End of a Year

This website was started in June 2012. I’ve just received year-end statistics from WordPress: 41,000 views. The most views are on this home page/blog of the site, with “HOW TO HELP” as the page with the next greatest number of views. I feel heartened by this. Perhaps it is possible to make a substantial difference to the lives of stray dogs and cats in Bosnia.

I can say ‘we’ now: in the past months a small group of people have joined forces with me to help. I am very grateful for this, and very grateful for all the support and encouragement and financial donations made to visitors of this site.

We now have a group and page on Facebook:
Animal Advocates for Bosnia – group – best for discussions
Animal Advocates for Bosnia – page – best for being able to ‘share’ posts
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And shortly we will have a new website focussing on adoptions.

This is one of our priorities: to find forever homes for nearly 30 dogs that Jelena and her animal welfare activists have rescued and put into pension or foster care. The monthly cost of keeping these dogs safe off the street is very high: well over 1500 euros ($2000 USD) per month, and this does not include any veterinary care.  Too much time is taken up trying to raise the funds to keep the dogs safe – time that could probably be better spent in advocacy, education and outreach programmes. As soon as the new adoption website is up I will make an announcement, but in the meantime photographs of some of the dogs up for adoption can be found on the Photos pages of the Facebook group and page.

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Jenny, Arca and Grace – all needing forever homes

Many of you have been very generous with donations. Thank you.

Unfortunately there is still so much to be done, and I cannot but help think the only way is if we can involve international organisations in spay-neuter programmes. The 11,000 strays in Sarajevo will only increase. We have been working on involving such organisations, but it’s a slow process as the information required by these organisations is not so easily obtained in Bosnia.

I have no news from Dogs Trust Bosnia on the investigation into the Hreša ‘shelter’ ( Part One – Part Two – Part Three – Part Four ), but we are preparing a letter to Dogs Trust UK that will give feedback to them on a meeting between representatives from DT UK, DT Bosnia and a few local animal welfare groups. I will let you know the outcome.

I have some very sad news.

Lilly was put to sleep this morning.
If you don’t know Lilly’s story, please read ‘Saving Lilly’.

In spite of the very best efforts, Lilly was not doing well at all, as you can see by these photographs taken a few days ago. He had an advanced form of distemper.
sicklilly sicklilly2
Almir Kuduz of King Pension, where Lilly spent his last days under intensive care, wrote the following:

After 32 days of fighting, this morning Lilly received eternal peace through his veins. He came to a point where it was no longer possible to do anything other than let this beauty to embark on his last journey.

Perhaps because of some similarities with my first dog, King, Lilly has had and will always have a special place in me.I’m sorry that Lilly did not arrive earlier, while there was still time for things to turn for the better, but now it’s all over. Sleep peacefully Lilly, proud beauty.

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R.I.P. beautiful Lilly

Sadly there is always another desperate case. Right this minute I have been told of a dog found in Sarajevo with a bullet wound, needing immediate veterinary care.

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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.

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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.

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Suffering in Sarajevo

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On Christmas eve a dog was found dead and brutalized by hunters. This is a very common occurrence. Why do they do it? Because they can.

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This poor dog was one of many strays that the animal welfare activists in Sarajevo feed:

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There are over 11,000 strays in Sarajevo. Winter is a terrible time for them with temperatures hitting minus 20 or worse, and as always there are so many who are ill or wounded. Jelena Paunovic and other animal welfare activists make daily trips to feed the strays. Last winter in Sarajevo the snow was almost two meters high and every day they would find many dogs and cats dead on the streets, dead from starvation or frozen to death. Funds are desperately needed to pay for food.

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578026_10200278064337054_1134159459_n 386623_10200278052456757_1616156256_n 314054_10200278054696813_1567640548_n 305682_10200278061736989_688160945_n 75942_10200278053576785_671785213_n 74931_10200278066937119_1629672323_n 65020_10200278066497108_1931125473_n 47594_10200278064497058_417409823_n 13804_10200278057896893_1553108392_n 10048_10200278060216951_303214229_n 6104_10200278058576910_757209715_nAnd it is not just the dogs.

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This is one of several stray cats near a farm in Sarajevo. The people who feed them do not have anything other than bread to feed the cats. Cats cannot live on bread. Jelena went there to give them some cat food. She discovered that there are 3 females who give birth every year. Spaying costs 40 euros (about $55 USD) and the cheapest cat food costs 1,5 EUR per kilogram. A contribution of 120 Euros (about $165 USD) will mean that dozens of kittens will not be born to suffer a life of neglect, starvation and abuse. If you make a donation, please note it for the ‘farm cats’.

One of the cats has a damaged leg:

UPDATE January 7 2013: We have raised nearly 400 euros for the farm cats, thanks to generous donations! There are about 15 cats in this group, some of them ill. I will keep you updated. We hope to have as many spayed and neutered as possible. It’s 40 euros per cat.

NOTE: if you make a donation for a specific cause, please email us or note it in the comment box in PayPal.

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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 or cat or situation, 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.

