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. 

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HOW TO HELP:
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, 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

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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. 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.

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Saving Sirotica PART TWO

Please see my post yesterday about Sirotica and about the breakdown of funds needed.

Sirotica – the lovely dog found with her throat gaping open in a terrible wound, most likely inflicted by owners of fighting dogs ‘training’ their dogs on her –  had her operation today:

No donations for her have come in.
UPDATE: November 22, 2012 
240 Euros have come in for Sirotica, Thank you everyone! It’s enough for 2 months at King Pension. We still need more donations for vaccinations, spaying and further stay at King Pension should no forever home be offered. Note that there are 17 beautiful dogs that have been rescued (not including the rescues from Hresa) that are in dog pension, and no foster or forever home…. that funds must be raised for otherwise they go on the street. if you are interested in adopting, please contact me. 

Please help – any amount will make a huge difference. If you want to donate via bank transfer, details are here. If you need receipts for proof of expenditure, these can be sent to you. Please help. Also if you can offer this lovely dog a forever home, contact me.

______________________________________________

HOW TO HELP:
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, 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. You can donate via PayPal and I would 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.

Saving Sirotica

Todays blog was supposed to tell you about the shelters in Bosnia, how horrendous they are, not just Hreša, and to update you on the Hreša situation (not much to update, unfortunately).

But as always a crisis case comes up.

This beautiful stray dog was left for 3 days before anyone thought to call for help. Jelena Paunović and other activists rushed the dog to the vet. Surgery is scheduled for tomorrow. It’s very likely this was a stray dog used to train fighting dogs.

Sirotica is safe, at King Pension now, due to some luck as it is usually full. The activists were very happy when Almir, the pension owner, told them there is a vacant place since it is the best place in Sarajevo when it comes to injured dogs.

One day of stay at King Pension is 4 Euros – 120 Euros/$160 per month – and surgery tomorrow will cost between 35 and 50 Euros ($45 -$65). The vet exam today cost 16 Euros and transportation for the activists and the dog is 11 Euros.

With the recent rescues from Hreša (see earlier posts) and the 17 + other rescued dogs in pension and the desperate need for food for strays during the winter, funds are needed now more than ever. Please help – any amount will make a huge difference. If you want to donate via bank transfer, details are here. If you need receipts for proof of expenditure, these can be sent to you. Please help. Also if you can offer this lovely dog a forever home, contact me. ‘Sirotica’ means poor, as in poor dog. This is a poor dog, but perhaps a new home and a new name will make all the difference…

______________________________________________

HOW TO HELP:
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, 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. 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.

Horror Shelter in Hreša PART THREE

Jelena Paunović and the other animal activists returned to Hreša on the 7th of November. They found a completely deserted shelter. The dogs they’d seen there previously were no longer. However there was a large, locked container. Without police protection it was not advisable for the activists to investigate further.

So far we have had no response at all from emails and letters to the local authorities. I know many of you have also sent letters, without response. Nor have we had any useful response from international animal welfare organisations or any journalists that we have contacted, other than from Animal-Kind International who have a partner organisation in Bosnia, BAF, which is headquartered in the Netherlands. Animal-Kind have been very supportive in all kinds of ways, but we are all stymied by the lack of support and response on the ground from local authorities.

And please keep sharing the petition:
Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia.

The Rescues

Seven puppies and two adult dogs were rescued from the Hreša shelter.

The Puppies
One of the puppies was too weak to survive. The others are doing well, but are quite traumatized.

Stella

Mia, Stella, Jimmy and Winnie


Johnny, Mia and Pug

Adult dogs
A lovely dog they’ve called Clooney…

Clooney is about 10 months old. They named him Clooney because he is such a sweetheart, such a stunning and handsome dog and such a heart-stopper to all women who see him..  He behaves beautifully on a leash, is very calm, he behaves beautifully with adult dogs, puppies and cats. As Mia Ožegović, one of the activists with Jelena says, “If you ever wondered what George Clooney would look like in doggie-world, THIS is as close as can get!”

