dogs wondering abound that factory. Most of them are very scared of people, but this one was friendly and cuddly. He told me … Some monster hit the big dog with his car. Then, instead of helping him, he kicked both him and another dog and beat them with a bat he had in his car. The guard I was talking to ran out after the monster when this happened, but it all happened way to fast and he wasn’t fast enough to stop it. The guard said that the dogs weren’t doing anything wrong. They weren’t running after the car.”

12109331_923094834424078_3257987257168806316_nAWABosnia asked Edina to rescue him. We would somehow find the money for treatment and care. She did. (And she also rescued the white dog, a female dog, also hurt by this terrible man). Both dogs were taken to the vet.

Edina named the big dog was named BARNEY.

22 October 2015, Edina wrote:

Unfortunately Barney’s injury is complicated. He has an old elbow fracture and now has a new fracture in the same area. No one is able to operate on this here in Sarajevo, so amputation has been suggested. I’ve sent the pictures to Zagreb and Slovenia and am currently waiting for a response. I really hope that someone can fix his leg.

Barney is a big dog. Look what they did to him. He’s just skin and bones. He doesn’t even have the strength to eat. He’s totally broken. He is so battered. Can’t walk, can’t run. Why have humans done this to him? Can somebody just tell me why?

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Barney was transported to Zagreb where a vet would operate and treat him. So many supporters donated to cover the costs.


11059239_925916750808553_9033677648548247736_nAs soon as the vet examined Barney, he said Barney had been shot at some point in the past. The bullet fragments had made a big mess of his leg. X-rays revealed there were still bullet fragments in Barney’s leg. He had a broken bone on the same leg and a broken toe on his front leg.

Edina wrote on the 28th: “The vet didn’t want to operate on him immediately because of his anaemia and depression. He’s doing a lot better today. He’s wagging his tail at anyone who comes close. I also have to thank the kind people in Zagreb who have promised to visit him every day while he’s there. He doesn’t lack love there, so I’m very happy. He’s won all their hearts. He doesn’t have to stay in his box like the other dogs at the clinic. Instead they let him walk around the whole area of the clinic freely. They don’t want him to be in the box, so he’s helping them work by observing them. Our brave Barney. He knows that we all love him. He’ll be brave tomorrow because of all of you. Be strong our boy.

14463018_10154502470111753_2090418062655701332_nAND THEN … THE BEST NEWS EVER:

31 October 2015, Edina wrote:

Our Barney was operated on late last night. The operation lasted for 5 hours and it was successful. Barney has woken up from the anaesthesia. I’m thrilled! I just called the clinic; he’s going well. He’s awake and has lifted his head. He’s getting painkillers and sedatives to relax him. Everything is going according to the plan. Our brave darling. They also told me that it was a difficult and complicated operation, “aggressive” as they called it and that much is now relying on his ability to heal. They also have to keep his wounds cold. He’s got a long and hard way to recovery, but I know and believe that our brave Barney will pull through like the hero he is. In time he will be able to use his leg again.”

AND THEN … THE WORST NEWS EVER, JUST A FEW DAYS LATER…

1 November 2015, Edina wrote:

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-21-09-33TERRIBLE NEWS ABOUT BARNEY! This morning I got a call from the vet in Zagreb saying BARNEY HAS ESCAPED FROM THE CLINIC. This happened last night and I am only finding out this morning. They did not call me. I am driving there now. I cannot stay in Sarajevo. I have to be there. It is a six hour drive. I cannot believe this! He cannot go far on that leg. He MUST be found. Please please please send him your wishes to stay near the clinic and not to hide. Please everyone! Barney needs your help now MORE THAN EVER. How did the clinic let this happen? A lot of people are there looking for him. This cannot happen to him, not to Barney

Two days later, Edina wrote:

14449760_10154502467636753_3807560220038368534_nWith a heavy heart, I have to inform you that we still haven’t found Barney. We will not stop looking, but this is really hard on me. We even contacted people with search dogs today and the dog had a trace, but lost it. I’m really desperate. We’ve also been hanging up posters around the city. We will be looking all night tonight and the whole day tomorrow until we find him. … My only priority now is that we find him. I’m very worried because he can get gangrene infection or sepsis. And he’s also hungry. And his painkillers will also wear off soon and he will be in a lot of pain. Please pray that we find him. Thanks to everyone who has helped so far with sharing his post and looking for him and to all of you who will help in the days to come. Please Barney, come back to me. Please don’t do this to me.

On 5th November, with Barney having been operated on barely a week ago, Edina wrote:

Unfortunately, we still haven’t found Barney. Where are you my darling? All of the media, newspapers, internet based newspapers have heard his story and shared it. I really wish to thank them for doing so. We’ve visited all the vet stations and put up posters. Today, along with some friends, we put up posters on the bus stations and tram stations. We’ve left posters in the trams, we have given them to taxi drivers. We’ve even made some small ones that we left on the cars parked outside. We will not stop looking for him. My darling Barney, I feel I will find you so just hold on.”

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A few days later Edina wrote:

My darling Barney…  We’re still looking for my darling Barney… I feel that he’s alive so I can’t give up on him… Last night a boy told us that he had seen Barney on his way home from school, on the bus station Dubica… We searched the whole area along with our friends and stayed there the whole night in our car… We didn’t leave the place for one minute, but unfortunately we didn’t have any luck this time either… I repeat that I still feel that he’s alive… And thanks to everyone who is helping with the positive messages on not to give up hope… It gets worse as the days go by… Just imagine yourself in a different country, in a different city, trying to find your pet or your child… It’s the same thing to me… And you get calls from people claiming to have seen him… Every time your heart stops, you start to cry and run to the place where he was seen… I can`t explain how I, and all the others here looking, feel… Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind..

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Edina and Caki searched and searched all over Zagreb. Svend, a volunteer helper for DogLost (a group in the UK helping reunite lost dogs with their owners) had been following the story and gave support and encouragement and advice, but after 20 days of searching Edina had to return to Sarajevo to take care of her small son and to check on her other rescues who were in pension.

12208385_930257050374523_7294690200657775164_nCaki stayed on, he couldn’t give up…. He wouldn’t give up… and nor would Svend, who enlisted the help of other DogLost volunteers with vast experience of catching lost dogs… After 33 days of searching for nearly every hour in the day, Caki also had to go back to Sarajevo but he and Edina kept returning to Zagreb (it’s a seven hour drive), and a wonderful local team of rescuers from Zagreb gathered to continue looking for Barney. The team included the wonderful Mirchi, Daria, and Marina – supported by their long-suffering partners.

