CRISES IN BOSNIA CONTINUES…. dogs and cats abandoned and stranded!

Animal rescuers have been working around the clock in Bosnia  – but the situation is desperate and rain has started again… So far, no international animal welfare organisations are able to assist with the evacuation and rescue of dogs and cats and rescuers lack enough manpower, cars and also boats to actually get to areas where dogs and cats are stranded and starving. It’s a critical situation.

10300671_10203327971093895_3706517198968774954_nRescuers from Tuzla area (Amila Citakovic, Dutch Lansky and Ivana Tomic with Marianne’s Dog Food Bank and Angel’s Breath) have been in the Samac area which has been severely affected. In the last days they took 300 kilos of dog food, medication for dogs, blankets and many other supplies try to set up a safe place for evacuated dogs. They have managed to get official permission to enter Bosanski Samac from the crisis headquarters of Republika Srpska and are organising an evacuation of dogs in Samac and Orasje area this weekend. Volunteers are needed, those who are experienced with frightened and disorientated dogs. They need cars, a boat, leashes, collars, building materials, vet care, everything.
Our group, AWAB, have been in contact with Four Paws but they are currently in Serbia and cannot get to Samac to assist with the evacuation.

We have been distributing funds from our YouCaring fundraiser to as many groups and rescuers as possible.

500 Kgs of food was brought to Zenica for Sapa Zenca organistion to distribute in the Zenica area and another 500 Kgs to Andjeo Sarajevo to distribute, all thanks to your donations…. (and to the help of Almir Kuduz of King Pension in Sarajevo).

We have a special ‘thank you’ video for all who have donated:

The work is not over. Please keep sharing the fundraiser. Most of the funds in it have already been distributed and there is much work still to be done.

10390269_10203327954013468_1098447161626479778_nIn the last days the Tuzla rescuers have visited the flooded villages of Vojskova and Prud but were prevented from entering by the police as the priority for authorities was to take out dead animals. These are villages with many farms – many animals are dead there, mostly pigs and cows. Civilians could not enter these areas. The rescuers spoke to the people there and were told that they are trying to feed dogs and cats that are still alive and on second floors of houses, and these people promised to keep them all alive until the water withdraws. Right now, corpses are floating around the area.

10342843_10203327954453479_6208579950032723329_nWhen the rescuers went to Bosanski Samac, a town hit by floods in the worst possible way, they were unable to enter the town without permission from the authorities (which they later received). Temperatures were high – 30 degrees. The town emitted a horrifying smell. Dogs who had managed to get out of the flooded town had been gathering in a pack at the army point. Reports are that hunters have been killing dogs. This was confirmed from several sources to rescuers and by soldiers and volunteers helping to evacuate people.

10253776_563266093793277_811166108975548722_nThe State Veterinary Office has been contacted about shooting of dogs. ThIs is what we know: basically Bih is in a phase of risk assessment and risk and damage control, (referring to health risk hazard). Major risk management includes elimination of transmission of diseases, and dogs are considered to be one way disease can be transmitted.

However, shooting would NOT be considered a official method of destruction or elimination – bleeding in the water or on the soil will cause greater risk of diseases. Bosnia is in a major danger risk zone for an outburst of epidemic diseases 

10307363_10203327963213698_3962112426140915776_nRisk management is important but certainly every decision on destruction/killing of animals must be assessed first and if justified (and only a vet and medical doctor should be able to state this) it must be applied in a controlled manner and environment. It is critical that the law on animal welfare is to be followed when it comes to method of killing. If shooting occurred it has to be proven and prevented, but resources to do this are lacking, and, if you have been reading this blog you know that illegal shooting of strays (and even owned dogs) is a very common occurrence. This situation has every possibility of being abused – as a carte blanche for mass killings of stray dogs (not that there are many survivors…)

10291815_10203327976814038_5828078794627223244_nThe rescuers from Tuzla fed and helped as many dogs and cats as they could as they passed from village to village but it was often very difficult.  Dogs who once had owners, were running around absolutely disoriented, totally wet. There was one particularly awful incident: “We lack words to describe the horror in their eyes. Took a while for them to notice we are calling them. They were just running around with no direction. A smaller dog got hit by a car in front of our eyes, we started screaming, the dog started running in even bigger hysteria. No injuries. Only shaking body and frightened look. We managed to catch them and get them into the car immediately. After placing them in the car all three of us started laughing, thinking how happy we are to get them, but in only 3 seconds laughter turned into crying. We have seen many things, but such horrifying state, confusion and despair – never.

