Barney the Miracle Dog from Bosnia

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This is the story of Barney, the miracle dog – the beaten, battered and broken street dog from Bosnia who captured all our hearts. This is Barney’s miraculous story of how he cheated death more times than we could count. With his will to survive, bravery and infectious personality and love of humans, his story is one that will stay with you forever.

Please watch his amazing story on this video… if it doesn’t pull your heartstrings, then we sincerely believe nothing will! This story has a happy ending, and most importantly this story spreads LOVE! Barney has brought so many people together in a common cause, people who never knew each other before and who now will remain friends forever.

Barney’s story begins on the 20 October 2015

Animal Welfare Advocate and Rescuer, Edina Pasic from Sarajevo wrote:

This truly left me speechless. Totally broke me. We went to feed the dogs on the streets today. And we went to one of our usual spots, where we always go when we have food. We started to call on the dogs and then we saw a horrible sight. One of the dogs we have been feeding for a long time lay on the ground and looked like he was sleeping. When he heard us, he lifted his head and then the rest of his body. Then he stopped and just looked at us for a few minutes. I wondered what was wrong with him because he’s always the first to run up to us. Then the darling tried to come over to us. Jumping little by little on his four legs with the first right leg totally fractured. He couldn’t walk on it at all.

I walked over to the man who’s guarding the area where these dogs stay and asked him about what had happened to him. He told me that there are a lot of dogs wondering abound that factory. Most of them are very scared of people, but this one was friendly and cuddly. He told me … Some monster hit the big dog with his car. Then, instead of helping him, he kicked both him and another dog and beat them with a bat he had in his car. The guard I was talking to ran out after the monster when this happened, but it all happened way to fast and he wasn’t fast enough to stop it. The guard said that the dogs weren’t doing anything wrong. They weren’t running after the car.”

12109331_923094834424078_3257987257168806316_nAWABosnia asked Edina to rescue him. We would somehow find the money for treatment and care. She did. (And she also rescued the white dog, a female dog, also hurt by this terrible man). Both dogs were taken to the vet.

Edina named the big dog was named BARNEY.

22 October 2015, Edina wrote:

Unfortunately Barney’s injury is complicated. He has an old elbow fracture and now has a new fracture in the same area. No one is able to operate on this here in Sarajevo, so amputation has been suggested. I’ve sent the pictures to Zagreb and Slovenia and am currently waiting for a response. I really hope that someone can fix his leg.

Barney is a big dog. Look what they did to him. He’s just skin and bones. He doesn’t even have the strength to eat. He’s totally broken. He is so battered. Can’t walk, can’t run. Why have humans done this to him? Can somebody just tell me why?

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Barney was transported to Zagreb where a vet would operate and treat him. So many supporters donated to cover the costs.


11059239_925916750808553_9033677648548247736_nAs soon as the vet examined Barney, he said Barney had been shot at some point in the past. The bullet fragments had made a big mess of his leg. X-rays revealed there were still bullet fragments in Barney’s leg. He had a broken bone on the same leg and a broken toe on his front leg.

Edina wrote on the 28th: “The vet didn’t want to operate on him immediately because of his anaemia and depression. He’s doing a lot better today. He’s wagging his tail at anyone who comes close. I also have to thank the kind people in Zagreb who have promised to visit him every day while he’s there. He doesn’t lack love there, so I’m very happy. He’s won all their hearts. He doesn’t have to stay in his box like the other dogs at the clinic. Instead they let him walk around the whole area of the clinic freely. They don’t want him to be in the box, so he’s helping them work by observing them. Our brave Barney. He knows that we all love him. He’ll be brave tomorrow because of all of you. Be strong our boy.

14463018_10154502470111753_2090418062655701332_nAND THEN … THE BEST NEWS EVER:

31 October 2015, Edina wrote:

Our Barney was operated on late last night. The operation lasted for 5 hours and it was successful. Barney has woken up from the anaesthesia. I’m thrilled! I just called the clinic; he’s going well. He’s awake and has lifted his head. He’s getting painkillers and sedatives to relax him. Everything is going according to the plan. Our brave darling. They also told me that it was a difficult and complicated operation, “aggressive” as they called it and that much is now relying on his ability to heal. They also have to keep his wounds cold. He’s got a long and hard way to recovery, but I know and believe that our brave Barney will pull through like the hero he is. In time he will be able to use his leg again.”

