Mass poisoning of stray dogs in Zenica, Bosnia

16114270_1190725531022637_6877927546708079613_nDalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer and activist writes:

Once again an awful crime against stray dogs is being committed in Zenica.

As reported widely on online media portals, an unknown offender has poisoned a large number of stray dogs in the last few days, actively violating the Animal Protection and Welfare law of Bosnia and Herzegovina in the worst possible way.

16265802_1190720224356501_4475743961179128105_nThe law unequivocally prohibits indiscriminate killing of abandoned animals and prescribes punishment for abandoning and torturing abandoned animals. The Criminal Code of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, specifically Article 318, defines torture and killing of animals as a criminal offense that carries a prison sentence of up to one year.

Citizens of Zenica as well as volunteers of the SAPA Zenica animal welfare organisation have found bodies of dead dogs in many parts of the town including on the streets in the city centre, in the doorways of buildings, in the city parks.

This crime has been reported to the local police as well as to the Prosecutor’s Office of Zenica – Doboj Canton.

Volunteers of SAPA have documented this situation, they have seen dogs dying in agony. Right now no one knows what poison is being used nor well who the offender(s) are.

16387260_1190725994355924_4219833290646125777_nSAPA Zenica are joined by people in the city who feed and love stray animals in their attempts to find out more regarding the possible offender(s) as well to save poisoned dogs who are still surviving.

Is it just a coincidence that this awful crime began after the Mayor of Zenica ordered stray dogs in Zenica to be caught?

This order is illegal in a number of ways:

The Zenica shelter for stray dogs has a capacity of 70 dogs, and yet a mass catching of stray dogs has begun. By law the shelters have to provide adequate and humane treatment of animals. Also, the hygienic services company engaged to catch these dogs does not fulfil conditions that are provided by the BiH Ordinance (laws) on the establishment of such companies and how they must conduct their service.

16388349_1190722191022971_6647876357361284454_nAccording to provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals every municipality is obliged to establish and finance shelters for stray animals as well as hygienic services that to catch and transport stray animals to veterinary stations and shelters.

Two very important ordinances were legislated in 2010: Ordinances on establishing and conditions that shelters for stray animals and hygienic services must fulfil. Both ordinances provide very strict and humane ways of establishing and maintaining of shelters and hygienic services. Bosnia and Herzegovina has one of the best animal welfare legislations in Europe, but the reality is different and the outcome cruel for stray animals.

This decision of the mayor of Zenica is illegal because the shelter has a capacity of 70 places and therefore there cannot be any action of mass catching of stray dogs. Also, registered and trained dog catchers can catch dogs, not ordinary workers of some company.

Video: WARNING VERY UPSETTING MATERIAL

For updates and to show your support, please go to SAPA Zenica’s Facebook Page. This organisation does incredible work and they are in desperate need of funds to continue saving the dogs of Zenica.

If you want to help with vet costs for the dogs who are in vet care, SAPA Zenica Paypal is sapazenica09@yahoo.com and please mark that it is for ‘surviving dogs of the poisonings’.

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SAPA Zenica was established in July 2009, as a local non-profit, non-governmental organization by a core group of volunteers and enthusiasts in the city of Zenica, Bosnia and Herzegovina. SAPA’s mission is, through the respect and caring for animals, to protect their rights and ultimately eliminate all forms of cruelty and exploitation of animals. SAPA’s vision is a society in which humans live in harmony with animals, respecting them and their needs.


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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.

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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. 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.