Thousands of people followed Barney’s story on Facebook, and there were articles about him in the Croatian newspapers… (and, sadly, some people even thought his escape from the veterinary surgery was fabricated to get donations…in spite of there being CCVT video footage from the surgery showing how in fact it happened and how he escaped the clinic!)

After endless and fruitless “chasing” and “searching”, and despite numerous sightings during November and December and the extensive efforts of numerous helpers, Barney proved impossible to even get close to.

14468432_10154502469146753_7465165208282456913_oThen, in February 2016, after a long period with no sightings, the team had a lucky break with a sighting of Barney several kilometers south of the Sava river in a semi-rural area near the airport.

The team (which was constantly growing in numbers) had to establish a feeding station that Barney visited regularly, and then to make and install a suitable trap. The trap and feeding station needed twice daily visits and, once “set”, continuous observation throughout every night!

By using a trail camera sent from the UK by Svend, the team were able to confirm Barney was visiting their feeding station. And with some coaching they were able to get a suitable trap made (not something they could buy or borrow in Croatia!), and over a period of one month they gradually enticed Barney to go into the trap, before setting it. This was not a process familiar to anyone in Zagreb, but they followed detailed advice via a Facebook chat (more than 500 messages!)

AND THEN … the news we had all been waiting to hear:

BARNEY is FOUND and is SAFE….! FOUR MONTHS AFTER HE ESCAPED!

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6 March 2016, Edina wrote:

As many of you will remember, Barney has been missing in Zagreb, with a broken leg, since 1 November of last year. On 4 March, he was finally back in safe hands! Finally, after more than 4 months out on his own, all our efforts have proved worthwhile. Barney has been caught.

Barney has had a preliminary vet check today (lots of ticks to be removed, and some antibiotics for an infection), and will go back on Monday for x-rays of his leg. Meanwhile, tonight he is “enjoying” a bath and manicure!

A HUGE “WELL DONE” and thank you to Svend, Mirchi, Daria, Marina, and the many other who helped at various stages, including Olja, Suzana, Rina, Drazen and others. A full list of all the people involved is at the end of this article, who all deserve to be thanked.

14495318_10154502473146753_8864190574901056506_nBut of course Barney’s story did not end there…

7 March 2016: “Today Barney went for x-rays at the vet clinic “Zarko Cirica”. Everyone at the clinic recognized him and gave him lots of hugs and kisses. They were all pleasantly surprised because Barney didn’t have sepsis, despite living on his own for four months. He’s had urine, blood and faeces samples, and everything looks good – even the blood test, despite having over 70 ticks removed. On Wednesday he’s due to have a bone biopsy of his leg, which hasn’t healed as it should have, of course. He also has an infection in the joint, although the vet said Barney is a special phenomenon for going this long without antibiotics.

In addition to the problems on one leg, he has an in-growing claw on one of his paws, and a tooth that is in such a bad condition that it has to be pulled: all of this will be done on Wednesday, too. Once his leg has been sorted out, he will need physio and hydro-therapy, to re-learn to use his leg. His reflexes are great so the vet thinks that the problem is all in Barney’s head because he has become used to doing everything on three legs!

14433214_10154502471921753_2670416874810512757_nBarney has a very strong-smelling dark urine. Because of a large number of ticks (70) we had spotted on his body it is assumed he may suffer from babesiosis.

We had his blood work done again and everything was fine but the vet didn’t want to risk it and put him under anaesthetic before making sure he was ready for that. (As he said – his paw and leg will not run away). He is a well-known vet and he doesn’t want to rush it. Barney has lots of friends in the clinic!

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Barney had a huge ear wound that was deepened by his permanent scratching. The vets thought it was mange but after they had done the swab it was clear he didn’t have it.

14390884_10154502472191753_6054728936666634827_n“Barney is a lucky guy because he has Hari and Mirchi as his temporary foster family who are giving him love and support and they will take care of him as far as he will need hydrotherapy and of course he will be able to use his leg again. Mirchi made a sponge sock to stop him scratching it. Our friends from Zagreb bought him a GPS which is built into his collar so as to be able to follow him at every turn via smart phone App (ALL OVER THE WORLD). THEY ARE AMAZING!

13 March 2016: “Barney has now been to the vets three times in the last week. The surgery planned for Wednesday was delayed until Friday, to allow for further blood tests. He has now had bone samples taken, and test results are expected next week. He’s also had a couple of decayed teeth removed, which should make him feel a bit better and while he was under general anaesthetic, he was also neutered. What appeared to be an “in-grown” claw on his front right paw turned out to be a historical fractured toe: the vet hasn’t done anything with this at the moment, as he wouldn’t be able to use that leg after surgery.

Barney is now wearing his GPS collar! Mirchi and Marina kindly paid for the collar, but we have bought a 1 year subscription (it uses a mobile phone SIM card and App).”

14470522_10154502472036753_6589704308443434952_n
Barney continued to receive veterinary treatment, because although his leg healed well he wasn’t using it at all, and so he was prescribed a course of hydrotherapy sessions to help him regain use of his leg
.

14435346_10154502472376753_6307699552017792148_oNone of this could have happened without the generous support of Edina and Caki’s followers, of course. Barney had amassed SO many followers and fans!

2 May 2016, Edina wrote: “Barney is doing OK and is now up to 42kg bodyweight, but the infection in his bone has caused a screw to come loose, so he has had an operation to take it out.

When they removed the loose screw, Barney’s leg was not looking good. They took a sample of that tissue and found out that his bone had started to dissolve because it was constantly infected by all screws and pieces of bullet in his elbow.

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-21-13-50So they put him on very strong antibiotics for almost 2 months and decided to take all the screws out as well as bullet pieces.”

Barney had long recovery (3 months) after that surgery, but he finally started using that leg again – more and more every day. “He is using it more than ever these days and he is extremely fast now!

21 September 2016, eleven months after his initial rescue and seven months after he was found after escaping the vet practise, BARNEY HAS A FOREVER HOME IN CANADA WAITING FOR HIM! With an incredible family who fell in love with Barney from the start.

But once again we need your help to get him there. And this is why …
The most beautiful outcome of Barney’s story is that most of the people involved in his story, did not know each other. So, thank you Barney for bringing people together and creating friendships that will last forever as a result of their love for you. You are a special boy, Barney. It is this reason why we feel so passionate about getting him to his forever home in Canada, he crosses continents with his love, with the people who love him.