AND THEN … THE WORST NEWS EVER, JUST A FEW DAYS LATER…

1 November 2015, Edina wrote:

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-21-09-33TERRIBLE NEWS ABOUT BARNEY! This morning I got a call from the vet in Zagreb saying BARNEY HAS ESCAPED FROM THE CLINIC. This happened last night and I am only finding out this morning. They did not call me. I am driving there now. I cannot stay in Sarajevo. I have to be there. It is a six hour drive. I cannot believe this! He cannot go far on that leg. He MUST be found. Please please please send him your wishes to stay near the clinic and not to hide. Please everyone! Barney needs your help now MORE THAN EVER. How did the clinic let this happen? A lot of people are there looking for him. This cannot happen to him, not to Barney

Two days later, Edina wrote:

14449760_10154502467636753_3807560220038368534_nWith a heavy heart, I have to inform you that we still haven’t found Barney. We will not stop looking, but this is really hard on me. We even contacted people with search dogs today and the dog had a trace, but lost it. I’m really desperate. We’ve also been hanging up posters around the city. We will be looking all night tonight and the whole day tomorrow until we find him. … My only priority now is that we find him. I’m very worried because he can get gangrene infection or sepsis. And he’s also hungry. And his painkillers will also wear off soon and he will be in a lot of pain. Please pray that we find him. Thanks to everyone who has helped so far with sharing his post and looking for him and to all of you who will help in the days to come. Please Barney, come back to me. Please don’t do this to me.

On 5th November, with Barney having been operated on barely a week ago, Edina wrote:

Unfortunately, we still haven’t found Barney. Where are you my darling? All of the media, newspapers, internet based newspapers have heard his story and shared it. I really wish to thank them for doing so. We’ve visited all the vet stations and put up posters. Today, along with some friends, we put up posters on the bus stations and tram stations. We’ve left posters in the trams, we have given them to taxi drivers. We’ve even made some small ones that we left on the cars parked outside. We will not stop looking for him. My darling Barney, I feel I will find you so just hold on.”

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A few days later Edina wrote:

My darling Barney…  We’re still looking for my darling Barney… I feel that he’s alive so I can’t give up on him… Last night a boy told us that he had seen Barney on his way home from school, on the bus station Dubica… We searched the whole area along with our friends and stayed there the whole night in our car… We didn’t leave the place for one minute, but unfortunately we didn’t have any luck this time either… I repeat that I still feel that he’s alive… And thanks to everyone who is helping with the positive messages on not to give up hope… It gets worse as the days go by… Just imagine yourself in a different country, in a different city, trying to find your pet or your child… It’s the same thing to me… And you get calls from people claiming to have seen him… Every time your heart stops, you start to cry and run to the place where he was seen… I can`t explain how I, and all the others here looking, feel… Sometimes I feel like I’m losing my mind..

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Edina and Caki searched and searched all over Zagreb. Svend, a volunteer helper for DogLost (a group in the UK helping reunite lost dogs with their owners) had been following the story and gave support and encouragement and advice, but after 20 days of searching Edina had to return to Sarajevo to take care of her small son and to check on her other rescues who were in pension.

12208385_930257050374523_7294690200657775164_nCaki stayed on, he couldn’t give up…. He wouldn’t give up… and nor would Svend, who enlisted the help of other DogLost volunteers with vast experience of catching lost dogs… After 33 days of searching for nearly every hour in the day, Caki also had to go back to Sarajevo but he and Edina kept returning to Zagreb (it’s a seven hour drive), and a wonderful local team of rescuers from Zagreb gathered to continue looking for Barney. The team included the wonderful Mirchi, Daria, and Marina – supported by their long-suffering partners.

Thousands of people followed Barney’s story on Facebook, and there were articles about him in the Croatian newspapers… (and, sadly, some people even thought his escape from the veterinary surgery was fabricated to get donations…in spite of there being CCVT video footage from the surgery showing how in fact it happened and how he escaped the clinic!)

After endless and fruitless “chasing” and “searching”, and despite numerous sightings during November and December and the extensive efforts of numerous helpers, Barney proved impossible to even get close to.

14468432_10154502469146753_7465165208282456913_oThen, in February 2016, after a long period with no sightings, the team had a lucky break with a sighting of Barney several kilometers south of the Sava river in a semi-rural area near the airport.

The team (which was constantly growing in numbers) had to establish a feeding station that Barney visited regularly, and then to make and install a suitable trap. The trap and feeding station needed twice daily visits and, once “set”, continuous observation throughout every night!

