xxxNew petition:

Please sign and share. Every time someone signs, an email goes out to all to the authorities responsible for animal welfare in Bosnia Herzegovina. It’s critical that these authorities are notified of our outrage and that they do something – or else they very well might consider the approach Romania has taken.
An employee of the Animal Survey AdminisThe Romanian government has given the green-light to the mass killing of tens and thousands of stray dogs in the country’s capital.

Please read the copy of the petition letter below as it has important information regarding the situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

bihac_18_894824008“Millions of citizens from the EU and worldwide care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to read constant reports of horrific animal cruelty occurring in Bosnia and Herzegovina and about the shocking and increasing numbers of stray dogs in the city streets. 

The problem with stray animals in this country must be addressed in a humane, forward-seeking way: compulsory spay neuter of companion animals; compulsory microchipping and registration; public education on responsible ownership and humane treatment of all animals. 

bihac_9_250659229Many international animal welfare organizations cite Bosnia as the country with the most reports of animal abuse and suffering. It seems that the society views stray dogs and cats as nothing more than a vermin to be exterminated – or worse. 

Deliberate animal abuse is rife: there is the famous case in Ilidža, where two men put a rocket explosive firework into a young German Shepherd’s mouth and duct-taped his jaws shut, setting the rocket alight. The firework caused substantial injuries to the dog’s face, but did not kill him. He wandered about for five days before being finally rescued by animal welfare volunteers. The dog had to be euthanized. The dog’s injuries were documented by photograph and video and can be seen on the internet. Nearly 200,000 people signed petitions asking the Bosnian and Herzegovinian authorities to bring the perpetrators to justice, but nothing was done. 

sirotica2Dogs are routinely poisoned, used as bait for dog fighting; chucked into rivers to drown; beheaded, beaten, starved. Cats suffer equally appalling treatment. 

Torture and killing of animals is a criminal offense in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of such crimes very rarely occur. The usual response of police officers to reports of animal abuse is that these are “unimportant offenses.” It is evident that police officers, prosecutors and judges are not trained to understand the link between animal abuse and crimes against people. 

549354_4326621764291_140681260_nThis link has been well documented over several decades. Studies in psychology, sociology, and criminology during the last 25 years have demonstrated that violent offenders frequently have histories of serious and repeated animal cruelty. In the USA, the FBI has recognized the connection since the 1970s, when its analysis of the lives of serial killers suggested that most had killed or tortured animals as children. Other research has shown consistent patterns of animal cruelty among perpetrators of more common forms of violence, including child abuse, spouse abuse, and elder abuse.

399234_10200259411870754_856068770_nAccording to a 1997 study, animal abusers are five times more likely to commit violent crimes against people and four times more likely to commit property crimes than are individuals without a history of animal abuse. Professionals in the veterinary, animal control and animal welfare fields are now seeing companion animal overpopulation as a “people problem” rather than an animal problem with the individual and collective behaviour of people as a causal agent. 

EdogmainmainThe problem of companion animal, particularly dog overpopulation in Bosnia and Herzegovina has become a problem of epidemic proportions. It is understandable that citizens of the country are concerned about the spread of disease, and about being attacked by dogs. Unfortunately this concern only contributes to the negative view and inhumane treatment of the dogs. 

Furthermore, animal rescuers are generally considered to be “fools”, people who “do not have anything better to do.” This indicates that the society in this country does not understand those who are unable to fight for themselves and their rights and has a complete lack of empathy for those who suffer. This means the society as a whole has a pathological feature: animal abuse can be a symptom not only of a personality disorder, but the disorder of a society. 

mainUntil the government and citizens of Bosnia and Herzegovina understand these wider implications of animal abuse and neglect, the animal overpopulation will not stop. It is vital that these implications are understood by all and that adequate means are implemented to address the situation in a lasting and humane manner. 

x149817_4890386900308_747103127_nThe dog shelters of Bosnia and Herzegovina are not a solution: not only are the conditions entirely inhumane in most, if not all, state shelters, but it is common knowledge that such shelters are used to launder money from public budgets. Even when good shelters are set up they fail: a model dog shelter set up in Brcko District had to close after eight years because it was subject to sabotage, threats, abuse, theft and illegitimate lawsuits.

bihac_19_676436527However, the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Herzegovina states that shelters for stray animals must be built and maintained, and this Act includes shelter guidelines which ensure all necessary conditions for a successful and humane shelter. Therefore, all those responsible for the numerous “horror shelters” of this country should be punished by law; and shelters should be built and maintained according to the Animal Protection and Welfare Act. It is necessary that foreign animal welfare organization control the conditions in Bosnian-Herzegovinian shelters and that they educate and manage the people who work in these shelters to ensure that there is no corruption or reduction of standards. 

maindogCurrently population control and promotion of spaying and neutering as well as implementation of the animal welfare law is not in any shelter manager’s interest because they want and need a constant flow of new dogs so they can justify the funds spent each month from the budget. We 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. Dogs in shelters are known to be ‘euthanised’ inhumanely in a number of ways including clubbing. Images from other state shelters show starving dogs and dog corpses left amongst living dogs. 