What started as a Mission Impossible and concluded with an EPIC Mission Accomplished. We would like to thank all the people involved in Barney’s story and we are sure that Barney would like to thank them also. These people volunteered their time, money, resources, equipment, connections, networks and kept hope alive.

These people volunteered their time, money, resources, equipment, connections, networks and gave us hope. If we have missed anyone, please know that you are acknowledged.

barney

But most of, we want to thank all the people, from all over the world, who followed and supported Barney’s story and donated funds and who forged new friendships through Barney’s story… the list is too long to write here but includes…

Svend, Edina, Caki, Marina, Olja, Mladen, Mirchi, Daria, Marko, Hari, Zrinka, Miho, Draze, Brankica, Sasa, Maja, Marijana, Ana, Suzana, Rina, Hrvoje, Tanja, Aida, Josip. Samra., Mirjana. Petra, Maja, Dubravka and Duda.

And thank you Snezana Tigerman and family who have been waiting all this time to give Barney a forever home in Canada!

But most of, we want to thank all the people, from all over the world, who followed and supported Barney’s story and who forged new friendships through Barney’s story. His story will continue with his own Facebook Page very soon.

If you have learned anything from Barney or the people involved in Barney’s life from watching his video story, then PLEASE help us raise the funds for Barney’s travel costs so that Barney can finally be in his forever home in Canada. The YouCaring fundraiser is here. UPDATE! 29 SEPTEMBER:All funds were raised thanks to incredible support and Barney is now in CANADA! We’ll make a post soon!!

caki

THANK YOU ALL FOR LOVING AND SUPPORTING BARNEY.

A MIRACLE DOG.

A DOG LIKE NO OTHER.

BECAUSE HE SHOWED US THAT IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING, MIRACLES WILL HAPPEN.

 

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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. 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.

Money laundering behind killing of stray dogs in Sarajevo


HOW TO HELP THE SITUATION FOR THE DOGS IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS IS AT THE END OF THIS POST. 

Dalida Kozlic L.L.B
, lawyer and activist writes:

As you know from this previous blog, on 30 June, 2016, the Cantonal Government of Sarajevo issued a decision which requires the utility company KJKP Rad Hygienic Service (or “P.C. Rad”) in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the streets. And as we have already documented, the authorities of Canton Sarajevo have once again started mass catching of stray dogs. Why? In order to launder as much money as possible and in order to destroy as many dogs as  possible.

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A review of official documents demonstrates that money is being stolen from the budget of Canton Sarajevo:

22264189_1171527922908978_6226496771786389059_nP. C. Veterinary station Ltd. Sarajevo, Veterinary Inspection of Canton Sarajevo and the Veterinary faculty of the University of Sarajevo are conducting a project called “Monitoring of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases of Zoonotic Type of the Population of Stray dogs in Sarajevo“. This project is the instigator of the mass action concerning catching and removal of stray dogs.

The project is valued at 133.000 KM, approximately  68,205.00 Euros. This project provides funding for the euthanasia of 300 dogs, which are assumed to be sick (i.e. without any medical examination). Essentially, in preparing the project, authorities have decided to illegally kill 300 dogs.

According to this project, funds are also provided for 500 dogs to be microchipped, vaccinated and placed in shelters (which are illegal since they do not comply with the laws).  There is no clear information what will be done with a further 200 dogs which the project also provides funds for catching.

22According to provisions of the animal welfare laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s prohibited to kill dogs that can treated and cured by veterinarians. Also, according the provisions, it is strictly prohibited to experiment on stray animals.

In addition, by law, only the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina is obliged to control diseases amongst the population of all animal species in the country and only the Veterinary Office can conduct projects of control, prevention and suppression of such diseases.

The Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals is the main legislation concerning treatment of animals in Bosnia. Authorities of one canton (administrative division) must implement this law and it is a criminal offence to finance activities that are done in accordance with illegal decisions of lower level authorities.

14225350_1114575611942665_3682593145194114853_nIt is important to emphasise that 68,205.00 Euros is allocated for this one project, a project that is used as a ‘reason’ for the mass removal of stray dogs from the streets of Sarajevo. Hundreds of thousands of Euros are allocated for the hygienic services as well as for shelters – both of which are not running in accordance with the laws –  and these funds will be laundered through these hygienic services and shelters which deal inhumanely with the animals.  These hygienic services and shelters receive funding for food, medications, treatment, and the catching of stray animals, but the animals do not receive any of this. Where does the money go, we ask.
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NOTE: Photographs are from Zunovnica, this is the former military base in Hadzic. This is now a “shelter” of Canton Sarajevo… joining the many ‘horror’ shelters of Bosnia.This is one of the pounds the infamous dog catchers of KJKP Rad Hygienic Service bring dogs to. Dogs are left in their urine and faeces, they are starving. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Some rescuers have managed to release a few dogs but many, many more will be brought in… it is a never-ending horror and there are no organisations within Bosnia able to help, and international animal welfare organisations have great difficulty in being involved due to the wide-spread corruption at all levels in Bosnia Herzegovina. Please also note that the situation for the citizens of the country is also dire, with some of the highest rates of unemployment in the world. Rescuers struggle to feed themselves, let alone their rescues. If you want to help please write letters as outlined in this post – there are email addresses in the post to write to. PLEASE WRITE LETTERS. Petitions do very little. We have run several petitions for a number of horror situations with hundreds of thousands of signatures collected, but NO CHANGE. Letters to your embassy in Bosnia, to International Welfare organisations are the only way.

You can also send funds as outlined at the end of this post via Paypal to donations@awabosnia.org and we will send it on to rescuers who have taken dogs out.

FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE HERE IS THE INFORMATION FROM THE POST MENTIONED ABOVE:

HOW TO HELP:

PLEASE NOTE THAT PETITIONS DO VERY LITTLE. WE HAVE ORGANISED MANY WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SIGNATURES OBTAINED, BUT NO CHANGE HAS HAPPENED. It is better to write letters as follows:

1. Write letters to your embassy representative in Bosnia:

To find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina go here:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina
Finding any MEP in Europe – a ‘Euromap’
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html
Finding any MEP by the alphabetical name list can be done via the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/expert/alphaOrder.do?language=EN


2. Write letters to the Bosnian authorities:

Prime minister of Canton Sarajevo, Dino Konaković,   premijer@vlada.ks.gov.ba
Minister of Utility infrastracture, Senad Hasanspahić ministar@mki.ks.gov.ba and
mki@mki.ks.gov.ba

3. Write letters to international animal welfare organisations – google this for email addresses or go here on Wikipedia for information

Below is a draft letter you can modify to use. Or you can simply copy and paste the above blog and ask that something be done. Please be sure to address it to a specific person and to sign it, including your contact details.