10274146_561682157285004_3518947993010705020_nRescuers from Sarajevo (Andjeo Sarajevo and Journalists for Animals and others) have also been active: they brought donations of dog and cat food for people who have animals but don’t have food to feed them. Also, they were able to deliver items of food and other necessities for people that had been donated locally.

They once again visited the ‘horror’ shelters of Gorazde and Foca.

12722_562954673824419_6590551831833266679_nFortunately, these towns were not severely affected by the floods but the shelters are still entirely inhumane for the housing of dogs, particularly Gorazde. They still keep too many dogs at the shelters, and they keep a lot of dogs in small cages. Luckily the man working there allowed Andjeo Sarajevo to bring food and water to the dogs.

10414520_562954830491070_1303369511343140995_nWe noticed immediately that something was wrong with one of the dogs… A small terrier is completely blind and the other dogs are jumping all over him, fighting for their survival, while this poor little boy doesn’t know what is happening to him. He was trying to get to us so that we could pet him, but it was impossible through the gratings. We asked the worker to permit us to take him out and take pictures of him, so that we could try to find him a home. We got to take the pictures, but he told us that we had to call the director and ask for permission if we wanted to take him with us.

10406963_10152186937833995_8528711147832186719_nWe called the director, who didn’t seem very interested. He told us that he was out of town, and told us to come back on Saturday and fill out the adoption forms before we could take him with us. We left bags of food for the and the worker told us that we were welcome to bring them food any time, it would to them good because they were mostly fed white bread. We also found a Labrador, 9 years old, left by police officer who had said: “he is not good, don’t want to sniff drugs”. He is an adorable dog, well behaved… is there anyone who want to give this beauty a home? He has all papers and he is ready for forever adoption. We will pick both dogs up up on Saturday.”


The rescuers also donated food to the shelter in Foca. There were only three dogs there, but they never keep many dogs. It is likely the kill them and launder money from the authorities through the few dogs they keep there. No photographs were allowed to be taken of Foca shelter, but the rescuers brought food and fresh water.

10386263_561681847285035_5718015875698336739_nOne more dog was saved, from Doboj, another very badly hit area. “When I started my car she was barking and calling us to stop. When I pulled over my car she just sit in front of it and stare at us asking to take her with us. She is the size of pekinese, adorable and just want to be hugged and loved. So, we couldn’t leave her there wondering will she be alive tomorrow. So, she settled nicely on the back seat of my car and finally had calm sleep all the way to Sarajevo and her new temporary home till her forever home We named her DOBI

Bodies of dogs and cats are being found everywhere. There are so many sad stories: Upon returning home after the flood, a resident of Topčić  found his dog who did not survive the terrible floods….
Also, cows, pigs, rabbits, chickens have been left to die in the water. Epidemiologists say that many infectious diseases will be spreading within next few weeks. Many animals are injured. Many of them will be sick.The rescuers need your help to buy food, medications and to pay veterinary bills for vaccinations to help stop the spread of disease. Most rescuers are unemployed and so cannot afford to pay for such things.

If you can help please donate via our YouCaring or via Paypal to as per the instructions below and mark it for EMERGENCY FUNDS. Thank you! No amount is too small.

For ongoing updates please see our Facebook page AWABosnia

News articles and videos:

Balkans floods: Edin Dzeko urges world to help Bosnia
Under the surface of the Balkan floods lies a social disaster
Floods have united the people of the Balkans
Video of rescue of dogs in flooded parts of Croatia by members of Croatian Mountain Rescue Service
Video showing how Doboj town in Bosnia was flooded within few minutes
Civilians Banned From Bosnia Villages After Flood

Related posts:
Day of Mourning in Bosnia Herzegovina.. how many animals have died?

THE CRISIS CONTINUES: all help still needed for the dogs and cats of Bosnia!
DAY THREE: STATE OF EMERGENCY – all help needed!
WORST FLOODING IN 120 years! Strays and pets are in dire need!
EMERGENCY IN SARAJEVO – the strays need your help!

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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: . 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.

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