Safe haven for dogs and cats needs your help

KizaFedin Gunić and his parents built a private shelter for dogs and cats in the Kozarac and Prijedor municipality of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a place where during Bosnian war in 1992 some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity occurred in Europe since WW2.

282496_2314649427981_5213871_nFedin’s family were refugees in the war and only returned to their farm in 2002. Kittens and puppies were all the time being dumped on their farmland. They could not watch them starve or get run over by cars so they took them in and cared for them. In 2004 they built the shelter that now provides care for almost 60 dogs and 40 cats. The three of them do all this without having any material or financial benefit. They built the shelter using savings and bank loans, and have managed until recently to keep the shelter running on the small salary of Fedin’s mother as well as income from his father’s shoe repair shop. Sometimes donations from welfare organisations come in, but these are few and far between and right now funds are exhausted.

Please help the Gunić family continue their sterling work with their rescues. For donations via PayPal, please donate to: 


You may know about other “shelters” in Bosnia. If not please read about them here. Unlike these state funded concentration camps for dogs, the Gunić family has created a truly safe haven for animals. I’ve seen the progress of many direly sick dogs and cats that have come under their care, animals who would have most likely died in any other circumstance. But Fedin and his parents are able to perform miracles.

Please see for example the story of little Lyra, found late last year, a kitten so severely mauled by a dog her intestines were protruding from wounds in her abdomen:

bandagedVideo taken in late October:

Lyra needed 24/7 care and developed a number of complications during her healing process, and although she no longer has the use of her right hind leg, she is a now a very healthy, happy young cat:


156823_1774646568247_5285282_nThe family has had to deal with threats from local authorities, in spite of the fact they are doing the state a service and have a legalized shelter. In late 2011 the municipal veterinary Inspectors decided to shut them down and take away all the dogs to the Ljeskare-Kurjevo dog shelter in Prijedor municipality where the dogs would be killed. This was most likely in retaliation for the fact that the Gunić family had reported this public dog shelter to the State Veterinary Inspector and to the animal welfare organization NOA Banjaluka – as a result of this report the State Inspector gave a one year deadline to the Ljeskare-Kurjevo dog shelter to improve conditions there.

However, the decision of municipal veterinary inspectors was annulled by State Minister after the family’s appeal. It was established and confirmed that the veterinary inspectors made serious mistakes in their conduct with the Gunić family and broke several laws in their investigation.

155046_1767170621353_7351908_nIf you are in any doubt as to the legitimacy of Fedin and his family, I can tell you more. In 2008 Fedin Gunić worked for the animal welfare organization NOA Banjaluka which saved, with the help of other organisations and a few local people, a brown bear, Miljen, kept as a pet by an infamous Bosnian mobster. Fedin took care of all the complex negotiations required for Miljen to enter the EU. Miljen is now in a sanctuary in France. Der Spiegel published an article about this incident and there is a Reuters report on YouTube here.

willyjazoFedin has been involved in other high profile cases, trying to change the conditions for abused animals in his country, including a Lipizzaner Stud in Prnjavor where the horses were kept in appalling conditions. Prior to this kind of activism Fedin worked as a humanitarian worker for Dorcas Aid International and also as a project assistant for British ODA (Overseas Development Administration) and later DFID (Department for International Development). Most of the work related to the returning of refugees and displaced persons to their homes. Other projects included renovation of schools and clinics in the towns and settlements where the refugees had homes.


Please help the Gunić family continue their sterling work with their rescues. For donations via PayPal, please donate to: 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


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.


8 thoughts on “Safe haven for dogs and cats needs your help

  1. Sandra, thank you so much for this beautiful , detailed article. Their family is the best….both for people and animals.

  2. Fedin Gunić and his parents are angels on earth. Their compassion knows no boundaries. They serve as an example for all of us.
    Bless you.

Leave a Reply

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

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

Facebook photo

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

Connecting to %s