Dog Killing in Travnik: lone rescuer struggles against all odds

P1020277Recently we highlighted a small sterilisation programe for the strays Anela Elkazevic takes care of in Travnik, Bosnia Herzegovina. Anela is out on the streets right now, trying to find the puppies of Rose who was killed in the last 24 hours.

P1020304Andrea Kalman and I met Anela when we travelled to Bosnia in September. We spent the whole day with her in Travnik. The situation there is particularly dire because Anela is on her own in a town of people that for the most part hate dogs.  Anela has young children, including a new born baby. Yet she protects, feeds and tries to find homes for her pack of strays – over 40 of them. When Andrea and I arrived she took us to see them…. immediately we came across a group of children who were throwing rocks at the strays. This is ‘normal’ behaviour for her to deal with, and far far worse things have happened. AWABosnia has been discussing ideas for a project that could involve children in Bosnia Herzegovina, encouraging them to protect rather than abuse dogs. So many studies show a link between abuse of animals and violence against people. “Murderers … very often start out by killing and torturing animals as kids,” says Robert K. Ressler, who developed profiles of serial killers for the FBI.

But in the meantime, Anela struggles to do what she can with very limited resources. It is remarkable she keeps her sanity. Another of the dogs in her pack, Beba, was raped. Others have been shot by hunters.

P1020251As we were taken around the area to meet her pack It was abundantly clear that the dogs adore Anela. They follow her everywhere, tails wagging, eyes bright. She does whatever she can to keep the pack happy and healthy…. and alive.

Today, she found the body of Rose, one of the dogs in her care who she had found in September with her tiny puppies.

Anela sent this message to us yesterday:

“Problems again… last night I had fight with some man, he was trying to kill dog, one by one, with a knife. I start to chase him with my car, I chased him about 20 minutes, but he run away. and my car get broken ..auch..I don’t know the word and don’t have a time for dictionary… it is that part when you going to the holes and bad road, it makes you not to feel , and protect car ( amortizeri in Bosnian ). So, I can’t move my car and I have missing dog.. it’s little Rose. I didn’t see her since last night, first I thought she is not hungry, when she didn’t appear, puppies were not crying, so I just left. Then, this morning, she didn’t come again, I called her, nothing. I checked security camera – she wasn’t there last night, not at all. I searched for her all day, but I didn’t find her , and not her babies too. I have to find puppies, she could be killed. ….I have more new dogs, more females. I don’t know what to do. It is magic kids bring to me little female of golden retriever. She is about 5 months old I think and males start to jump on her..also, another female is dumped on the road – yesterday she was waiting all day for her owner I watched it from my window, then I picked her up and she is with young males now, but she looks so sad. I don’t know, I can’t understand people who are doing this.”

And then she found Rose’s body.
She wrote, just an hour ago….

I find her…dead…I don’t know if I can….If I am allowed to be sad, there are many souls who needs me with smile on my face, and they know if you put a mask on your face, I just can’t hide my suffering from them. Rose wasn’t just another dog who came into my pack, she managed to come into my heart, with her loyality, with her trying to be “my dog”, running after my car from that house beside vet station – to my mother’s or my place. She is one of those dogs I could never leave to go, if I had a house. I’m still looking for her pups.

Here is Rose with her puppies when Anela first found her:
10560375_10204460276214578_5290565041315455429_obebaAnother one of ‘her’ dogs in the pack of strays is Beba. Some time ago Beba was hit by a car and all her legs were broken. Anela dropped everything to take care of her, and although the vet insisted Beba should be put to sleep, Anela spent more than three months nursing her back to health. And then a local man kidnapped Beba and raped her. Anela did what she could for the bleeding and physical trauma, and Beba healed well, but how long before someone tries to hurt her again? There is no where safe in Travnik for Anela to keep these dogs. Unless someone offers to sponsor her pension in Sarajevo… or offers her a forever home… all Anela can do is keep vigil.


Andrea Kalman with Diablo

Another dog, Diablo, is a gorgeous black dog. This dog was an owned dog, dumped on the streets near Anela. The locals think he is dangerous and hate him, probably because he is black. Andrea’s two eight year old twins were cuddling this lovely dog… and still the locals stood by telling us that the dog was dangerous. There is a YouCaring specifically for Diablo as he needs veterinary treatment for a chronic sinus infection that is probably the result of a brick being thrown at him. And, of course, he needs a forever home. A more lovely dog you could not find.

P1020289Another dog, Bobby, Marianne’s Dog Food Bank and AWABosnia raised funds to be taken off the streets to King Pension in Sarajevo has he desperately needed radical surgery on his genitals. He is now doing really well.

But…Anela has no consistent help from any group or individual. She rarely makes calls for help on her Facebook wall, she’s far, far too busy taking care of her baby, her other children, and trying to keep safe her pack of strays. She is usually out at night patrolling the streets. She has no one to help her at, no fellow rescuers to stand by her side.

new1470_10204478575632052_1378350175_nIf you can help by sharing this blog, or by sending donations to help her feed, give veterinary care for and sterilise all the dogs in her care that would be wonderful. Her Paypal is Or money can be sent to AWABosnia to – Please mark for ‘Anela’. And please view the slideshow below – if you see a dog you fall in love with and can offer a forever home, please contact


Note that In Bosnia and Herzegovina torture and killing animals is a a common occurrence. In adults the offence is punishable by fine or imprisonment. The arrest and prosecution of perpetrators of such crimes very rarely occur.

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Related posts:

Boy steals puppy and hangs it – Prnjavor, Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog’s Skull Deliberately Crushed in Bosnia Herzegovina

Dog Slaughter in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina

Yet another brutal dog murder in Bosnia Herzegovina
Another Dog Tortured by Wire in Bosnia
More than 40 killed dogs found in garbage dump
Poisoning of Dogs and Cats in Glamoc, Bosnia Herzegovina
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Mass Murder of Dogs in Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog Massacre in Dobosnica, Bosnia Herzegovina
Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia


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.

5 thoughts on “Dog Killing in Travnik: lone rescuer struggles against all odds

  1. Take all these men and kill every fing one of them, if I could get away with it I would gladly do it, I havte cats to care for but I love the dogs just as much…. When I have extra money glad tio send u some…

  2. To Anela and everyone involved in protecting these innocent animals – remember we are all here supporting you, you are all heroes. If only we could all find a way to come and help you in this terrible fight, but for now know that you have our love and support!

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