By using a trail camera sent from the UK by Svend, the team were able to confirm Barney was visiting their feeding station. And with some coaching they were able to get a suitable trap made (not something they could buy or borrow in Croatia!), and over a period of one month they gradually enticed Barney to go into the trap, before setting it. This was not a process familiar to anyone in Zagreb, but they followed detailed advice via a Facebook chat (more than 500 messages!)

AND THEN … the news we had all been waiting to hear:

BARNEY is FOUND and is SAFE….! FOUR MONTHS AFTER HE ESCAPED!

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6 March 2016, Edina wrote:

As many of you will remember, Barney has been missing in Zagreb, with a broken leg, since 1 November of last year. On 4 March, he was finally back in safe hands! Finally, after more than 4 months out on his own, all our efforts have proved worthwhile. Barney has been caught.

Barney has had a preliminary vet check today (lots of ticks to be removed, and some antibiotics for an infection), and will go back on Monday for x-rays of his leg. Meanwhile, tonight he is “enjoying” a bath and manicure!

A HUGE “WELL DONE” and thank you to Svend, Mirchi, Daria, Marina, and the many other who helped at various stages, including Olja, Suzana, Rina, Drazen and others. A full list of all the people involved is at the end of this article, who all deserve to be thanked.

14495318_10154502473146753_8864190574901056506_nBut of course Barney’s story did not end there…

7 March 2016: “Today Barney went for x-rays at the vet clinic “Zarko Cirica”. Everyone at the clinic recognized him and gave him lots of hugs and kisses. They were all pleasantly surprised because Barney didn’t have sepsis, despite living on his own for four months. He’s had urine, blood and faeces samples, and everything looks good – even the blood test, despite having over 70 ticks removed. On Wednesday he’s due to have a bone biopsy of his leg, which hasn’t healed as it should have, of course. He also has an infection in the joint, although the vet said Barney is a special phenomenon for going this long without antibiotics.

In addition to the problems on one leg, he has an in-growing claw on one of his paws, and a tooth that is in such a bad condition that it has to be pulled: all of this will be done on Wednesday, too. Once his leg has been sorted out, he will need physio and hydro-therapy, to re-learn to use his leg. His reflexes are great so the vet thinks that the problem is all in Barney’s head because he has become used to doing everything on three legs!

14433214_10154502471921753_2670416874810512757_nBarney has a very strong-smelling dark urine. Because of a large number of ticks (70) we had spotted on his body it is assumed he may suffer from babesiosis.

We had his blood work done again and everything was fine but the vet didn’t want to risk it and put him under anaesthetic before making sure he was ready for that. (As he said – his paw and leg will not run away). He is a well-known vet and he doesn’t want to rush it. Barney has lots of friends in the clinic!

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Barney had a huge ear wound that was deepened by his permanent scratching. The vets thought it was mange but after they had done the swab it was clear he didn’t have it.

14390884_10154502472191753_6054728936666634827_n“Barney is a lucky guy because he has Hari and Mirchi as his temporary foster family who are giving him love and support and they will take care of him as far as he will need hydrotherapy and of course he will be able to use his leg again. Mirchi made a sponge sock to stop him scratching it. Our friends from Zagreb bought him a GPS which is built into his collar so as to be able to follow him at every turn via smart phone App (ALL OVER THE WORLD). THEY ARE AMAZING!

13 March 2016: “Barney has now been to the vets three times in the last week. The surgery planned for Wednesday was delayed until Friday, to allow for further blood tests. He has now had bone samples taken, and test results are expected next week. He’s also had a couple of decayed teeth removed, which should make him feel a bit better and while he was under general anaesthetic, he was also neutered. What appeared to be an “in-grown” claw on his front right paw turned out to be a historical fractured toe: the vet hasn’t done anything with this at the moment, as he wouldn’t be able to use that leg after surgery.

Barney is now wearing his GPS collar! Mirchi and Marina kindly paid for the collar, but we have bought a 1 year subscription (it uses a mobile phone SIM card and App).”

14470522_10154502472036753_6589704308443434952_n
Barney continued to receive veterinary treatment, because although his leg healed well he wasn’t using it at all, and so he was prescribed a course of hydrotherapy sessions to help him regain use of his leg
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14435346_10154502472376753_6307699552017792148_oNone of this could have happened without the generous support of Edina and Caki’s followers, of course. Barney had amassed SO many followers and fans!

