Making a REAL difference for Dogs in Bosnia Herzegovina

bosdogsSome time ago Sarah Greenwood contacted me, along with others in Bosnia Herzegovina about the situation for stray dogs. She has already been involved in helping people in Bih through the charity pheonix aid, and has experience in animal welfare in the country. She is looking into setting up projects in Bosnia Herzegovina that can actually make a long-term difference to the lives of stray dogs through education and in particular, setting up programs that use dogs in therapeutic situations (guide dogs for the blind; dogs used to help PTSD sufferers, therapy dogs for children with autism etc), thus helping both dogs and people.

Sarah is about to embark on the first step of her initiative, a trip to Bosnia Herzegovina to begin a media campaign, meet potential groups she can work with, and to put a lobbying campaign into action, but she needs our help. She’s raised most of the funds required for the trip, but needs just a little more. If you can help, please go directly to the YouCaring fundraiser, BosDogs4People.

Sarah will be meeting with a number of activists our group AWAB (Animal Welfare Activists for Bosnia Herzegovina) are involved with, including lawyer Dalida Kozlic.

From Sarah’s YouCaring fundraiser:

Cruelty to dogs is rife in Bosnia Herzegovina, partly connected with it being a post conflict society, and because of cultural attitudes towards strays.

I’m Sarah Greenwood, and I’ve worked in Bosnia Herzegovina for 12 years running a small UK charity, phoenix-aid, that I founded to provide healthcare and therapy training to war victims and disabled groups.

I’ve also worked on a campaign to get the government of Republika Srpska to re-adopt the former State National Lippizaner Stud, which was in private hands, and in which the horses were kept in horrible conditions with serious welfare implications. Part of the lobbying I did was contacting many international Embassies, groups and local politicians, including getting the British Consul to present a letter I wrote to Mr Dodik, the Prime Minister of Republika Srpska. I’m pleased to say all the pressure from the various groups worked and the Stud was re-adopted by the government.

I’m currently working on a plan to start a campaign to try to educate the general public in Bosnia Herzegovina about dogs to try to minimise the amount of cruelty to them, by showing the beneficial, and therapeutic use of dogs both in a domestic setting, and as ‘help’, for example guide dogs for the blind, hearing dogs for the deaf, therapy dogs for autistic children, and PTDS sufferers.

This will address the therapeutic needs of humans, as well as give homes to stray dogs. The main theme though, is to change the  perception of dogs being dirty and unclean and to be kept away from humans, to making them part of mainstream society and a beneficial animal to have about.

The initial plans are to start a press campaign to publicise how dogs can help humans, this will be followed up by identifying potential candidates to learn the basics of how to train dogs. Local Partner Organisations will also be identified.

I’m asking for donations to get this project off the ground as I need to work on it separately from my other work in Bosnia Herzegovina due to its complexity. Donations will pay for my flight to Bosnia, and accommodation, so I can spend a week meeting people who I’ve made contact with to enact our plans for a media campaign, meet potential groups we can work with, and put a lobbying campaign into action. Once this initial phase is put into operation, I can then fit the project work into my ongoing visits to the country with phoenix-aid. Your money will make a big difference because I can’t do it unless I can concentrate on it singlemindedly. phoenix-aid receives no grant funding and all the money we have is allocated for this year.

This is a one off request and any amount will help.

Thank you for caring!

Sarah

While lobbying to ensure the Animal Welfare Act of Bosnia Herzegovina is actually implemented and not changed, and also rescuing individual animals is a critical part of helping the lives of strays in Bih, I believe that real long-term change can only happen by changing the negative attitude towards dogs that pervades the country, and that this will only be done through education and actually showing the people that dogs can be a critical and life-changing (life-saving, in fact) support for people.

Please support Sarah:  BOSDOGS4PEOPLE – YOUCARING FUNDRAISER

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DONATIONS

Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia Herzegovina, 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 . Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

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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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