But, one of the adult dogs is shockingly traumatized…

Mia says:
“I thought I saw everything…all the worst atrocities a human kind is capable to do to a living creature, especially a dog , whether in reality or on tv shows such as ASPCA on Animal planet etc. But this story …this case ….this female dog …. this is unbearable …. I’m trying not cry and trying to talk and describe her from a distance. I am trying not to let my emotions and anger and despair prevail …. I have never seen so many people cry after getting in touch with a dog that had such an abusive past as this lovely female had. Thinking of how to name her, one adjective was always coming to my mind … “It was a true GRACE that she ran out of that kennel at Hresa so we could pick her up and take her away from that hell …” I think it would be appropriate to therefore to name her Grace …. Grace was (with no doubt) heavily beaten-up over a long period of time, either by her previous owner or by the people responsible at the Hresa Shelter, but we will never know the exact truth. She is unable to walk, not because she is in pain but out of sheer fear. Each time someone makes a gesture or moves a hand quickly she immediately gets down and stays down because she thinks that we will hit her. She holds her tail as curled up as she possibly can. It took us an whole hour and a half just to make her do two steps on her own, or even to encourage her to get up from the ground and just stand. She has bite-marks all over her body, probably because the other dogs with whom she was sharing the kennel at Hresa, would fight or bite each other out of hunger. She is in such a poor psychological and physiological condition that for her complete recovery she will need a great deal of time to pass. She was brought to the very fine edge of starvation. She is a walking skeleton. You can’t call her “a dog” because she isn’t one. She is just an image of a dog, a vague and bleak image of something that people classified as “a dog”. This is a crawling, breathing, nightmare …. Soon we will post a video of her, just so you could see for yourself all this and much much more of all this that I’m trying to explain regarding Grace’s condition. she will be “a dog” one day, she will one day roam and jump and play like all dogs do. She will twinkle her tail when she sees a human being …she will …. we just have to help her become that.”

UPDATE February 22, 2013 Lovely Clooney has been adopted locally in Sarajevo.

______________________________________________

HOW TO HELP:
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, 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.

______________________________________________

It strikes me that it was a year ago today that Vučko was so brutally tortured.

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.

Horror Shelter in Hreša PART TWO

This from Jelena Paunovic, who just got back from Hreša:

When I first published photos from Hreša shelter many people interested in adopting contacted me. I had probable home for ten dogs. Director of shelter, in our conversation two days ago, said he is interested in cooperation regarding helping him with food, public relations and adoptions of dogs.

Today we went to shelter with the idea to take few dogs and put them in pension until they could be sent to their adopters. Alas, when we got there all of this dogs were missing and shelter was half empty.

We were able to put seven puppies and two grown up dogs in a small car. We put them in pension aware that we saved them of eminent death. All of them will need sponsors for pension costs. First expenses will be covered with money gathered for food as we have almost no dogs left there to be fed. We found out that bodies of dogs were buried at local garbage disposal site and we went there to look for bodies. Employee of facility confirmed that bodies were buried there but said there is no possibility to see them as they dug them in deep. We looked for them but to no result. Later we tried to get few remaining ones out but run into a trouble as workers arrived so we had to flee!

There is probably six more dogs there but we are not capable to get them out as this could be very dangerous now when they expect us. Early this morning one of activists talked to shelter manager who claimed that he released dogs but witnesses and clues are telling another story.

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PLEASE CONTACT ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANISATIONS AND TELL THEM WHAT IS HAPPENING IN HRESA.
(contact me for Jelena’s details to give them so they can verify the story)

Please sign and share the petition:
Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia

Please contact the local authorities directly, see the post below. I’ll be redrafting a letter soon.

______________________________________________

HOW TO HELP:
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, 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.

Horror Shelter in Hreša, Bosnia

Jelena Paunović of Život BiH was contacted last night about a shelter in Hreša
district, on the outskirts of Sarajevo. She went there with volunteers and took photographs.

She went again this morning with food.This is what she discovered:

Over 50 dogs are being kept in entirely inhumane conditions, without adequate food or water or veterinary treatment, that numerous dogs are kept in tiny cages, that dead dogs are left amongst living dogs. Dogs have open wounds. Puppies are starving.


Furthermore, witnesses said that any non-purebred dog caught by the shelter is killed, and that purebred dogs are stolen from owners and only released to the owner if a ransom is paid.

One person said: “They only want purebred dogs because they can sell them. They just do not care about strays! They are killing them constantly! And also, they are stealing the dogs from people’s yards if they are purebred and selling them. One worker of the shelter I spoke to said that I have to pay 100 EUR if I want my dog back. When I arrived at Hresa shelter (it takes me about one hour!) they killed my dog in their car. My God I was ready to pay the ransom!

Jelena was told by Slaviša Jovčić, the manager of the shelter and director of Glog, the company that built the shelter, that he was promised 130 000 KM from the local government municipalities for the shelter, but the full amount of the money was never paid by the municipality and therefore Slaviša Jovčić cannot ensure the care of the dogs.

