Amongst all the horror happening in Bosnia Herzegovina, we need to remember the good. This year our group, AWAB (Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia Herzegovina), with assistance from other animal welfare organisations and independent animal activists have helped nearly 30 dogs find forever homes outside of BiH. This is a post about some of their stories….
Loppy and Billy were homed early this year, two dogs living on the streets, and fallen in love with when their photographs were seen here on this blog and on Facebook. Now in their forever homes in the UK.
Loppy was a sad street dog, found by rescuer Ismir Musić. You can read some of his story here. He’s now a much loved member of the Prestwich family in Essex…
Billy first appeared on this blog in November last year, here. He was one of many strays being fed by activists Jelena Paunovic and others. This dog was so desperate to get back in their car….but had to be left behind as there was no money to put him in pension…
But we were soon contacted by Julie, who had read his story and wanted to adopt him! Activists managed to find him again, and took him off the streets into pension for him to be prepared for travel to the UK. Here he is now, looking so handsome!
And then there is the incredible story of Ado, a puppy run over and left to die and now living happily ever after in Slovenia. Ado… when first found:
And many months later, with his new mom!
By June 2013, we had found homes for 14 rescues and arranged transport for them with the wonderful Chris Marshall of Alstrays. You can see some of them here in our Success Stories. Perhaps the most poignant is the story of Grace, rescued from horror shelter Hreša, near Sarajevo. She first appeared in this blog here. She was completely traumatised and emaciated. She became ‘the face’ of AWAB, with this moving photograph of her being held by Mia Ožegović, one of the rescuers in Sarajevo:
Grace was put into pension and then Mette in Norway fell in love with her… and she’s now a very happy, healthy and much loved dog living in Norway.
Another very touching adoption was Marley, rescued by Arijana Ari and Jelena Paunović – here is the first post about him, and then more here.. and he was one of the few survivors of the canine parvovirus crisis. Another very timid dog, who we feared would never become socialised. But we found him an excellent foster home in East Sussex, where he was so loved they couldn’t part with him so now he is permanently homed with the family, very happy and becoming less timid by the day!
The adoption of all these dogs was a huge undertaking, successful only because of the help and assistance of many people including Vlatka Toukalek and her group, Deed for Dogs, and, of course, the rescuers in Sarajevo.
This winter we assisted with the homing of 12 more dogs and one cat… three dogs were are homed in the USA (one in Los Angeles!), four dogs in the UK, one dog in Germany and four dogs and Boxer the cat in Finland. Four dogs were actually picked up by Miska Oksanen and her step-father and driven to Finland (nearly 3000 kilometres each way!)…Most of these animals were rescued by the Sarajevo animal rescue charity Andjeo Sarajevo with help from independent rescuers.
The organisation and preparation of all these adoptions takes a monumental effort by numerous people: volunteers outside of BiH for AWAB, assistance from other rescue groups to home check and help with travel arrangements; rescuers and drivers from BiH, and donations from all over the world. It’s not possible to express our thanks enough for all this support, but if you look at the photographs of the dogs and cats in their new homes I hope you can see what a huge difference you have made.
Three of the dogs homed this winter, Bella, Noa and Felix, are disabled….All were rescued by Andjeo Sarajevo. Bella was found wandering the streets of Sarajevo, she had a missing paw. Here she is, on the streets…
And here she is making friends at the stopover in Munich before her flight to the USA. Even though she could not had an easy time as a stray, she was always a friendly, happy dog.
Noa was found with a horrific injury to her hind leg, and had to have it amputated. She remained very timid and scared, and didn’t like being in kennels. You can in the photographs below his serious wound, and how timid and scared this poor dog was…
And then… a lovely couple who live in Buffalo, New York, fell in love with Noa. She is settling in very well.
Noa, being nervously admired in the airport:
Resting in her new home after the very long flight.And with her new dad and a friend!
And the latest photograph, look how much more confident and happy she looks!
Felix is another miracle story. He was found in a field, unable to walk properly, his hind quarters were not functioning properly and he was in terrible pain. He had to be sent to Croatia for extended surgery to save both hind legs. It is likely he was in a car accident, or deliberately wounded.
He spent a long time in the veterinary surgery and although the operation was deemed successful, he seemed to be getting aggressive and thin. But with the support from animal activists we placed him in a very good foster home where he was soon much happier. A forever home was found for him in Germany where he is doing so extraordinarily well it’s hard to believe it’s the same dog!
And Felix has all kinds of new friends….
Four of the dogs we homed this winter were rescued from Foča, one of the ‘horror’ shelters of BiH, a place that when first visited seemed comparatively alright. But a second visit proved everyone wrong: the place was a front, set up to prevent inspection while strays were killed elsewhere.
Ariel, Sookie, George and Alexia in Foča ‘shelter’…
Ariel in Finland! She’s called Ariel because her new mom says she looks like a little mermaid…
Alexia much loved in Wales:
Another of the dogs homed in Finland by Miska Oksanen, Bijelko, was found in Sarajevo wandering the streets with a broken lower jaw and an infected wound on his stomach, a bite wound from another dog. Asking around Andjeo Sarajevo found out that the poor dog was attacked by a group of people, who broke his jaw with a lead pipe and he was suffering in this condition for seven days, not being able to feed or defend himself.
But he healed well…a very beautiful dog…
Mica was found in Gorazde ‘shelter’ with 15 other dogs in one small cage.
The other dogs did not allow her to eat (the dry bread they had to live on) and she was terrified. Activist Jelena Paunović rescued her and took her into foster care.
Mica is now is very happy and much loved in her new home in England…
And Asti. Asti was found in a severe stage of scabies disease. Almir Kuduz of King Pension in Sarajevo took her on and treated her. However, sadly, the girl who brought her in was unable to do more and could not cover the debt of Asti’s board.
But with Almir’s help she recovered, turning into a beauty with a personality to match.
Almir contacted AWAB to see if we could help and thanks to generous donations and to the quick offer of an extraordinary home in Scotland, her life has changed forever…
Here she is with her new mom…
Boxer had a very sad tale: he was one of the strays rescued and taken care of by a Jela, an elderly woman in Sarajevo who takes care of many abandoned and stray cats. Boxer was one of the fattest cat in the Jela house, but someone attacked him – probably with a stick or pole, and broke his teeth. He only had two teeth left and became very thin. With donations special food was bought and he began to put on weight, and then Miska found a wonderful home for him in Finland where he lives very happily. His favourite spot is in the sauna!
There are many dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina still needing forever homes. If you think you can offer a home, please contact us. Some of the dogs are here, and we have a new Facebook group where we are slowly compiling photographs and information about strays we are helping keep off the streets in pension and foster homes, dogs and cats desperately needing forever homes. Please visit the group, and see if there is a special someone for you to fall in love with…AWAB Dogs and Cats For Adoption
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: firstname.lastname@example.org . 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.