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Find us on Facebook:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/AWAbosnia
http://www.facebook.com/AWAbosnia
Find us on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/AWAbosnia

Gratitude

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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.  Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

Warmer housing for the dogs

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Thanks to generous donations in response to my previous post about the critical situation at a pension in Sarajevo, construction of warmer housing has begun.  We are also getting offers of dog blankets and some people are very kindly making or donating dog coats. Another priority will be to ensure the dogs have top quality food – not just to see them through the winter but also to help them get well (most of them have demodex and are very weak still after recovering from canine parvovirus.

ChipIn: HELP 9 DOGS SURVIVE THE WINTER IN SARAJEVO

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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 or situation, 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 then transfer the money to Bosnia.  Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

CRITICAL SITUATION

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The rescues at this particular pension in Sarajevo have no heating. There are nine dogs at this pension, most of them quite young. Marley and Tessa are outside (with a dogs house to sleep in, but no heating) and all the others are sleeping in a garage. It is VERY cold, temperatures already going down to minus 10 and it will get much colder. Jelena Paunović couldn’t take many photos because her fingers were frozen.  What is worse is that all the dogs are very unwell with demodex and lowered immune systems. These are the dogs that survived canine parvovirus and Tessa, one of the dogs, barely survived pneumonia and has an enlarged heart. See “Things Are Not Good In Sarajevo“.

If we can’t find a solution the dogs may not survive the winter. I am not sure what the solution can be. The only suitable pension is King Pension and there is no space there. Perhaps we can raise funds for blankets, straw, or even for electric heating to be brought into the garage. I’m working on this and will update but funds are needed to get these dogs through the winter, at the very least with very high quality food. Jackets for each dog cost around 40 Euros ($USD 50) unless they can be mailed over, but this can take up to 6 weeks from the USA.

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Tessa

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Marley

UPDATE: donations are already coming in, thank you so much! And I’ve just started a ChipIn for those that prefer: HELP 9 DOGS SURVIVE THE WINTER IN SARAJEVO

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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 or situation, 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 then transfer the money to Bosnia.  Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

Horror Shelter in Hreša PART FOUR

68482_10200148693102854_1701633000_nHere is the earlier story of Hreša:  Part One – Part Two – Part Three

I think you already know the shelter has been closed down, and that Dogs Trust Bosnia has promised to keep investigating what happened there (no news so far). I think you already know that of the rescues, 6 (surviving, one died shortly after rescue) puppies from Hreša shelter have died, probably from distemper.

WHAT YOU DON’T KNOW IS THAT AN ADDITIONAL TEN DOGS AND FOUR PUPPIES WERE ALSO RESCUED FROM HRESA ON THE LAST VISIT MADE THERE BY JELENA AND THE OTHERS.

Unfortunately 3 of the adult dogs and one of the puppies died shortly after rescue.

We could not make this news public until now as the threats made by the manager of Hreša shelter indicated he would take violent action against  Jelena Paunović and the other animal welfare activists who went into Hreša. It is still dangerous, but we feel that there has been enough publicity about this case to protect the activists.

brownpuppyThe 3 adult dogs and puppy probably died of the same illness that took the first set of rescued puppies, and infected Jenny, who was in the same pension as they were. Jenny is doing better, she’s in King Pension, has gained 3 Kg.

With the money donated so far for the Hreša rescues the remaining dogs (7 adults, 3 puppies) have been spayed, neutered, vaccinated against infectious diseases and rabies, and they’ve been microchipped (the puppies have just been vaccinated against infectious diseases as they are too young for surgery), and of course they are being fed.

73826_10200148695182906_1142702759_nRight now these dogs are in a safe, secret place, but the conditions there are not good, it is not protected against the plummeting winter temperatures. In fact sometimes we wonder if we have helped them as the conditions are so bad. BUT, they will not be murdered, they will not be used in dog fights, they will not be ransomed. And they will have plenty of food and water and some blankets.

However, they need to be found homes as quickly as possible. Jelena has many other rescues in pension (nearly 20, costing at least 1,500 EUROS – $2000 USD per month in donations not including veterinary fees) who have not been adopted in spite of best efforts by everyone, so this is a very worrying proposition.

45360_10200148677102454_736657858_nOr these rescues from Hreša can be moved into pension, but the fees for this would be huge: the pension that right now has availability for adult dogs costs 90 Euros a month (about 118 USD). King Pension is the only pension that takes puppies, and this costs 120 Euros  (about 158 USD) a month.

This means: 630 Euros (820 USD) a month for the adult dogs, and 360 Euros (420 USD) a month for the puppies ( and this in addition to the cost of housing the rescues Jelena already has – 1500 Euros/ 2000 USD per month)

Other options are being looked into: perhaps Dogs Trust Bosnia and UK will help with funds, perhaps a shelter grant can be obtained from US or UK organisations for a new shelter that has proper facilities. But know that this  kind of thing not only takes time – months, maybe years, but is fraught with difficulties.