What can be done? It will cost 20 euros a day to feed the dogs through the winter. It will cost animal welfare volunteers from Sarajevo 15 euros for each trip they make to check on the dogs and bring food. There is nowhere to release them to other than the streets. There are no foster homes for them, and ‘pension’ will cost at least 80 euros per dog.

Maybe we can a) raise funds for food
and b) bring international attention so the authorities are forced to do something. If you have any contacts with international animal welfare organisations please let them know. Sign the petition linked to below and send letters to the Mayor of the municipality.


I have started a petition, please sign and share:

Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia

And please contact the Mayor of the district directly – by mail, email, telephone and fax. The dogs only hope is if we show the Bosnian Government that we know, and that we will not sit by and let these dogs suffer. 

Bojo Gašanović
Opština Istočni Stari Grad
Hreša bb,
71144 Hreša, Istočni Stari Grad,
Istočno Sarajevo
Telefon: +387 (0) 57 265 117
Fax: +387 (0)57 265 114

E-mail: info@opstinaisg.net

You can also contact the local commissioner:
Snjezana Jovicic +387 (0) 57 265 117

Sample letter – better if you personalise it:

Dear Sir,

I request that the Government of Bosnian and Herzegovina, the Istocni Stari Grad authorities and municipality mayor Bojo Gašanović in particular, investigate the matter of the Hreša dog shelter.

We have reliable reports and eyewitness accounts substantiated by photographs that that over 50 dogs are being kept in inhumane conditions, without adequate food or water or veterinary treatment, that numerous dogs are kept in tiny cages, that dead dogs are left amongst living dogs. Furthermore, there are reports that any non-purebred dog caught by the shelter is killed, and that purebred dogs are stolen from owners and only released to the owner if a ransom is paid.

It is understood that Slaviša Jovčić, the manager of the shelter and director of Glog, the company that built the shelter, was promised 130 000 KM from the municipalities for the shelter, but the full amount of the money was never paid by the municipality and therefore Slaviša Jovčić cannot ensure the care of the dogs.

We demand that a full investigation is undertaken, that the municipality ensures that the facility is immediately provided with funds to care for these dogs. Modern practices must be implemented, giving food and fresh water and the facility be must kept sanitary and properly staffed with veterinary professionals so the animals are cared for and, ultimately, caring homes need to be found for these dogs.

This situation has sparked a global outcry and we look to the Bosnian and Herzegovinan justice system and authorities to conform with EU standards regarding animal welfare, and to apply the law that was passed in Bosnia Herzegovina incorporating these EU standards.

Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.

Yours sincerely,

[your name here]

And in Serbo-Croatian:

Dragi gospodine,

Zahtevam da vlada BiH, vlasti Istočnog Starog Grada i posebno gradonačelnik općine Bojo Gašanović istraže pitanje skloništa psa u Hreši.

Postoje pouzdani izvještaji očevidaca koji su potkrepljeni fotografijama da je više od 50 psa su držani u nehumanim uvetima, bez adekvatne hrane ili vode ili veterinarskog lečenja, da brojni psi se drže u malim kavezima, koji su mrtvi psi među živih pasa. Nadalje, postoje izvješća da bilo koji nečistokrvni pas je uhvaćen od strane sklonište je ubijen, a da rasni psi su ukradeni od vlasnika i otpušteni njim, samo ako se plati otkupnina

Podrazumiva se da Slaviši Jovčić,u voditelju skloništa i direktoru Glog, drustvo koje je gradilo sklonište, obećali su 130 ,00 KM od općine za sklonište, ali puni iznos novca nikad nije bio plaćen od strane općine i stoga Slaviša Jovčić ne može da osiguri brigu o psima.

Tražimo da puna istraga se provodi, da općina osigurava da objektu odmah se osiguraju sredstava takoda se brinu za te pse. Moderni postupci moraju da se provode, hranu i svježa voda moraju da se daje i objekt mora da se čuva u sanitarnom stanju, s osobljem veterinarskih stručnjaka, tako da su životinje zbrinute i, u konačnici, brižni domovi treba da se nadje za ove pse..

Ova situacija je izazvala globalnu negodovanje i očekujemo od i pravosuđe i vlasti skladanje sa standardima EU-a o dobrobiti životinja, te primenje zakona koji je bio donesen u BiH i uključuje ove standarde EU-a.

Hvala vam za uzimanje vremena da pročitate ovo pismo.

Srdačno vaš,

[your name here]

I have started a ChipIn, please donate.

Or contribute directly via PayPal:

______________________________________________

HOW TO HELP:
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, 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 slideshow requires JavaScript.

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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. 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.