________________________________________________

Dear XXX

Millions of citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty. Countries seeking to acquire EU membership need to demonstrate certain standards of animal care, and so I want to bring to your attention Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are seeking admission, and yet who constantly contravene their own animal welfare laws.

In 2009, the Law on Animal Welfare and Protection entered into force in Bosnia Herzegovina. Amongst other things this law proscribes that owners of dogs and cats are to register their animals at the veterinarian organization and mark them with microchips. Additionally, within the period of one year, institutions were obliged to build humane shelters in which all abandoned and lost animals found on the streets should be placed after being caught by a hygienic service, and in which they would be treated on a humane way and provided adequate veterinarian care. Until then, stray animals could be spayed and turned back to the street, while only sick, aggressive and dogs in agony were to be euthanized.

So far, no legally proscribed measure has been conducted. Since the local authorities have not conducted sufficient neutering campaigns on time and properly, the number of stray dogs has multiplied. Dogs Trust sterilization campaigns nave not been able to significantly reduce the numbers of dogs in Sarajevo. Owners are continuing to abandon their unsterilised dogs or the unsterilised offspring of their pets, so the number of dogs in the Canton Sarajevo still seems to be around several thousands. No one knows the exact number as there is no database. Local authorities built several shelters around Sarajevo in which conditions are even not close to a satisfactory level, animals have no vet care, conditions and treatment are inhumane. These shelters include Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje and Zunovnica with a maximum capacity of around 600 dogs in total. Dogs often die due to sickness or are attacked by other dogs. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Dogs survive thanks to groups of volunteers and animal-friendly citizens of Sarajevo who visit them and provide food and some medicines. Some public companies donate some food or food scraps. Lucky dogs are homed in Bosnia or abroad thanks to volunteers.

Thousands of those remaining on the streets cannot be placed in shelters as they are overcrowded. Furthermore, there is not any official evidence as to how many dogs are taken from the streets, how many arrive in the shelters, what their health condition is, how many are euthanized and for what reason, and how many are currently at the shelters. There is no adequate inspection in practice, no official cooperation with the NGO sector which could make and keep evidence on everything in cooperation with the authorities. Hence dogs are often left at the mercy of employees of the hygienic service and shelter owners. No one knows how many die in between visits of the volunteers and due to what reason.

On 30 June, 2016, Cantonal Government issued a decision which requires A utility company KJKP Rad (Hygienic Service), in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the street. In the course of their action, they take every dog, regardless of whether they are aggressive, sick, spayed (with a visible marked at the plate on the ear) or not. Even babies. While the Government is claiming that this is being done legally and in a human way, the implementation of the conclusion is illegal due to the fact that there is no space and no conditions at the shelters to put new arrivals of dogs. Therefore, it is obvious that hundreds and thousands of dogs taken from the streets are killed.

Furthermore, government public statements have been made with regards to this dog catching stating there is a need to collect aggressive and ill street dogs, which is part of the country’s animal welfare law. The same law prohibits the destruction of healthy dogs. And yet, animal welfare activists have documented healthy and non-aggressive dogs been caught and removed. In addition, the problem of strays in the city is a result of owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs.

Increased numbers of dogs on the streets is a direct result of irresponsible ownership, with owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs and because of government failure to implement preventive measures that are provided by the laws, such as punishing those who abandon animals, creating a registration of pets, providing adequate spay/neuter projects with vaccination and tagging of stray animals in an appropriate form and number, and education and information campaigns which are aimed to raise public awareness about the causes of the problem.

The BiH law on Protection and Welfare of Animals very clearly provides solutions for dealing with an overpopulation of stray animals in Bosnia. The first legal obligation of authorities is to build shelters for stray animals, whose purpose is to care for stray animals until they are adopted. Conditions that all shelters must fulfil are outlined in the law.

Regarding registration of pets, for seven years the State Veterinary Office has not enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor has established a unified database for registration.

The only way to solve this problem is for municipalities and governments to establish their own database of owned of animal. If the database of tagged animals and owners of animals is established, it will enable the identification, prosecution and punishment of people who abandon the animals.

Also, the dog shelters in this country are documented by animal rescue organisations and activists to be inhumane ‘death camps’ for dogs, and are in fact used for money laundering purposes: money destined for the dogs and the shelters is pocketed.

I am writing to ask your assistance in ensuring that the current ‘dog catching’ service of by the public utility company KJKP Rad Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company “Veterinary station” Ltd. be monitored and investigated to ensure it works according to Bosnian law and that the shelters in Sarajevo – in particular Zunovnica shelter – and other public shelters in the country have radically improved conditions,  and in particular that animal activists be allowed to document and ensure that the laws are applied.

We have been advised by BiH lawyers and activists that as the BiH politicians themselves are involved in stealing of money from illegal shelters and hygienic ‘dog catching’ services, and that since the prosecutors and police officers are also corrupt, the only way to force the BiH political establishment to stop their illegal practises is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies.

The existing Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia-Herzegovina is in fact a good and enforceable law. The only reason the law is not being enforced is because certain political and professional circles do not want to do it.

The law states that every city and town has to build shelters for stray animals. All shelters for stray animals have to provide a NO KILL policy and adequate care, including veterinary care for the animals housed there. Again, the truth is that the conditions in most public shelters are horrific, with dogs being left for days without water, food or care of any kind. There is documented evidence of this.

As you will be aware, the European Union provides the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with many millions of euros worth of financial aid each year.  My understanding of the provisos attached to these aid packages is that there is a requirement for the recipient country to abide by EU laws which would include the laws related to animal welfare. The Commission has stated that aligning national animal welfare legislation with EU law is a prerequisite for EU membership.

I would urge you please to raise the above issues with the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of animals (http://www.animalwelfareintergroup.eu/) and, critically, with your representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The issue of the failure of the BiH authorities to apply even the barest minimum of the law to ensure the safety of the animals must be addressed. It is imperative that the European Commission and the Parliament discusses this matter with their Bosnia and Herzegovina counterparts.

We urge you to help ensure that the Bosnia Herzegovina authorities implement internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray dog population control and management, and that resources be allocated to ensure such principles are followed.

Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

 

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Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:

Evidence of crimes against dogs ignored!
Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo
Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?

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!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

_____________________________________________

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.

Evidence of crimes against dogs ignored!

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 22.40.08There are several recent blogs recently on this issue. Please see, in particular, “Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo” for information on how to help stop this abuse.

Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH writes:

14031025_10208713506628666_1293992042_nAs we have already written, a massacre of strays is being performed by te authorities of Canton Sarajevo. The Government of Canton Sarajevo during its session on the 30th June issued a decision ordering the hygienic service of Public utility company of KJKP Rad. Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company „Veterinary station“ Ltd. Sarajevo to start mass catching of stray dogs in Sarajevo. If you have read the recent blogs you will know there is not place to put caught dogs: legal shelters with adequate capacities do not exist at all, and yet the Government of Canton Sarajevo has signed a contract with a notorious – and illegal – hygienic service, P.E. “Lokum” of Novi Grad, Ltd. Novi Grad Sarajevo, and its veterinary station to catch and ‘remove’ stray dogs in Reljevo. Where to, we ask?

Lokum was established in the municipality of Novi Grad Sarajevo on the 30th May of 2013. This so-called “Hygienic service” was not established and registered in accordance with article 29 of Bosnia’s Animal Protection and Welfare Act nor in accordance with the laws that establish the conditions hygienic services must fulfil.

Since then, thousands of stray dogs have been killed in Sarajevo.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 22.42.36This illegal hygienic service invoices for food, medications, veterinary services, placement, fuel, and catching of dogs for placement in shelters. Note that these invoices are for dogs who are dead, killed by the service.

Evidence for this was presented to the Bosnian police officers and prosecutors. The Prosecutor’s office of Canton Sarajevo had started investigating the allegations and evidence I presented in numerous criminal reports against Lokum. It is one of the most severe violations of the Criminal Code in Bosnian history.

When the investigation was re-launched due to critical mistakes of the previous prosecutor, Dalida received an official document signed by the main prosecutor of Canton Sarajevo Dalida Burzic, who stated the following: “…funds that had been allocated for dogs, were stolen without any doubt, and the question remains where dogs have disappeared to…” The number of this case is T 09 KTP 0072282 15.

14081195_10208713501268532_527581251_nThe investigation was re-launched because Milutin Koprivica, who had initially led the investigation, broke the provisions of the Criminal Code of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina and had obstructed the initial investigation.

However, although the new investigation is being conducted, Prosecutor Dalida Burzic who clearly understood funds were being stolen and dogs ‘disappearing’,  is ignoring the fact that the dog catchers of Lokom have begun working again and that her legal obligation is to require suspension of their activities until the investigation is completed. Also, there is evidence of criminal offences committed by the prime minister of Canton Sarajevo and his partners and criminal financing of the crimes of dog catchers of Rad, and these crimes are ongoing.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 22.43.38A few videos have appeared of the dog catchers at work, on 17th and 18th August. One video shows an extremely brutal catching of stray dogs in Ilidza, Sarajevo, and another video also shows a brutal catching of puppies in Sarajevo. On the first video, you can hear people begging dog catchers to leave dog alone.

It is more than obvious that the authorities of Canton Sarajevo are allowed to commit very serious criminal offences, while one of the biggest investigations of money laundering and killing of stray dogs is being conducted and yet the prosecutors do not fulfil their legal obligation to stop these on-going crimes.

Screen Shot 2016-08-20 at 22.43.12I am aware that the videos below are graphic, but please watch them and help us to force our authorities to stop this massacre. Please, write to your embassies, only international pressure can help. Bosnian authorities must be literally forced by embassies and western politicians to end these crimes against innocent animals and to prosecute those who are responsible.

For information on how to help stop this abuse, with a draft letter, click here scroll to the bottom of the post.

RAD dog catchers in action, Sarajevo, 17th August:

Lokom dog catchers in action again, Sarajevo, 18th August

Lokom dog catchers in action again, Sarajevo, 18th August

Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer

For information on how to help stop this abuse, with a draft letter, scroll to the bottom of this post.

Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:

Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo
Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?

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!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

_____________________________________________

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.

Beloved Street Dogs Poisoned in Zenica, Bosnia!

14079507_1040813222680536_5643240606957553860_nFor Malena it was too late, R.I.P.

We have just heard terrible news from the volunteers of SAPA Zenica, animal welfare NGO in Zenica, Bosnia. At least ten dogs have died of poisoning, several are on death’s door. Please read their letter below, read it to honour the lives of the dogs who have been killed, and read it to support the volunteers and children and people who loved and cared for these dogs.

“Dear friends of SAPA Zenica, friends of dogs, of all abandoned animals,

14063919_1040813026013889_4927736897564522878_nI am writing this with a heavy heart and tears. I am writing because I have to write it and because I have to find the strength for all those ones whose voice we are for many years, for those who expect us to stand up and never give up no matter how hard and painful it is, for those whom we must protect, for all those abandoned animals, who were deprived of love, and care and home and who live their lives on the street, being tortured, murdered, caught and poisoned.

Today I write about the dogs of Zenica, where for days dogs are being systematically and covertly poisoned and murdered. Some of these dogs we knew for many many years, they were old Zenica dogs, mascots of their neighbourhood and friends of many children. For some dogs are still fighting for their lives. I am writing this while my chest and heart feels like exploding, it hurts so much and the fear and sadness I feel can hardly put in words.

More than 15 dogs in just a couple of days were monstrously poisoned in one neighbourhood in Zenica, four more are on vet treatment and we fight for their lives and they are, since yesterday, on infusions and mediations and still fighting. More than 10 dogs have died.

14068306_1040812822680576_9193759318507818927_nWe reported the case to the Police, the Prosecutors office, Cantonal Vet Inspection, and we will issue a press release. We wrote on local FB pages and alerted all people to watch and check the status of dogs and their health and we distributed telephone numbers of the vets. Threats of poisoning were received some time ago, anonymous threats, that dogs in the neighbourhood would be poisoned, there are indications what group of people would do this and we shared this with police. For years we live in fear, panic, and discomfort, surrounded by people who hate animals, dogs in particular, people who fail to understand the root of the problem, but we endured somehow. We live surrounded by everyday threats and insults and everyday the hurting of our animals. But we always knew we had to endure for them for those we fight for.

13975514_1040813089347216_6482699412720652481_oIn the album I attach there are photos of nearly all of those who were murdered and died, some are missing. And some photos were taken while they were still alive. As I write this I received new information about one more beloved dog poisoned, one more mascot of the neighbourhood, our sweet good Jaran… the vet is on the way.

14054077_1040813196013872_5040415165112728750_nI want to write about the dog called Zijo-Vucko, who was poisoned on 15 August, we never found him, he probably hid somewhere and died alone. Many children grew up with Zijo-vucko, as he was mascot of Babina rijeka in Zenica for many years, he was always smiling, never learned how to properly bark, was a playful teddy bear. His photos are with two kids, see he was always smiling.

