What to do about Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo?

How to make a difference, from Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH:

All our politicians are involved in stealing of money from illegal shelters and the hygienic services. Since money laundering through shelters is one of the most popular criminal activities for our politicians, there is no one who can help from politics.

If the Prosecutor’s office reacts, which it is obliged to do, our politicians will stop their illegal practice, but our prosecutors and police officers are amongst the most corrupt in the world.

The only way to force our political establishment to stop this illegal practice is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies. Activities of foreign activists and organisations should be focused on writing letters to embassies of UK, USA, Germany, Italy and France etc. Foreign politicians are able to make a difference, not our own.

Below is a draft letter you can modify to use. Please be sure to address it to a specific person and to sign it, including your contact details. You can also send it to your MP and MEP. 

To find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina go here:

Finding any MEP in Europe – a ‘Euromap’
Finding any MEP by the alphabetical name list can be done via the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/expert/alphaOrder.do?language=EN


Dear XXX

Millions of EU citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty, and look to the EU to help improve animal welfare across Europe. Countries seeking to acquire EU membership need to demonstrate certain standards of animal care, and so I want to bring to your attention Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are seeking admission, and yet who constantly contravene their own animal welfare laws.

There are countless dog shelters in the country that are documented by animal rescue organisations and activists to be inhumane and ‘death camps’ for dogs, and are in fact used for money laundering purposes: money destined for the dogs and the shelters is pocketed.

I am writing to ask your assistance in ensuring that dog shelter at Gladno Polje in Sarajevo and other public shelters in the country be monitored to ensure that conditions are improved and that the dogs there are safe, that animal activists be allowed to document and ensure that the laws are applied. We are asking that any dog catching service is monitored and works according to the laws of the country.

We have been advised by BiH lawyers and activists that as the BiH politicians themselves are involved in stealing of money from illegal shelters and hygienic services, and that since the prosecutors and police officers are also corrupt, the only way to force the BiH political establishment to stop their illegal practises is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies.

The existing Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia-Herzegovina is in fact a good and enforceable law. The only reason the law is not being enforced is because certain political and professional circles do not want to do it.

The law states that every city and town has to build shelters for stray animals. All shelters for stray animals have to provide a NO KILL policy and adequate care, including veterinary care for the animals housed there. Again, the truth is that the conditions in most public shelters are horrific, with dogs being left for days without water, food or care of any kind. There is documented evidence of this.

As you will be aware, the European Union provides the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with many millions of euros worth of financial aid each year. I believe the allocation for 2012 was around €107.8m. My understanding of the provisos attached to these aid packages is that there is a requirement for the recipient country to abide by EU laws which would include the laws related to animal welfare. The Commission has stated that aligning national animal welfare legislation with EU law is a prerequisite for EU membership.

I would urge you please to raise the above issues with the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of animals (http://www.animalwelfareintergroup.eu/) and, critically, with your representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The issue of the failure of the BiH authorities to apply even the barest minimum of the law to ensure the safety of the animals must be addressed. It is imperative that the European Commission and the Parliament discusses this matter with their Bosnia and Herzegovina counterparts.

The European Parliament states that “The EU has among the world’s highest standards of animal welfare”. The Eurogroup for Animal Welfare (http://eurogroupforanimals.org/ )is strongly urging the European Commission to adopt adequate measures to ensure that all pet animals are properly treated to protect their health and welfare. If it is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s wish to join the EU it would seem that until their government takes crimes against defenceless, sentient animals seriously they will not be a fit country to be accepted into the EU.

We urge you to help ensure that the Bosnia Herzegovina authorities implement internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray dog population control and management, and that resources be allocated to ensure such principles are followed.

Please see the petition regarding Gladno Polje shelter, which has already garnered over 6000 signatures since the 11th of January, 2015: “Ensure the safety and health of dogs at Gladno Polje “shelter”, refuse change of ownership to Novi Grad Veterinary station; allow access to the shelter by independent rescuers and activists” http://tinyurl.com/o5yd4ym.

Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,


Please keep sharing the petition: Ensure the safety and health of dogs at Gladno Polje “shelter”, refuse change of ownership to Novi Grad Veterinary station; allow access to the shelter by independent rescuers and activists

And if you wish to assist the rescuers in their efforts to save the dogs you can donate via YouCaring: Help the Gladno Polje dogs survive winter. 

Dalida has outlined for us the Animal Protection and Welfare Act and Ordinance on establishing and conditions that shelters in Bosnia Herzegovina must fulfill. These are are legal acts, which provide conditions for establishing, financing and working of shelters:

Lost and abandoned animals must be provided with adequate shelter and veterinary-medial assistance.

(1) Animal shelter owner is obliged to: a) provide sufficient quantities of food and water for animals; b) provide veterinary-medical care for animals; c) provide sufficient living area surface for each animal and enable sufficient exercise/movement; d) keep records on each rescued animal; e) keep records on each adopted animal; f) perform obligatory sterilization (spaying and neutering) of all rescued animals upon termination of the deadline as given in paragraph (2) of this Article; g) receive statements on lost or abandoned animals; h) engage in adopting animals and finding animal owners; i) microchip all arriving animals if not previously microchip. (2) Animal owner has the right to request the return of his/her animal eight days upon the animal being rescued and taken into the shelter, or otherwise the animal can be given to another interested party. (3) Persons who adopt rescued animals are obliged to sign the animal adoption statement. (4) Animal shelters can be formed by any physical of private, or legal entity, local community unit, municipality, city, canton or entity. (5) Competent cantonal, municipal or city body issues a permit for establishing an animal shelter, based on the instruction prescribed by the competent ministry, at the proposal by the Veterinary Office, and keeps the animal shelter registry.

Lost and abandoned animals shall be collected by the Health/Hygienic and rescue service employees by causing minimum pain and suffering and turn the animals into the animal shelter.

Shelters and hygienic/health services are funded from: a) entity-level, cantonal, city or municipal budget; b) other sources of funding (donations, grant, etc.).


Shelters in Bosnia Herzegovina
Uncertain future for Dogs at Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo
Saving the Dogs of Gladno Polje, Bosnia
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
Another Horror Shelter in Bosnia

Saving Lucia and the dogs of Foča and Gorazde
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend PART TWO
Mass Graves Found Near Dog “Shelter”
Hresa Shelter:
Part One – Part Two – Part Three – Part Four – Part Five – Part Six – Part Seven


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: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. 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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