2 May 2016, Edina wrote: “Barney is doing OK and is now up to 42kg bodyweight, but the infection in his bone has caused a screw to come loose, so he has had an operation to take it out.

When they removed the loose screw, Barney’s leg was not looking good. They took a sample of that tissue and found out that his bone had started to dissolve because it was constantly infected by all screws and pieces of bullet in his elbow.

screen-shot-2016-09-25-at-21-13-50So they put him on very strong antibiotics for almost 2 months and decided to take all the screws out as well as bullet pieces.”

Barney had long recovery (3 months) after that surgery, but he finally started using that leg again – more and more every day. “He is using it more than ever these days and he is extremely fast now!

21 September 2016, eleven months after his initial rescue and seven months after he was found after escaping the vet practise, BARNEY HAS A FOREVER HOME IN CANADA WAITING FOR HIM! With an incredible family who fell in love with Barney from the start.

But once again we need your help to get him there. And this is why …
The most beautiful outcome of Barney’s story is that most of the people involved in his story, did not know each other. So, thank you Barney for bringing people together and creating friendships that will last forever as a result of their love for you. You are a special boy, Barney. It is this reason why we feel so passionate about getting him to his forever home in Canada, he crosses continents with his love, with the people who love him.

What started as a Mission Impossible and concluded with an EPIC Mission Accomplished. We would like to thank all the people involved in Barney’s story and we are sure that Barney would like to thank them also. These people volunteered their time, money, resources, equipment, connections, networks and kept hope alive.

These people volunteered their time, money, resources, equipment, connections, networks and gave us hope. If we have missed anyone, please know that you are acknowledged.

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But most of, we want to thank all the people, from all over the world, who followed and supported Barney’s story and donated funds and who forged new friendships through Barney’s story… the list is too long to write here but includes…

Svend, Edina, Caki, Marina, Olja, Mladen, Mirchi, Daria, Marko, Hari, Zrinka, Miho, Draze, Brankica, Sasa, Maja, Marijana, Ana, Suzana, Rina, Hrvoje, Tanja, Aida, Josip. Samra., Mirjana. Petra, Maja, Dubravka and Duda.

And thank you Snezana Tigerman and family who have been waiting all this time to give Barney a forever home in Canada!

But most of, we want to thank all the people, from all over the world, who followed and supported Barney’s story and who forged new friendships through Barney’s story. His story will continue with his own Facebook Page very soon.

If you have learned anything from Barney or the people involved in Barney’s life from watching his video story, then PLEASE help us raise the funds for Barney’s travel costs so that Barney can finally be in his forever home in Canada. The YouCaring fundraiser is here. UPDATE! 29 SEPTEMBER:All funds were raised thanks to incredible support and Barney is now in CANADA! We’ll make a post soon!!

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THANK YOU ALL FOR LOVING AND SUPPORTING BARNEY.

A MIRACLE DOG.

A DOG LIKE NO OTHER.

BECAUSE HE SHOWED US THAT IF YOU BELIEVE IN SOMETHING, MIRACLES WILL HAPPEN.

 

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DONATIONS

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. Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, 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 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. Even just one dollar or one euro will help make a difference.

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Money laundering behind killing of stray dogs in Sarajevo


HOW TO HELP THE SITUATION FOR THE DOGS IN THE PHOTOGRAPHS IS AT THE END OF THIS POST. 

Dalida Kozlic L.L.B
, lawyer and activist writes:

As you know from this previous blog, on 30 June, 2016, the Cantonal Government of Sarajevo issued a decision which requires the utility company KJKP Rad Hygienic Service (or “P.C. Rad”) in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the streets. And as we have already documented, the authorities of Canton Sarajevo have once again started mass catching of stray dogs. Why? In order to launder as much money as possible and in order to destroy as many dogs as  possible.

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A review of official documents demonstrates that money is being stolen from the budget of Canton Sarajevo:

22264189_1171527922908978_6226496771786389059_nP. C. Veterinary station Ltd. Sarajevo, Veterinary Inspection of Canton Sarajevo and the Veterinary faculty of the University of Sarajevo are conducting a project called “Monitoring of Infectious and Parasitic Diseases of Zoonotic Type of the Population of Stray dogs in Sarajevo“. This project is the instigator of the mass action concerning catching and removal of stray dogs.