I write of Blacky whose photos I did not make, she was an old smart girl, she closed her eyes on Monday. We though on Sunday that she was hit by a car and arranged all for her transport to Sarajevo on Monday, but it became all too clear that it was poisoning, but now we understand her symptoms, and all pieces of the puzzle are there, she was lying on the ground could not walk, and in her eyes she was looking at us and saying goodbye. Now that I look back at that day, she truly was saying goodbye but we did not see it.

Maza was another old 9 years old girl who died on 17 August, and was poisoned on 16 August. I saw her last time on Sunday 14 August and told our friend Banjamin that we should cut her hair on her tail. I will never see her again, and never have a chance to cuddle her or to cut hair on her tail. 9 years she lived on the street and was almost domestic and loved by all, never again shall Maza be wagging her tail and walking slowly towards us for her portion of daily love and cuddling. 9 years we cherish.

14079690_1040812756013916_8525896089266597740_nMore dogs died on Monday and Tuesday this week, another girl Zuta was lying dead in the bushes the whole day before we found her.

Black-whitey was found dead on the street, another puppy was found in agony with blood coming out of his mouth. On 11 and 12 August two more beloved dogs died, one was just found dead and another one our Jedini was put to sleep to prevent agony of internal bleeding. He was not alone, he died in our arms.

I want to write about them to honour them so they are never ever forgotten. I need to scream and to raise my voice loud, loudest I can, for them as we owe to them. I am sorry we could not save them from horrible people from evil and malice, I hope we will deserve a place in heaven together with you.

14034818_1040812919347233_4392659448088706234_nWe still fight for life of Sreckica who is Sarajevo Clinic, and for lives of Bingo, Lily and Kiki who are on infusion and receiving vitamin K, C, antibiotics. They are fighting. There were all much loved dogs, friends of many families and their children. And now we start to fight for our Jaran.

Zenica will never be the same.

14088644_1040812906013901_59864122690782985_nWe deal with an invisible enemy, everybody is silent, we will keep exerting pressure on the police and prosecutors office to run proper investigations, but it is hard without proper witnesses.

I feel numb, I am crying as i write this, and i feel parts of me are dying. To face this evil and to feel powerless. But then, we have to be strong and fight and have strength to stop this madness and this evil for our dogs, dogs we had as friends for so many many years. We must not be defeated and we must show that no evil can go unpunished.

13939293_1040878509340674_662223141128217924_nPlease share this and help spread the word of the crime in Zenica, crime on innocent dogs, crimes of most monstrous killing by poisoning. Speak for us and share. Speak for the dogs in Zenica, dogs who for so many years were living on the streets. Evil people live amongst us, we must stop them and this evil. We have the courage to speak up, plse help us, help us in the name of Vucko, Zuta, Crno Bijeli, Blecky, Maza, bebi, Curica, Jedini, malena and all others.

And please help us keep safe Jaran, Bingo, Lily, Kiki, Sreckica – happy, if they live to survive this poisoning we have to keep them safe. They still need medical attention and medication and we will provide this for all of them we pray it is not late and we pray their bodies are strong enough to endure.

If you can help us help them we would be so grateful. Kiki, Bingo, Crna, Srećkice, Jarane i hope that we can again and soon run together in this world.

14086449_1040878522674006_1559694247246523829_o

For updates and to show your support, please go to SAPA Zenica’s Facebook Page. This organisation does incredible work and they are in desperate need of funds to continue saving the dogs of Zenica.

If you want to help with vet costs for the dogs who are in vet care, SAPA Zenica Paypal is sapazenica09@yahoo.com and please mark that it is for ‘surviving dogs of the poisonings’. 

SAPA Zenica was established in July 2009, as a local non-profit, non-governmental organization by a core group of volunteers and enthusiasts in the city of Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. SAPA’s mission is, through the respect and caring for animals, to protect their rights and ultimately eliminate all forms of cruelty and exploitation of animals. SAPA’s vision is a society in which humans live in harmony with animals, respecting them and their needs.

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RELATED POSTS:

Monstrous Killing and Injuring of Stray Dogs in Zenica, Bosnia!
Dogs found slaughtered outside Shelter in Sarajevo
Puppy Flung off Bridge in Sarajevo, Bosnia
Puppy dies after horrific attack in Bosnia Herzegovina
Loved Street Dog Hanged in Gradiska, Bosnia!

Boy steals puppy and hangs it – Prnjavor, Bosnia Herzegovina

Dog’s Skull Deliberately Crushed in Bosnia Herzegovina

Another Dog Tortured by Wire in Bosnia
DOG TORTURED WITH WIRE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS
Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues and to help us keep safe the rescued dogs we are sponsoring but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia, 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 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 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.

Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo

P1020704

As you know from our previous blog, on 30 June, 2016, the Cantonal Government of Sarajevo issued a decision which requires the utility company KJKP Rad Hygienic Service (or “P.C. Rad”) in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the street. And also you know there are not in fact enough places new dogs in the already overpopulated, poorly maintained and inhumane shelters.  This removal of strays from the city will not solve a problem which is the direct result of owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs. 

Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer and activist,  Aky Coowa, activist writes:

On Monday 25th July, a peaceful demonstration called “Stop killing the dogs“ was held in front of the Sarajevo Cantonal Government. Those who attended requested the prime minister to end the illegal activities of the public company KJKP Rad (Hygienic Service).  Amela Turalic, animal activist, took an opportunity when Mr. Elmedin Konakovic, Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton, was passing by and asked him for a meeting. He agreed. Previously, no one from the Cantonal Government had replied to a letter sent by a group of Sarajevo citizens for such a meeting.

13898159_10208548919594093_1614453963_o

On 26th July, a few dog lovers and rescuers from Bosnia and Herzegovina met with Mr. Elmedin Konakovic and with the Minister for Utility and Infrastructure Senad Hasanspahić. It was the first time that the Prime Minister had such a meeting with several people defending dogs. The group was represented by the following people: Berina Alihodzic, Deputy Chief Cantonal Prosecutor, Amela Turalić from the NGO sector, Dalida Kozlic, lawyer, Elzemina Bajrović from the UNDP, an employee of the UN in the role of a concerned citizen and Almir Kuduz, owner of King pension.