327301_4334149714089_1163442309_oCritically, Bosnia and Herzegovina needs to implement a countrywide, compulsory spay neuter law for all dogs and cats, whether they are stray or not (owned dogs and cats are left unsterilized and free to roam, contributing to the problem), imposing hefty fines on those who disregard the law. Just one unaltered female dog and her offspring can produce 67,000 puppies in only six years. In seven years, one female cat and her offspring can produce an incredible 370,000 kittens. Male animals contribute to the companion animal overpopulation crisis even more than females do. Just one unsterilized male animal can impregnate dozens of females, creating dozens upon dozens of unwanted offspring. 

A-puppy-farm-001Housing strays in shelters after sterilisation programs is also detrimental. A spay neuter program for strays must be C-N-R (catch-neuter-return), which is in fact the only humane and proven method to successfully curb stray animal populations, sterilising and then returning dogs to the territory where they have been caught. If the dogs are not returned back to their territory, the reproduction rate will rise directly with the catching rate (in an area where 50% of the dogs are caught and removed from the territory the rest of the 50% will breed in larger numbers due to the fact that they will use the whole food resources available). The empty place created by dogs being removed will be occupied by other dogs in search of food and shelter. 

523269_10200460462296889_1693171137_nHowever, if the dog is returned to his/her territory, he/she will fight off and keep away newer dogs from entering his/her area, including those that are probably not sterilized and thus stop the reproduction in this area. Their number will stabilize in this manner, and reduce, slowly, but surely. 

184191_579177658760695_1527575096_n“Catch & kill” or “catch & incarcerate” policies have failed in many countries. Cities that have successfully managed and curbed their stray animal population were those that opted for “catch & return”, such Oradea in Romania, which had a stray animal population of 4,000 dogs in 2006. This has been reduced to 270 dogs in 2011 without putting to death a single animal. C-N-R is also a cost effective approach. Romanian Animal welfare organisation SOS Dogs calculated the cost over 10 years of “neuter and return” versus “catch and kill”: in a town of 200,000 people with 8,000 dogs the cost over 10 years for “catch and return” was calculated at 995.000 Euros, and the cost of Catch & Kill was calculated at 1.8 million Euros with no long term reduction in the unsupervised dog population achieved. 

483805_587839007894560_686278292_nIt is imperative that Bosnia and Herzergovina make such measures as stated above a priority. The Eurogroup for Animal Welfare is strongly urging the European Commission to adopt adequate steps to ensure that all companion animals are properly treated to protect their health and welfare.

If it is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s wish to join the EU it would seem that until their government takes crimes against defenseless, sentient animals seriously they will not be a fit country to be accepted into the EU. 

Regardless of EU membership, for the sake not only of the animals but the people of Bosnia and Herzegovina, internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray animal population control must be implemented, with resources allocated to ensure such principles are understood and followed by all citizens including those in the police and judicial authorities.” 


Please sign and share the petition:


Relevant articles from this blog:

Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend PART TWO
Mass Graves Found Near Dog “Shelter”



Part One

Part Two
Part Three
Part Four
Part Five
Part Six
Part Seven

Other relevant information, links, websites:

Care2 Petition: Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia

Thinktank Policy Brief on the issue of animal welfare in Bosnia Herzegovina November 2012 (PDF)

Making the Link – A study to identify psychological effects of children regularly exposed to uncontrolled community animal abuse and evaluation of efficacy of interventions.

Occupy For Animals
Occupy for Animals – Petitions to the European Union


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


  1. Ces images sont dures !! Pauvres bêtes, elles n’ont rien demandé et on les maltraite !! On vit dans un monde pourri !! C’est inadmissible !!

  2. To one animal over to another. This story of VUCKO has made me feel very ill inside. I cannot wrap my head around how anyone could do such a horrific crime. whoever did this, needs to be punished to the fullest extent of the law. All of these animals belong to GOD & we are responsible for looking after them. We have two dogs, one is going to be 9 years on September 25th, & the other one will be 9 on March 9th of next year. PLEASEM, I’M BEGGING THIS CRUELTY HAS TO STOP!!!

