Author: Dalida Kozlic, L.L.B, lawyer and activist
“The proposed amendments to the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals have not been enacted. Due to the complicated political and legal system in Bosnia, new members of House of Peoples have not been chosen. House of Peoples of the Parliamentary Assembly will form in early 2015. As soon as delegates are chosen for House of Peoples, legislation processes will be continued. This means that delegates will decide on the destiny of thousands of stray animals in Bosnia. These amendments are intended to mask the killing of stray animals that are already occurring.
There are many illegal shelters for stray animals that are formed and led by persons who have close ties and association with Bosnian authorities. Animals are effectively being tortured and killed in these shelters. Animals are beaten, cut, clubbed, raped or tortured in many other horrific ways. Animals do not have water, food, accommodation, they are freezing or they are exposed to extremely high temperatures. Also, animals are killed with wires, clubs, glass shreds, poison and also fire arms. While these atrocities happen, local authorities finance the people who own the shelters. It is money laundering. In addition, stray animals regularly killed on the streets. There are numerous cases of abuse of animals in Bosnia. Authorities do not do anything to find and punish animal abusers.
Most Bosnian shelters for stray animals are concentration camps. Recent photos from a shelter in Trebinje show that dogs are starved to death. The situation is the same in Foca, Jajce, Bratunac, Doboj, Praca, Hresa and other illegal shelters in Bosnia Herzegovina. It seems that no one other than activists and rescuers sees the suffering of the stray animals that are placed in these shelters.
Due to media coverage, a lot of people have been interested in adopting dogs from Prnjavor shelter, and thanks to the hard work of Bojan Veselica, who volunteers his time, the dogs are fed. There is also a fundraiser by AWABosnia to sterilise the female dogs there, as it is not possible to separate males from females. To help please go to: Sterilise the Dogs of Prnjavor Shelter in Bosnia!
Some other shelters have the opposite situation. Dogs placed in Trebinje shelter are starved to death. The situation is also bad in the private shelter in Praca, near Sarajevo. Authorities of Canton Sarajevo subsidise the owner of Praca shelter to keep dogs, but all dogs live in awful conditions.
The situation is especially difficult because of corrupt prosecutors, police officers and veterinary inspectors who do not want fulfil their legal obligations and prove illegal activities in illegal shelters.
Sarajevo has become a new Bucharest. A notorious and illegal group of dog catchers was established in the municipality Novi Grad Sarajevo on 30th May of 2013. Since then, thousands of stray dogs have been killed in Sarajevo. These dog catchers have the support of the Inspectorate of veterinary Inspection of Canton Sarajevo and the Administration of Police of Canton Sarajevo. The paradox is that the veterinary inspection and the police, who are obliged to stop and punish illegal dog catchers, support them and protect their illegal activities. Activists are facing the hardest challenge ever; we are fighting against a corrupt system. Police officers and veterinary inspectors have charged activists with numerous minor offence warrants. Since their accusations are false and the warrants are not filled in accordance with Bosnian law, activists will prove that the police officers and veterinary inspectors are involved in criminal activities before the court in Sarajevo.
Stray dog caught by dog catchers are placed in a former military complex “Safet Zajko” in Sarajevo. Mustafa Mrkulic, a veterinarian, destroys the dogs in the veterinary station that is established and owned by the municipality of Novi Grad Sarajevo.
Car of illegal dog catchers was photographed on 9th December. Eight puppies were inside. Police officers allowed dog catchers to leave the police station and destroy the puppies. Activists are still searching for answers about this case.
Rescuers are in an awful situation. There is a mass media campaign against rescuers and activists in Bosnia. Some activists have been brutally attacked by dog catchers. Also, police officers and veterinary inspection are trying to stop them in their efforts to save as many animals as they can. Media is spreading a mass hysteria against dogs in Bosnia. Due to a mass media campaign and false information about the situation, citizens tolerate illegal dog catchers and their illegal activities.
The best description of the situation is that there is a complete anarchy in the country, while activists are trying to persuade authorities to stop killing and to find solutions that are in accordance with Bosnian law.
Also, there are many cases of animal abuse and murders that are committed by “ordinary” persons. Killing and abuse of animals is a criminal offence in Bosnia, but authorities are not interested in investigating the cases in order to punish offenders. It is not unusual to see the blood of innocent animals every day on the streets. The public is not interested and does not understand consequences of such brutal attacks on animals. Therefore a new approach is needed in Bosnia in order to stop the mass killing of animals.
The Bosnian Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals is in fact one of the best in Europe but no one is interested in applying the law. Corrupt authorities want to kill all stray dogs. A quantity of evidence has been presented to Bosnian police officers and prosecutors about illegal activities, but they do nothing. It is one of the worst violations of the criminal code in Bosnian history. I believe International focus and help is the only solution for animals in Bosnia. It is very important that international animal welfare organisations, embassies as well as individuals press Bosnian authorities to stop killing of animals.
Dalida needs our support to ensure she can continue her investigative work in documenting what is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina and in bringing legal charges against those who contravene the laws. To help please make a donation via Paypal to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dalida is also a rescuer and just a few days ago told us: “It is very difficult period for me at the moment. The worst thing is that I am still unemployed. The situation is very critical and awful for animals in Bosnia. There is a complete anarchy in Bosnia. Activists are trying to persuade authorities to stop killing and find solutions that are in accordance with Bosnian law. Since I am focused on legal activities in order to stop torturing and killing of animals, my parents spend most of their time with animals. Most of my time I spend in Sarajevo trying to solve this awful situation with illegal dog catchers and killers. I have problems with my car and it is difficult for me to travel all the time, but I must. I will be updating photographs of animals during the beginning of January. The most important thing for me is to find safe forever homes for saved animals. I really need your help to find adopters for them. Also, I have enormous legal costs due to many legal activities. I take care of 74 saved dogs and 8 cats. 39 of saved dogs and 8 cats are on my property. 35 dogs are placed in pension. It would be impossible to take care of them without your help.”
This is one of Dalida’s rescues, Medi. This beautiful dog is 8 years old. While he was a puppy, he had rachitic rosary. Since his owner didn’t want to provide veterinary care for him, his front legs are deformed. Due to deformation of his front legs, it is difficult for Medi to walk normally. Medi is in Dalida’s vet’s pension (kennels). He is half blind and half deaf…. if you want to help please contact Dalida.
Animal Advocates Assaulted in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
The Campaign Begins With a Slaughter: You will kill the dogs, but what will you do with the beasts?
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
Stop the Killing of Strays in Sarajevo
Bosnia: Sarajevo set to become the next Bucharest
BOSNIA: kill and slaughter until the dog is no more…
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT – NOW WHAT?
Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.
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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. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.