76477_10200148696182931_525323923_nSusan Johnson of the US State department lived and worked in Bosnia as OHR Deputy High Representative and Supervisor of Brcko District, a special unit of multiethnic local self government under international supervised administration. She had the authority to stop the illegal shooting and poisoning of street dogs for bounty payments and she did all she could to implement an effective and humane animal control program. And she supported one NGO to set up a model dog shelter with extraordinary conditions for the dogs, a kind of heaven really.

In all of these efforts, in spite of her position, access to funds and so on, she did not succeed. During the 6 years plus this shelter was in operation it was subjected to sabotage, threats, abuse, theft and illegitimate lawsuits seeking to hold the operators financially liable for any and all dog bites in Brcko District. She had to close the shelter and re-locate the dogs to Serbia and then to the US, requiring an enormous amount of effort and funding. As she told me: “No local government, including the Sarajevo municipla authorities, understood or cared about managing this issue in conformity with EU standards, despite a law that was eventually passed incorporating EU standards.”

mainlittle Sofie
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HOW TO HELP

If you want to sponsor a dog or a puppy rescued from the Horror Shelter in Hreša to be moved to pension, or if you want to contribute towards blankets, warm jackets (40 euros each) and food, you can use the Hreša ChipIn

OR:

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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If you are interested in adopting a dog or puppy, please contact us. See the slide show below for all photographs, and all photographs above are of these ‘secretly’ rescued dogs from Hreša.

Perhaps you live in a situation where you can’t have a dog… perhaps consider ‘virtually’ adopting one: paying for the dogs food and board. You will be sent photographs and videos of the dog every month and you can choose a name for it – contact us if you are interested.

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Jonny and Ricky, two of the saved adults 

Of the first rescues who still survive, Grace is still in pension, doing better physically but still emotionally very damaged.

graceBut the good news is that Clooney the lovely labrador has been adopted in Sarajevo!

clooneyadoptedUPDATE: December 9 BAD NEWS. Clooney’s owner had to return him as the landlord wouldn’t let dogs in the apartment. I’m devastated for the poor dog.

Please keep sharing the petition:

Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia

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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.

Saving ‘Lilly’

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The first part of Lilly’s story is here.

Lilly was admitted to King Pension on Thursday night. This is what Almir Kuduz, owner and manager wrote:

29542_525981660745448_1989319647_nBeautiful dog, warm colors of fur and eyes, slowly losing control of the body. As the dog arrived it remained in an unnatural jerky position, with a twisted neck and head. Wide open eyes of fear of the unknown. from himself and what he’s going through perhaps.

Do not be fooled by ‘Lilly’s’ thick and long fur, because the dog is only 21.4 kg. 
I offered food and ‘Lilly’ just turned away. And then, ‘Lilly’ ate several grains from my hand. This was the beginning of our coming together. ‘Lilly’ relaxed a little and a few times used his long tongue to pick out food from my palm … and then I stopped and I felt fear.

main2While he chewed the food and used his jaw muscles, his eyes were simply disappearing into his skull. Every effort he made was pulling muscles in his eye sockets – so deeply the eyes could not be seen at all. They remained two holes.

His body is almost no liquid at all! He was immediately transferred to the examination table, and plugged into an infusion. Large quantities. In the infusing we put the whole pharmacy, vitamins, minerals, medicines … almost two whole bottles went into his veins.  While the infusion drippid I scratched my “Lilly” in the stomach and … hmm … My palm is touched irrefutable evidence that Lilly is a boy.”
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‘Lilly’ will be renamed soon. Here is a video that Almir took of this beautiful dog. It broke my heart.

Update December 2, afternoon: Lilly is getting corticosteroids (Medrol 16 mg), Aneurin inj, (B12), antibiotics, Rimadyl, Ringer solution with Duphalyte iv twice a day, Adapted food (Royal Canine Recovery), massage and the whole list of additional body support. But he is, so far, not improving. Almir Kuduz is trying to stabilise him.

Update: December 22: from Almir Kuduz “Lilly is in critical condition and I am not sure if he will survive at all. He can not eat, drink, walk … He is VERY critical.He gets vet exam every day and therapy twice a day. We are doing EVERYTHING to bring him back. I can ensure you that I am giving all of myself to keep him alive. He reminds me on my first dog, when I was a kid. So … it’s not just a “dog” to me (on the other hand – which one is). He’s much more than that and I am sitting with him for hours and hours. Talking to him. Feeding him from my hand. I simply love him very much and I will NOT give up on him. It’s personal now.”

‘Lilly’ is just one of hundreds of suffering strays in Sarjevo. Please help them by making a small donation to the animal activists that do what they can to feed and rescue them.
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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.

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UPDATE December 7: Lilly is still with us. Almir says he has stabilized, but that it will be a long road to recovery. I understand that dogs who suffer from such advanced cases of distemper rarely recover without some neurological damage. But maybe Lilly will be lucky. Please send prayers and healing.
UPDATE January 1: I’m so sorry to say that Lilly had to be put to sleep yesterday morning. More details 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.