  3. Women and children were considered as animals are considered today, and in too many countries they still are seen as the lowest of humans; sadly, most of the crimes against the weakest and the more vulnerable are made by a very large majority of MEN, women are kinder and more prone at helping those who are in need. I hope that our world becomes more feminine, more sensitive and that animals stop to suffer. They deserve to be respected because they are human kind’s best friends and so were they for centuries.

    • Hi! Lilian Munoz. What has happened to VUCKO has made me feel very sick inside. This suffering has to stop. Why? Because these animals belong to GOD & we are responsible to look after them & take care of them. These people have to be punished to the MAXIMIM sentence that there is. If it was up to me, I\d be putting a firecracker in their mouth & lighting it. PLEASE, SOMEONE HAS TO PUT A STOP TO THESE HORRIFIC CRIMES TOWARDS ANIMALS|.

  4. O.M.G. this is mass murder on a huge scale these beautiful animals and the suffering they have had to endure how can any sane people commit a crime such as this I am crying they are evil to the core and very wicked I hope they ROT IN HELL FOR THIS have they heard of Karma what goes round comes round I hope they pay for this.

  5. Its so cruel what people are doing to such poor creatures. What happend to him to be like this? Ist so terrible and I hope they will get really their penalty one day. Pls do you know if this little Setter puppy on the photo fpr the petition campaign ist still alive? It would be nice to get an answer.

    • The puppy died, I’m afraid. The photograph was taken at Hresa shelter last November. Activists wanted to remove the dog to take him to a vet and to safety, but the shelter would not release the dog. The activists returned the next day and were told the dog had been ‘euthanised’.

      • Hi! Sandra:
        What little puppy are you referring to? I’ve written so many e-mails concerning VUCKO. When I saw what they had done to this beautiful dog, it made me sick to my stomach. These people that did this horrific crime, should be punished to the fullest extent of the law. If it was up to me, I would hang them upside down. These innocent animals belong to GOD & don’t deserve these terrible things that are happening to them.

      • Hi! again Sandra: I see the picture now & again feel sick to my stomach. Somebody has to put a stop to this cruelty towards animals. Seeing this has really done a good number on me. We have two dogs, one is part collie & german shepherd named ‘Pupsy’ & a little Shih Tzu called ‘Little-Boo’ who are both 8 years old & I can’t wrap my head around how can anyone hurt these animals? Our two are our best of friends, & when I’m sick, they are with me by my side.

  6. Honteux, abominable. Il n’y a pas de nom, d’expression pour traduire ce que l’on peut éprouver devant une telle barbarie, un tel manque de respect pour la vie, tout simplement. Comment se comportent ces gens entre eux?

  7. Until when will their negligence in operation delete bloody rubber?
    And after bloody erasers make a new law?
    Spend our time and money, which is invested in your plate.
    Animals do not touch us. People care about them.
    That you applied the existing law of this would have happened.
    You are all wrong, and even animals.
    In you there is no guilt!?

  8. Bosnia, don’t become the disgrace of the Balkan like Romania. Show the world you are better than that!! Nemoj Bosnna mislit da vam nitko nemoze nista, malo morgen. Cijeli svijet gleda sta se radi kod vas. Molim vas, budite ljudi!!

  9. Wake up Bosnia show some compassion to the animals what type of people are you. The whole world is watching, and judging you. Shame on you and your country.

    • Please show compassion towards these animals. These animals were created by GOD & I’m positive he wouldn’t like how you’re treating them. What kind of people are you anyway!!! These animals have feelings just like you do. SHAME ON YOU – YOU SHOULD KNOW BETTER!!!

  10. I wonder whether we should call ourselves people . The planet is not just for people. Impressed and grieve with the European Union.
    It is a shame what is happening in Romania strays who created man .
    It is a shame for it to be held in Bosnia.
    Really the European Union does not care that the money gives member country for stray not used for this purpose , but instead kill them in an inhumane ways.
    The Commissioner gives the answer ; What makes you stop this atrocity ;
    This is our world ;
    This is our society ;
    Wake up gentlemen rulers and STOP THE MURDERS OF ANIMALS .
    Passersby you from this life and not for life .

  11. Stop this inhumane treatment of the stray dogs and cats. As a people are you that heartless and bloody minded that you have to torture defenceless animals that can’t fight are cowards these creatures are Gods creatures so shame on you as a country the whole world is watching you.

    • I agree, Carol, this inhumane treatment with dogs & cats has to stop. These animals are creatures who belong to GOD & people should realize this. Shame on your country for allowing these horrific crimes to happen.

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