The project is valued at 133.000 KM, approximately  68,205.00 Euros. This project provides funding for the euthanasia of 300 dogs, which are assumed to be sick (i.e. without any medical examination). Essentially, in preparing the project, authorities have decided to illegally kill 300 dogs.

According to this project, funds are also provided for 500 dogs to be microchipped, vaccinated and placed in shelters (which are illegal since they do not comply with the laws).  There is no clear information what will be done with a further 200 dogs which the project also provides funds for catching.

22According to provisions of the animal welfare laws of Bosnia and Herzegovina, it’s prohibited to kill dogs that can treated and cured by veterinarians. Also, according the provisions, it is strictly prohibited to experiment on stray animals.

In addition, by law, only the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina is obliged to control diseases amongst the population of all animal species in the country and only the Veterinary Office can conduct projects of control, prevention and suppression of such diseases.

The Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals is the main legislation concerning treatment of animals in Bosnia. Authorities of one canton (administrative division) must implement this law and it is a criminal offence to finance activities that are done in accordance with illegal decisions of lower level authorities.

14225350_1114575611942665_3682593145194114853_nIt is important to emphasise that 68,205.00 Euros is allocated for this one project, a project that is used as a ‘reason’ for the mass removal of stray dogs from the streets of Sarajevo. Hundreds of thousands of Euros are allocated for the hygienic services as well as for shelters – both of which are not running in accordance with the laws –  and these funds will be laundered through these hygienic services and shelters which deal inhumanely with the animals.  These hygienic services and shelters receive funding for food, medications, treatment, and the catching of stray animals, but the animals do not receive any of this. Where does the money go, we ask.
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NOTE: Photographs are from Zunovnica, this is the former military base in Hadzic. This is now a “shelter” of Canton Sarajevo… joining the many ‘horror’ shelters of Bosnia.This is one of the pounds the infamous dog catchers of KJKP Rad Hygienic Service bring dogs to. Dogs are left in their urine and faeces, they are starving. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Some rescuers have managed to release a few dogs but many, many more will be brought in… it is a never-ending horror and there are no organisations within Bosnia able to help, and international animal welfare organisations have great difficulty in being involved due to the wide-spread corruption at all levels in Bosnia Herzegovina. Please also note that the situation for the citizens of the country is also dire, with some of the highest rates of unemployment in the world. Rescuers struggle to feed themselves, let alone their rescues. If you want to help please write letters as outlined in this post – there are email addresses in the post to write to. PLEASE WRITE LETTERS. Petitions do very little. We have run several petitions for a number of horror situations with hundreds of thousands of signatures collected, but NO CHANGE. Letters to your embassy in Bosnia, to International Welfare organisations are the only way.

You can also send funds as outlined at the end of this post via Paypal to donations@awabosnia.org and we will send it on to rescuers who have taken dogs out.

FOR YOUR CONVENIENCE HERE IS THE INFORMATION FROM THE POST MENTIONED ABOVE:

HOW TO HELP:

PLEASE NOTE THAT PETITIONS DO VERY LITTLE. WE HAVE ORGANISED MANY WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SIGNATURES OBTAINED, BUT NO CHANGE HAS HAPPENED. It is better to write letters as follows:

1. Write letters to your embassy representative in Bosnia:

To find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina go here:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina
Finding any MEP in Europe – a ‘Euromap’
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html
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


2. Write letters to the Bosnian authorities:

Prime minister of Canton Sarajevo, Dino Konaković,   premijer@vlada.ks.gov.ba
Minister of Utility infrastracture, Senad Hasanspahić ministar@mki.ks.gov.ba and
mki@mki.ks.gov.ba

3. Write letters to international animal welfare organisations – google this for email addresses or go here on Wikipedia for information

Below is a draft letter you can modify to use. Or you can simply copy and paste the above blog and ask that something be done. Please be sure to address it to a specific person and to sign it, including your contact details.

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Dear XXX

Millions of citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty. 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.

In 2009, the Law on Animal Welfare and Protection entered into force in Bosnia Herzegovina. Amongst other things this law proscribes that owners of dogs and cats are to register their animals at the veterinarian organization and mark them with microchips. Additionally, within the period of one year, institutions were obliged to build humane shelters in which all abandoned and lost animals found on the streets should be placed after being caught by a hygienic service, and in which they would be treated on a humane way and provided adequate veterinarian care. Until then, stray animals could be spayed and turned back to the street, while only sick, aggressive and dogs in agony were to be euthanized.

