The Importance of Fighting Against Cruelty to Animals

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

“Animal cruelty is more than just a legal issue; it is a community issue. If you improve animal welfare in a community, you improve public safety for everyone.”
~ Baltimore Mayor Stephanie Rawlings–Blake

Years of an experience in the field of the legal protection of animals have taught me to recognise evil in its worst forms. The truth is that every rescuer of animals faces the most disturbing and the saddest cases in the world.

Animal welfare advocates face evil in its worst form; they face the most evil people and witness what evil people can do to innocent and helpless creatures.

Cruelty to animals is now seen as a part of the landscape of family violence and a risk to human health, safety and welfare with strong links to child maltreatment, domestic violence and elder abuse.

Animal welfare advocates believe that people are at risk when animals are abused and that animals are at risk when people are abused.

Those scientific and research facts and evidences can be linked with the increasing cases of animal abuse in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

A growing and compelling body of research is confirming these links and clarifying animal abuse as a predictor and indicator crime that often signals serious interpersonal aggression and familiar dysfunction. People who abuse animals have been found to be significantly more likely to commit violent crimes, domestic violence and other antisocial behaviour.

We often write about illegal killings of stray animals due to the dog catching services and in the public shelters. Unfortunately, not only these authorities are involved in the widescale slaughter of Bosnian stray animals (illegally), but “ordinary people” are often those who commit the most horrendous crimes against animals (stray, wild, endangered, pets, etc.).

Bosnian post – war society is generally mentally ill. There is a mass diagnosis of PTSD and people must accept the fact that most of them haven’t dealt with personal traumas in the right way. The problem is Bosnian people generally think that they know everything. Unfortunately, there is no less educated and less self-aware population in Europe who thinks that they can solve everything in this world.

The fact is that the same people have been leading this country for almost 30 years. Not only are they leading it, they are stealing everything they can. And they get an opportunity to steal and torture their own people every four years when elections are held. Bosnian people know how corrupt and criminalised their politicians are, but still they vote for them.

Also, the fact is that we went through unimaginable suffering and torture during the four year war and aggression. Almost 200.000 people were killed and one million had to leave our country. War traumas are amongst the worst traumas a person can experience. Still we were better humans during the war. We had more empathy for other people as well as for animals. Bosnian people mostly refused to kill their pets and eat them during the war (yes, there was no food here). Most of people shared whatever they had with their animals.

What happened after the war?

If you ask me, we have turned into a psychopathic society. The level of frustration by living in this complicated and as some say cursed country is increasing all the time, but Bosnian people are passive. They are always passive towards those who harass them so they have turned their aggression onto animals.

Animals are the biggest post war victims in Bosnia. They are legally protected – when we look at the legislation. But practically speaking, they are exposed to psychopaths who wander in the streets.

Cruelty to animals has become a serious legal and community issue  in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

People are afraid of dogs; dogs are the subject of discussion and debate. Meanwhile we are one of the poorest and the most miserable countries in the whole of Europe, so the deprived people take their frustration out on those who cannot protect themselves. Dogs are a channel for the anger people should feel towards those who are responsible for the way we live today. Dogs have become public enemy number one and the lightning rod for a society which suffers from all kinds of problems. If this society thinks about how to kill as many dogs as possible rather than how to make a living, surely we have a problem? We are a psychopathic society that suffers from mass aggression and a society that has misdirected its aggression.

Not only does public debate presents animals as demons (mostly dogs), people are treating animals like demons and there is an increasing number of cases of animal abuse done by individuals –  not only by hunters or authorities.

Animal abuse can be a symptom of a personality disorder, but also the disorder of society as a whole. The tendency to abuse, torture and kill animals is one of the most important symptoms of the psychopath – sociopath. Psychopaths or sociopaths are people without a conscience who enjoy abusing of animals and humans. Those people usually behave and look like normal people.

Zoo sadism is a pleasure (psychological, physical or sexual) that one gets abusing animals.
It is a manipulation and a desire to inflict physical and psychological pain to a being that cannot defend itself against any kind of attack. The abuser of animals has no conscience; he does not sympathize with other living beings. Most serial killers were animal abusers. People who abuse animals are aware it is prohibited by law and punishable and that it is a morally appalling act, but the desire to manipulate and to express their own complex onto a helpless creature is so strong they have to repeat their sadistic acts.

Animal abusers are rarely mentally ill people, but animal abuse is a symptom of severe mental disorder. The mentally ill are rarely aware of the consequences of their actions, while mentally disturbed people are aware of their actions and their consequences. Animal abusers are psychopaths who intentionally know what they do and who are fully aware of their actions and the consequences, but do not empathize with other living beings. The most important thing for them is to be satisfied by expressing power and control over the helpless creature and thus cure their frustrations and / or complexes.

When we link all these facts with population of hundreds of thousands traumatised by passive people, we can get a worrying perception about possible animal abusers who turn their aggression and desires towards animals.

The fact is that we are surrounded by psychopaths and animal abusers who are organised in groups (hunters or dog catchers) or they work alone and torture animals on their own without any payment or by participating in hunting or a publicly funded dog catching organisation.

Bosnian society does not understand that animals are unable to fight for themselves and there is a complete lack of empathy for those who suffer. This means that society as a whole has a pathological feature. Individuals and society do not want to understand that animal abusers are people with pathological

personality features, who tend to become abusers and killers of people (if not already). Prosecution and punishing of animal abusers are the basic functions of protecting animals. Special prevention sends a message to abusers that if they re-offend their offence against animals, they are to be arrested and punished. The general prevention message is sent to the society. If the state and the judiciary do not tolerate animal abuse, the problem is recognized as a deep social anomaly and that each abuser is to be punished. But in Bosnia this does not happen.

Hunters – the most notorious killers of stray animals in Bosnia Herzegovina
World Stray Animals Day in Bosnia and Herzegovina
Unimaginable cases of torture and killing of stray animals in Bosnia
Mass poisoning of stray dogs in Zenica, Bosnia

Poisoning of dogs ordered in Donji Vakuf, Bosnia
Monstrous Killing and Injuring of Stray Dogs in Zenica, Bosnia!
Dogs found slaughtered outside Shelter in Sarajevo
Puppy Flung off Bridge in Sarajevo, Bosnia
Puppy dies after horrific attack in Bosnia Herzegovina
Loved Street Dog Hanged in Gradiska, Bosnia!

Boy steals puppy and hangs it – Prnjavor, Bosnia Herzegovina

Dog’s Skull Deliberately Crushed in Bosnia Herzegovina

Another Dog Tortured by Wire in Bosnia
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia


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.