13663563_10208548917874050_990398905_oPrime minister Elmedin Konakovic’s attitude initially clearly envisaged a “meeting with filthy activists/ demonstrators”. He began by insisting the situation with dogs was very alarming, that dogs were aggressive and infected, attacking pregnant women and so on. He said he would solve the problem of overpopulation of stray dogs by mass catching of stray dogs and that he wants to change the law immediately so dogs can be euthanised after 15 days in shelters. He stated all sick dogs should be euthanized. He seemed to have just one aim: to remove all dogs from Sarajevo. Apparently, he has chosen this illegal way to do it and he wants to implement illegal practices.

The Prime Minister had a strong support from the Minister for Utility and Infrastructure Senad Hasanspahić,

The team presented their arguments to the Prime Minister showing they were not “filthy activists” but serious people coming from recognised institutions.

13662480_10208548917914051_755251969_oElzemina from the UNDP talked about UNDP programmes regarding curbing stray animal populations and also stated that the UNDP BiH Representative gave her approval to attend the meeting (the Prime Minister had previously mentioned his collaboration with all ambassadors on the subject saying that they all agreed with him…). Almir Kuduz spoke, stating amongst other things the need to simplify and make affordable the process of transporting Bosnian dogs abroad for adoption; the fact that government should assist citizens and all people who care for stray dogs so it is easier to run legal pensions.

Prime minister Elmedin Konakovic booked another meeting with the group in a week.


13884396_10208548868872825_938767276_nThe intention of the group was to raise the question of the implementation of the decision of the 30th June. Since the Government and Prime Minister keep claiming this has been done legally, the group wanted to seek permission to have access to all dog catchers services (including all vehicles at the street) and to be allowed to follow the whole procedure from catching the dog to the placement in shelters or eventual euthanasia. Therefore, this issue will be raised at the forthcoming meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday.

The Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals is the main legislation regarding treatment of animals in Bosnia. Authorities of one canton must implement the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals and it is a criminal offence to finance activities that are done in accordance with illegal decisions of low level authorities.

13866823_10208548868952827_907391138_nAs you can see from the pictures, dog catchers are very active. They catch dogs even when they are asleep. Dogs who manage to escape being caught appear traumatised. There are three teams of dog catchers, working in two shifts. Dogs are taken to Cantonal veterinary station Sarajevo where rescuers and other people can rescue caught dogs, and also from this station some dogs are sent to Praca shelter mentioned above. However, dogs are also being taken to the headquarters of KJKP Rad where no one – no rescuers or animal advocates –  can enter, only employees of KJKP Rad. Also, dog catchers of KJKP Rad have started taking dogs to the infamous veterinary station in Reljevo and the infamous military base Zunovnica in Hadzic, where the dog catching service of P.E. “Lokum” of Novi Grad, has taken dogs. It is important to emphasise that the veterinary station in Reljevo is owned by Lokom and that it is known to be the worst killing pound in Sarajevo.

13654145_1837702073130454_8254499706440615420_nThe imperative is to stop the illegal catching and killing of strays and to enable rescuers to have access to all shelters and dog catching services, which is a legal obligation of authorities, but also it is very useful since rescuers can help maintain shelters and help feed and look after the animals there. Authorities must take their responsibility for solving of this problem.

Because owners are continuing to abandon their unsterilised dogs or the unsterilised offspring of their pets, and because there are not sufficient numbers of adequately run sterilisation campaigns, the number of dogs in the Canton Sarajevo is still around several thousand.
gladnosadpuppyNo one knows the exact number as there is no database. Local authorities built several shelters around Sarajevo in which conditions are even not close to a satisfactory level, animals have no vet care, conditions and treatment are inhumane. These shelters include Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje and Zunovnica with a maximum capacity of around 600 dogs in total. Dogs often die due to sickness or are attacked by other dogs. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Dogs survive – if at all – thanks to groups of volunteers and animal-friendly citizens of Sarajevo who visit them and provide food and some medicines. Some public companies donate some food or food scraps. Lucky dogs are homed in Bosnia or abroad thanks to volunteers. (During the meeting Prime Minister Elmedin Konakovic stated the government most likely would buy Praca shelter, and who knows what the consequence will be for the dogs.)

Thousands of dogs remaining on the streets cannot be placed in shelters as they are so overcrowded. Furthermore, there is not any official evidence as to how many dogs are taken from the streets, how many arrive in the shelters, what their health condition is, how many are euthanized and for what reason, and how many are currently at the shelters. There is no adequate inspection in practice, no official cooperation with the NGO sector which could make and keep evidence on everything in cooperation with the authorities. Hence dogs are often left at the mercy of employees of the hygienic service and shelter owners. No one knows how many die in between visits of the volunteers and due to what reason.

The Bosnian media is also getting more and more involved in reporting this case:
BIH MAGAZIN [22.07.2016.]
Misterija iza smanjenja broja pasa lutalica u Sarajevu
UBIJANJE ZAKONA O ZAŠTITI ŽIVOTINJA: Aktivisti tvrde da se sarajevski psi ubijaju u nelegalnim skloništima!

P1020736However media has also encouraged citizens of Sarajevo to live in fear of stray dogs. They constantly publish overwrought, bombastic articles about dogs attacking people, of infected and rabid dogs, of the filth they are producing in an otherwise very clean city et cetera. Currently there is, in fact, an alarming situation of rats and other rodents on the streets, but the media presents the dogs as a bigger problem. And no media is reporting on dogs being transported from other areas of Bosnia to Sarajevo, even, perhaps, from other countries (a truck has been seen filled with dogs in Sarajevo, with Albanian registration plates). A story was published about 10 days ago in several news portals, where the Prime Minister stated that child support is only 33 KM (about 16 euros) per child and yet the government is allocating 153 KM (about 78 euros) per stray dog. If this money did in fact go towards stray dogs, then the situation in the shelters and the overpopulation would not exist. Nevertheless such stories inflame the rage of the populace against dogs.

Most of of media is controlled and/or financed by leading political parties, which is why they do not publish the real situation.

HOW TO HELP:

PLEASE NOTE THAT PETITIONS DO VERY LITTLE. WE HAVE ORGANISED MANY WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SIGNATURES OBTAINED, BUT NO CHANGE HAS HAPPENED. It is better to write letters as follows:

1. Write letters to your embassy representative in Bosnia:

To find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina go here:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina
Finding any MEP in Europe – a ‘Euromap’
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html
Finding any MEP by the alphabetical name list can be done via the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/expert/alphaOrder.do?language=EN


2. Write letters to the Bosnian authorities:

Prime minister of Canton Sarajevo, Dino Konaković,   premijer@vlada.ks.gov.ba
Minister of Utility infrastracture, Senad Hasanspahić ministar@mki.ks.gov.ba and
mki@mki.ks.gov.ba

3. Write letters to international animal welfare organisations – google this for email addresses or go here on Wikipedia for information

Below is a draft letter you can modify to use. Or you can simply copy and paste the above blog and ask that something be done. Please be sure to address it to a specific person and to sign it, including your contact details.

