Dog Trafficking in Eastern Europe

dogtraffickingDog trafficking in Europe is increasing, with thousands of puppies and dogs brought into the UK, often from eastern Europe. In March 2013 the Express published the following article: The price of greed: Surge in puppy smuggling from Eastern Europe to UK. “Designer puppies” are in particular demand, imported from countries like Lithuania, Hungary and Slovakia, and sold to UK citizens. I hate to think of the conditions these puppies are brought into the world in… some breeding dogs are kept in solitary confinement all their lives. Of course puppy farms exist all over Europe, in fact Ireland is known as the ‘puppy farm capital’ of Europe, and puppy farms exist in abundance in the UK.

Another article, Pup Hell: Traffickers swipe young dogs from their mothers, cram them into a van cage, ship them to the UK…and process is all legal, describes the awful conditions of the transport vans the dogs are brought over in.

Please, Don’t ever buy from a pet shop, most dogs in pet shops are supplied by puppy farms and don’t buy a pedigree dog at a ‘bargain price’ advertised in a newspaper or online. Please find out as much as you can about any dog that you decide to buy or adopt. Ideally, the group or person who is offering the dog should be deeply concerned about YOU, whether you can, in fact, offer the dog (or cat) a suitable home.

Useful websites for information:
Puppy Love Campaigns
Puppy Trafficking
Hope-UK
SPFC 
– stop puppy farming, end cruelty
Dogs Trust UK
Worldwide Veterinary Service

I recently came across accusations of dog trafficking made against animal welfare groups and animal activist individuals. I personally have not found any legitimate claim, regarding Bosnia – all the animal welfare groups and individuals I have been involved with struggle to find homes the dogs (and cats) they rescue, and much time and energy is spent fundraising to pay for the cost of keeping the animals safe and off the streets, preparing a dog for travel, and for any travel costs if a home is found outside of Bosnia. Due to the general cultural negativity towards dogs in Bosnia (see Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation) I would be surprised if there are people in Bosnia willing to spend the time involved in maintaining a puppy farm, and I very much doubt Bosnians are creating and selling ‘designer’ breeds, but perhaps I am wrong. Other awful things do go on of course, as anyone who reads this blog knows.

However, I have been warned that there are people posing as legitimate adopters of rescue dogs when in fact they are not: they are looking for dogs for breeding or to sell -this certainly is a potential issue in Bosnia as many of the strays in the country are beautiful, pedigree-type dogs. See below: Billy for example, a gorgeous labrador-type, who we found a home for in the UK early this year, and King, the lovely GSD who is sadly too old to travel, but who is in a very good pension in Sarajevo, and is sponsored by us to live there happily for as long as he needs.
billyking1

Our group, AWABhas recently homed 14 rescue dogs in the UK and Europe. Every potential adopter was thoroughly home-checked, and if this went well, the adopter signed documentation agreeing that AWAB can continue to monitor the dog to ensure they are being properly taken care of. We have a private Facebook group where all the adopters gather and talk and share photographs, and discuss any issues. Adopting a rescue is very different to adopting a pedigree dog, or a mixed-breed dog or puppy who did not come from the streets. It takes an enormous amount of time and care to win the trust of rescues.

Almost all people who adopt or provide foster care for rescues, whether via AWAB or other groups, are also animal rights activists or advocates or generally people who are concerned with animal rights and welfare and who have experience with rescues and understand that such dogs need special care. If there are any concerns about the health and welfare of rescue dogs AWAB is involved with, we seek support and advice from organisations such as Dogs Trust and Worldwide Veterinary Services.

I hope to be posting blogs about our adopted dogs very soon, it’s a miracle to see how they look now in their new homes compared to how the looked when the were first rescued, but there always seems to be a dire case to report, so I keep putting it off! But to end this blog on a happy note, do you remember Grace, rescued from the horror of Hreša shelter last year? This is how she looked then:

554140_4939444246711_410903332_nAnd here she is in her new home in Norway…

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DONATIONS
Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues and to help us keep safe the rescued dogs we are sponsoring and finding homes for, 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.

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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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Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia

Pas ugiba Foto Bug ba (10)avaz.ba article: Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia (in Serbo-Croatian) additional photographs can be found with the article. Translation of an excerpt:

“Representatives of Flekica, the Association for the Protection of Animals in Bugojno, are outraged at a recent case of stray dog poisoning at the beginning of Ramadan. This is not the first case of poisoning stray dogs in Bugojno municipality. All previous investigations have shown that the poisonings were deliberate, by still unknown and irresponsible individuals…” Pas ugiba Foto Bug ba (23)The above photograph shows a group of local children who wanted to help one of the dogs. They managed to gather 50 KM (35 USD) to pay for the dog’s euthanasia so that it would not suffer, but no vet was available.Pas ugiba Foto Bug ba (27)

Admira el Falah, the president of Flekica, the Association for the Protection of Animals in Bugojno posted the video below, stating: “Despite all of my grief and horror watching this I had to share it. This killing of the oldest dog in Bugojno who was in his old age, a peaceful and good dog tended by the entire village, who especially loved children. He wasn’t afraid of people, he loved dear souls in torment and welcomed me always with wagging tail…”

Warning: distressing footage:

Bugojno is the same town where a girl threw puppies into a river, documented on video here (warning, distressing footage).