So far, no legally proscribed measure has been conducted. Since the local authorities have not conducted sufficient neutering campaigns on time and properly, the number of stray dogs has multiplied. Dogs Trust sterilization campaigns nave not been able to significantly reduce the numbers of dogs in Sarajevo. Owners are continuing to abandon their unsterilised dogs or the unsterilised offspring of their pets, so the number of dogs in the Canton Sarajevo still seems to be around several thousands. No one knows the exact number as there is no database. Local authorities built several shelters around Sarajevo in which conditions are even not close to a satisfactory level, animals have no vet care, conditions and treatment are inhumane. These shelters include Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje and Zunovnica with a maximum capacity of around 600 dogs in total. Dogs often die due to sickness or are attacked by other dogs. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Dogs survive thanks to groups of volunteers and animal-friendly citizens of Sarajevo who visit them and provide food and some medicines. Some public companies donate some food or food scraps. Lucky dogs are homed in Bosnia or abroad thanks to volunteers.

Thousands of those remaining on the streets cannot be placed in shelters as they are overcrowded. Furthermore, there is not any official evidence as to how many dogs are taken from the streets, how many arrive in the shelters, what their health condition is, how many are euthanized and for what reason, and how many are currently at the shelters. There is no adequate inspection in practice, no official cooperation with the NGO sector which could make and keep evidence on everything in cooperation with the authorities. Hence dogs are often left at the mercy of employees of the hygienic service and shelter owners. No one knows how many die in between visits of the volunteers and due to what reason.

On 30 June, 2016, Cantonal Government issued a decision which requires A utility company KJKP Rad (Hygienic Service), in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the street. In the course of their action, they take every dog, regardless of whether they are aggressive, sick, spayed (with a visible marked at the plate on the ear) or not. Even babies. While the Government is claiming that this is being done legally and in a human way, the implementation of the conclusion is illegal due to the fact that there is no space and no conditions at the shelters to put new arrivals of dogs. Therefore, it is obvious that hundreds and thousands of dogs taken from the streets are killed.

Furthermore, government public statements have been made with regards to this dog catching stating there is a need to collect aggressive and ill street dogs, which is part of the country’s animal welfare law. The same law prohibits the destruction of healthy dogs. And yet, animal welfare activists have documented healthy and non-aggressive dogs been caught and removed. In addition, the problem of strays in the city is a result of owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs.

Increased numbers of dogs on the streets is a direct result of irresponsible ownership, with owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs and because of government failure to implement preventive measures that are provided by the laws, such as punishing those who abandon animals, creating a registration of pets, providing adequate spay/neuter projects with vaccination and tagging of stray animals in an appropriate form and number, and education and information campaigns which are aimed to raise public awareness about the causes of the problem.

The BiH law on Protection and Welfare of Animals very clearly provides solutions for dealing with an overpopulation of stray animals in Bosnia. The first legal obligation of authorities is to build shelters for stray animals, whose purpose is to care for stray animals until they are adopted. Conditions that all shelters must fulfil are outlined in the law.

Regarding registration of pets, for seven years the State Veterinary Office has not enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor has established a unified database for registration.

The only way to solve this problem is for municipalities and governments to establish their own database of owned of animal. If the database of tagged animals and owners of animals is established, it will enable the identification, prosecution and punishment of people who abandon the animals.

Also, the dog shelters in this country are documented by animal rescue organisations and activists to be inhumane ‘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 the current ‘dog catching’ service of by the public utility company KJKP Rad Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company “Veterinary station” Ltd. be monitored and investigated to ensure it works according to Bosnian law and that the shelters in Sarajevo – in particular Zunovnica shelter – and other public shelters in the country have radically improved conditions,  and in particular that animal activists be allowed to document and ensure that the laws are applied.

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 ‘dog catching’ 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.  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.

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.

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

Kind regards,

 

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Please read related articles/blogs on this site for more information:

Evidence of crimes against dogs ignored!
Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo
Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary
Dog Catchers of Sarajevo: Latest news
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
The Dog Catchers of Sarajevo are Back
Pope’s Visit to Sarajevo Means Death for Dogs

Sarajevo Demonstrations Against Illesgal Dog Catchers
Former Military Base in Sarajevo involved in dog killing?
“DOG-CATCHERS” OF SARAJEVO CAUGHT IN ACTION!
AUTHORISED SLAUGHTER OF DOGS IN SARAJEVO
2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?

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?

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DONATIONS

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. Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, 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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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.