Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia

They are called ‘shelters’. I cannot call them this word. You know about Hreša.
If not, please read the following:
Part One 
Part Two
Part Three

The conditions entirely inhumane in most if not all state shelters. An animal welfare activist in Northern Bosnia states:

There is a dog pound in another municipality that is really not better than Hreša and they kill anywhere from 30-80 dogs there every month. As of two weeks ago communal/municipal police banned activists from entering the dog pound and helping dogs there and they ordered that at least 30 dogs should be “euthanized” there every month. Dog pounds are used to launder money from public budgets and they don’t want activists to poke around and witness how dogs are mistreated or abused at the dog pounds that they dare to call dog asylums/shelters. Population control and promotion of spaying and neutering as well as implementation of the animal welfare law is not in their interest because they want and need constant flow of new dogs through the dog pounds so that they can justify the funds spent each month from the budget. This is common knowledge amongst Bosnian animal welfare activists

In the case of the shelter in Hreša Jelena Paunović of Život BiH and other activists were not only prevented from taking a severely emaciated, suffering dog to veterinary care (see photograph above) but were violently threatened by the shelter manager. A Serbian friend who wishes to remain anonymous has stated she heard money had been stolen from the Hreša shelter funds during financial pre election manoeuvres.

I have access to images from the state dog shelter in Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These images show dogs that were killed by injections of bleach and a dog killed by other dogs and dead dogs left amongst the living.

Banja Luka Shelter

Here is a video of images from Banja Luka (text in Serbo-Croatian).

The smaller of two state shelters in Sarajevo is called Gladno Polje. Senaid Memić, one of the municipality mayors in Sarajevo (Ilidža municipality), signed a contract with the Agricultural cooperative (website http://upizzilidza.com/) to build a shelter on land owned by the Agricultural cooperative. It was to house about 120 dogs. The land for the shelter belongs to the Agricultural cooperative. The municipality supplied money for the construction work and volunteers were brought in to care for the dogs, however volunteers also provided their own funds for the construction and they were involved in cleaning up one of the buildings that existed on the land: a chicken farm.

The Director of the agricultural cooperative (Almir Džanković ) accepted the contract with the municipality without the agreement of the volunteers and employees who would be ultimately responsible for the dogs welfare. Essentially, the employees were ‘given’ 120 dogs to take care of, with minimal wages and no funds to take care of the dogs.

Jelena Paunović attempted to interview Almir Džanković, the agricultural director, but he refused to answer any of her questions regarding who is actually responsible for the dogs and why no proper provision has been made for their welfare.

Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo

The municipality gives about 2 500 EUR every month to pay salaries for four full time employees and to pay water and other bills. The employees have no health insurance, their salaries are paid in cash, and they are not involved in the paying of bills so they don’t know what actually happens with the money.

There are about 200 dogs in and around the shelter. It’s impossible to know the exact number because people constantly leave strays in front of the shelter. There are big and small dogs, about 60 puppies, healthy and sick dogs.

There are several really big problems.
– There is no money for veterinary care
– There is no spay or neuter program
– There is no heating during the winter
– There is not enough dog food

The employees and volunteers at the shelter are actually beggars on social networks. If they collect donations, 200 EUR or even more – it means nothing. One vaccine for one dog for an infective disease costs 10 EUR, one basic veterinary exam costs 10 EUR, antibiotics 13 EUR and so on. Vets in Sarajevo will not see a dog without funds upfront, and thus many die.

Because there is no spay / neuter program, most of dogs are always in their cages and never go out.

When winter temperatures hit -20 to -30 degrees. In the Shelter, dogs sleep on the concrete or wet boards. Once they had beds made out of wood, but since the dogs are closed in for the most of the time, they have either eaten the wood or it has disintegrated due to the water used to clean the boxes. Volunteers and employees of the shelter constantly beg for old clothes to be donated to them. Dogs and especially puppies especially cannot live like this.