________________________________________________

Dear XXX

Millions of citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty. Countries seeking to acquire EU membership need to demonstrate certain standards of animal care, and so I want to bring to your attention Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are seeking admission, and yet who constantly contravene their own animal welfare laws.

In 2009, the Law on Animal Welfare and Protection entered into force in Bosnia Herzegovina. Amongst other things this law proscribes that owners of dogs and cats are to register their animals at the veterinarian organization and mark them with microchips. Additionally, within the period of one year, institutions were obliged to build humane shelters in which all abandoned and lost animals found on the streets should be placed after being caught by a hygienic service, and in which they would be treated on a humane way and provided adequate veterinarian care. Until then, stray animals could be spayed and turned back to the street, while only sick, aggressive and dogs in agony were to be euthanized.

So far, no legally proscribed measure has been conducted. Since the local authorities have not conducted sufficient neutering campaigns on time and properly, the number of stray dogs has multiplied. Dogs Trust sterilization campaigns nave not been able to significantly reduce the numbers of dogs in Sarajevo. Owners are continuing to abandon their unsterilised dogs or the unsterilised offspring of their pets, so the number of dogs in the Canton Sarajevo still seems to be around several thousands. No one knows the exact number as there is no database. Local authorities built several shelters around Sarajevo in which conditions are even not close to a satisfactory level, animals have no vet care, conditions and treatment are inhumane. These shelters include Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje and Zunovnica with a maximum capacity of around 600 dogs in total. Dogs often die due to sickness or are attacked by other dogs. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Dogs survive thanks to groups of volunteers and animal-friendly citizens of Sarajevo who visit them and provide food and some medicines. Some public companies donate some food or food scraps. Lucky dogs are homed in Bosnia or abroad thanks to volunteers.

Thousands of those remaining on the streets cannot be placed in shelters as they are overcrowded. Furthermore, there is not any official evidence as to how many dogs are taken from the streets, how many arrive in the shelters, what their health condition is, how many are euthanized and for what reason, and how many are currently at the shelters. There is no adequate inspection in practice, no official cooperation with the NGO sector which could make and keep evidence on everything in cooperation with the authorities. Hence dogs are often left at the mercy of employees of the hygienic service and shelter owners. No one knows how many die in between visits of the volunteers and due to what reason.

On 30 June, 2016, Cantonal Government issued a decision which requires A utility company KJKP Rad (Hygienic Service), in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the street. In the course of their action, they take every dog, regardless of whether they are aggressive, sick, spayed (with a visible marked at the plate on the ear) or not. Even babies. While the Government is claiming that this is being done legally and in a human way, the implementation of the conclusion is illegal due to the fact that there is no space and no conditions at the shelters to put new arrivals of dogs. Therefore, it is obvious that hundreds and thousands of dogs taken from the streets are killed.

Furthermore, government public statements have been made with regards to this dog catching stating there is a need to collect aggressive and ill street dogs, which is part of the country’s animal welfare law. The same law prohibits the destruction of healthy dogs. And yet, animal welfare activists have documented healthy and non-aggressive dogs been caught and removed. In addition, the problem of strays in the city is a result of owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs.

Increased numbers of dogs on the streets is a direct result of irresponsible ownership, with owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs and because of government failure to implement preventive measures that are provided by the laws, such as punishing those who abandon animals, creating a registration of pets, providing adequate spay/neuter projects with vaccination and tagging of stray animals in an appropriate form and number, and education and information campaigns which are aimed to raise public awareness about the causes of the problem.

The BiH law on Protection and Welfare of Animals very clearly provides solutions for dealing with an overpopulation of stray animals in Bosnia. The first legal obligation of authorities is to build shelters for stray animals, whose purpose is to care for stray animals until they are adopted. Conditions that all shelters must fulfil are outlined in the law.

Regarding registration of pets, for seven years the State Veterinary Office has not enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor has established a unified database for registration.

The only way to solve this problem is for municipalities and governments to establish their own database of owned of animal. If the database of tagged animals and owners of animals is established, it will enable the identification, prosecution and punishment of people who abandon the animals.

Also, the dog shelters in this country are documented by animal rescue organisations and activists to be inhumane ‘death camps’ for dogs, and are in fact used for money laundering purposes: money destined for the dogs and the shelters is pocketed.

I am writing to ask your assistance in ensuring that the current ‘dog catching’ service of by the public utility company KJKP Rad Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company “Veterinary station” Ltd. be monitored and investigated to ensure it works according to Bosnian law and that the shelters in Sarajevo – in particular Zunovnica shelter – and other public shelters in the country have radically improved conditions,  and in particular that animal activists be allowed to document and ensure that the laws are applied.

We have been advised by BiH lawyers and activists that as the BiH politicians themselves are involved in stealing of money from illegal shelters and hygienic ‘dog catching’ services, and that since the prosecutors and police officers are also corrupt, the only way to force the BiH political establishment to stop their illegal practises is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies.

The existing Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia-Herzegovina is in fact a good and enforceable law. The only reason the law is not being enforced is because certain political and professional circles do not want to do it.

The law states that every city and town has to build shelters for stray animals. All shelters for stray animals have to provide a NO KILL policy and adequate care, including veterinary care for the animals housed there. Again, the truth is that the conditions in most public shelters are horrific, with dogs being left for days without water, food or care of any kind. There is documented evidence of this.

As you will be aware, the European Union provides the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with many millions of euros worth of financial aid each year.  My understanding of the provisos attached to these aid packages is that there is a requirement for the recipient country to abide by EU laws which would include the laws related to animal welfare. The Commission has stated that aligning national animal welfare legislation with EU law is a prerequisite for EU membership.

I would urge you please to raise the above issues with the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of animals (http://www.animalwelfareintergroup.eu/) and, critically, with your representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The issue of the failure of the BiH authorities to apply even the barest minimum of the law to ensure the safety of the animals must be addressed. It is imperative that the European Commission and the Parliament discusses this matter with their Bosnia and Herzegovina counterparts.

We urge you to help ensure that the Bosnia Herzegovina authorities implement internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray dog population control and management, and that resources be allocated to ensure such principles are followed.

Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

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Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:

Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?

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!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?

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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. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

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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.