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DONATIONS
Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues and to help us keep safe the rescued dogs we are sponsoring and finding homes for, 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.

Harpo and Zeppo need your help!

1002483_526670834066482_210835736_nThese poor babies are about 5 months old, two brothers, we are calling them Harpo and Zeppo. They have open wounds and bald patches which could be a very bad case of demodex (mange), but a veterinary examination is necessary to be sure. One of them is in a particularly terrible condition, I’m told he looks worse in real life than in the pictures. His brother also is in a bad way. If it is demodex, it can only get worse if left untreated. These two dogs are currently still on the street where people ignore their plight and much, much worse: they kick them and throw whatever they can find at them, because they are disgusted by their appearance and think that their disease can be transmitted to humans. This is not true, demodex is not contagious to other dogs and certainly not to people. The primary cause of this illness is malnutrition, immune system impairment and stress.
1000219_526670627399836_1768278318_nWhat Harpo and Zeppo need is gentle care and veterinary treatment. Pension (kennels) for one month per dog is 240 KM ( 120 Euros / 160 USD ) + veterinary treatment 100 KM ( 50 Euros / 65 USD ). To save these two little guys 340 Euros (450 USD) a month is needed for pension and treatment. These dogs can only be helped through joined forces and they have already suffered so much.

1069420_526670704066495_1254290641_nIf you can sponsor one or both of the dogs or make a donation – it all helps, however small – it can go straight to the animal welfare group responsible, Andjeo Sarajevo (FB profile is here) via PayPal to: andjeosarajevo@gmail.com, please mark for “Harpo and Zeppo, the brothers with demodex” or via PayPal to our group, AWAB, and we will make sure the money is sent where needed – see below for details.

72616_526670737399825_1854237324_nThe situation for Harpo and Zeppo is sadly very common in Bosnia. The country is overrun with strays, and there is a cultural negativity towards dogs. Add this to the fact that life is very hard for most people, who have to live well below the poverty level, in a country where corruption is rife in every situation. Please see my post on Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation which explains some of the issues.

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DONATIONS
Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues and to help us keep safe the rescued dogs we are sponsoring and finding homes for, 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.

Kitten Beaten to Death in Bosnia

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Translation of “Beaten Kitten” July 3, 2013, Taco.net
Author: Jelena Paunovic

Two days ago in Dobrinja, Sarajevo was reported a new case in a series of animal abuse cases. The target of the abuser this time was a helpless kitten. According to many neighbors, the kitten was beaten  to death with awooden plank by a man called Nazif Hodzić.

“This is not the first time that Nazif beat to death one of the local kittens. Last week he violently beat up a kitten until he broke the kitten’s spine. The kitten succumbed to injuries and died. I am retired and I have no money, but I take food from my own mouth to feed the cats every day. I lost a son in the war and the cats are the only ones in this world who give me comfort and hope,” said a weeping Meira Dragovac, who takes care of stray cats in her neighbourhood.

Meira Meira Dragovac at the scene

Activists of “Angel“, the Association for Animal Protection and Health, reported the  case to the  veterinary inspection and Police department in Novi Grad. Police arrived shortly after the call and drew up an official note. Since the activists only learned about this whole case through social networks a day after the incident actually happened, the notification to the veterinary inspection was submitted late last night. Activists  announced that they will bring criminal charge against the perpetrator of this monstrous crime.

Every time you encounter a new case of animal abuse, you always inevitably wonder if it will ever end. This kitten did not represent any threat or danger to anyone. We immediately took the kitten to the vet, but it could not be saved. We had to put him to sleep. To cause such injuries to an innocent creature could be done only  by someone with a serious mental disorder“, said Edina Pasić-Korjenić from “Angel“.

Video of the kitten fighting for his life after the arrival of the activists

In an informal conversation Nazif Hodzić denied that he seriously hurt the kitten. He said that he just chased cats out of his yard because they foul his garden.

This garden does not belong to him! In front of our building there are two small gardens, one is maintained by myself and the other by him. Over time, by an unwritten law, he proclaimed that part of the garden as his property. In addition to killing the animals, Nazif threatened us daily. I am ashamed to think of all the insults which we are daily exposed. A number of times he wanted to beat us. Simply, it does not suit him for anyone to want to live normally:  people, nature and animals,“ Ms.Dragovac  commented.

prebijenamacaEuthanized kitten who had no luck

After the kitten was euthanized, the activists called the local pound whose duty it is to pick up animal corpses. They did not answer neither our nor the phone calls from the police officers. Just to mention again that their PR Ahmed Djipa  stated in January 2013 that they are working 24/7 and that they are always there to help the citizens; and yet after just 7 months, no one is answers their “hot line” number 033/713-510.

If all this will remain just another in a series of crimes against animals without punishment, it remains to be seen.

Note: this is a translation of an article on Tacno.net “Beaten Kitten” July 3, 2013
Author: Jelena Paunovic

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS
Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues and to help us keep safe the rescued dogs we are sponsoring and finding homes for 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.