Jelena says: “We owe the greatest gratitude for the survival of the shelter and the dogs to Sanela Kotorić Etterle and Adnan Smailbegovic, who fight the most for everything dogs need.

Gladno Polje

I have also seen images from the larger of two state shelters in Sarajevo, which show horrifically starving dogs. The situation is the same: no funds.

Regarding Hreša, the State Veterinary Office informed Dogs Trust in Bosnia a few days ago that the vet inspectorate responsible stated the shelter has been closed down by the local public utility company, even before the inspectorate had a chance to act, in an apparent effort to avoid possible legal sanctions.

Because there have been no prior inspection visits and because the shelter closed down before they could act now, the inspectorate couldn’t provide any more details.

Dogs Trust BiH state that they will continue following up on this, but as no result has, as far as I know, ever occurred regarding similar situations, I don’t hold up much hope.

In the meantime, the dogs in Gladno Polje desperately need food, veterinary care, and spaying and neutering.

The dogs rescued from Hreša need re-homing or sponsorship. Right now the monthly cost for the just the dogs rescued from Hreša is over  500 Euros (650 USD). And it is winter: there are over 10,000 strays in Sarajevo that Jelena and the other activists go out and feed or the dogs die – temperatures reach minus 30C.

Please help. I have drafted a letter for EU MEPs. I have a list of all EU MEPs email addresses. Go here for the letter and all information.

And please donate. If you have a specific issue you would like your donation to go to, please state it on the 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.


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, 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.


Dogs at Gladno Polje


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. You can donate via PayPal and I then transfer the money to Bosnia. I can also give you the PayPal email address of my Bosnian animal welfare contacts if you prefer.  Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

11 thoughts on “Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia

  1. This is so horrible and so unfair on the dogs, The bosnian population and government should be ashamed for this. I cant believe this is happening and no one moves a finger to avoid it. Dogs kill by bleach injections….this is just unbelievable. Disgusting. I could kill these people with my hands. As soon as you upload the address and the letters i will send them and also help translating if its needed. I will also do a donation soon. Such a sad and pathetic world the human race has created.

    • I am disgusted of the inhumane conditions for these poor neglected animals which receive no love but hatred and filthly beatings from people that have no loving heart, no conscience for doing horrible acts against these animals. I will inform everyone I know plus people they know about Bosnia so called shelters. Killing and beating animals til they die. I hope the people that continue to kill and beat these animals die, an eye for an eye. Bosnia Goverment and its people should be ashamed of themselves for such behavior. Bosnia people are pathetic to let this go on. I don’t even feel sad for its people they are no better than Nazi. If you can’t handle the comments then stop doing inhumane, abusive, hurtful actions against animals. Nazi!

    • Thanks SO much! If you managed to find the names that go with the email addresses that would be amazing, yesterday I send individual emails to all the UK ones as I have this list ( I found it on the internet )….

  2. Dena, I sent you a thank you for your donation, maybe you didn’t get it? It goes to me, and then directly to Jelena Paunovic in Bosnia. She posts receipts up on Facebook and I can get copies sent to you.

  3. It pains me so much to read about such unspeakable crimes committed against such helpless “friends of man”! These people who are being paid to take care of animals, but instead, are killing them should be arrested, punished. They should never be allowed to have anything to do with animals. They don’t deserve the animals which are definitely better than these people!

  4. This is not humane. We, man, are supposed to protect. Basically, this is a concentration camp and one way out to death.

    Remember, God does judge!

  5. People need to take of the dogs and cats,the way they are being treated is terrible,the government need to take of these animals and stop being so mean to these,the people that are doing these mean things to these animals are going to hell for what they are doing to these animals and I hope they all to hell.

  6. Omg !!!!!!!!!! These poor animals need help ASAPASAP!!!!!!!! This is horrid !!!!!! Omg people who have money need to know about this and help these poor animals !!!!!!! God bless them!!!!!!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s