On 11 November 2011, two drunken teenagers in Ilidža, Bosnia-Herzegovina, put a rocket explosive firework into a young German Shepherd’s mouth and duct-taped his jaws shut, setting the rocket alight. The firework caused horrific injuries to the dog’s face, but did not kill him. He wandered about for five days before being finally rescued by animal welfare volunteers who took him to a veterinarian’s office. The firework shell was still embedded in the dog’s head, and maggots had started to eat his ruined flesh. The vets determined his injuries could not be helped and he was euthanized.

The animal welfare volunteers named the dog, ‘Vučko’. Vučko means little wolf. In Native American medicine, the wolves are our teachers.

This image is how Vučko might have looked. It is not real, it is a reconstruction by Victoria Rider Galietta.
Images and a video of Vučko can be found here.
Please be warned. What you will see on this page is extremely distressing.

Several petitions were created to bring the perpetrators of this act to justice, to expose the severity of animal abuse, and to create proper legislation to protect animals in Bosnia-Herzegovina. No action was taken against the perpetrators because of the difficulty of implementing animal abuse laws. There are no animal welfare organisations like the RSPCA or ASPCA in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

Nearly 200,000 people signed these petitions which were sent to the authorities, but so far there has been no result.

Please don’t let Vučko’s suffering and death be for nothing. Please help animal welfare volunteers in their efforts to save other abused and suffering animals. His case is but one amongst many.

Acts of cruelty against dogs and cats are common in Bosnia-Herzegovina, a country struggling to rebuild itself since the 1992 civil war. Up until 2009 no animal protection laws existed. Since then, authorities not consistently applied these laws. Their indifference to the problem reinforces a public perception that animals do not matter. With a burgeoning stray cat and dog problem, reports of animal cruelty, dog hunts, poisonings, dumping of animals, are still commonplace. There are many hundreds who are starving or hurt or abused, and many freeze to death in the cold winters. There are no government or society-funded animal protection programmes, no adequately funded or equipped animal shelters, no RSPCA or ASPCA organisations.

Thus the situation for stray animals in this country is dire. What happened to Vučko is happening to others, and worse. There are some images of other animals animal welfare volunteers have tried to rescue here. Be warned, they are shocking.


October, 2012
Someone who is able to contact animals who have passed has tuned into Vučko. I sent her a photograph. One of the unaltered ones. This is what she says:

When I tuned into Vučko, I must say I wasn’t expecting to see a photograph like that, it is horrible, and words cannot express how seeing that made me feel. You know how some people sacrifice themselves for humanity, that is how Vucko sees himself. It was a blessing for him to be euthanised. I am not sure anything could of been done, but to see how he feels after it happened it is a good job he was found. He is a very deep thinker and I am wondering if you would of started to help the animals if you hadn’t of seen this boy. I feel there was in between three and five teenagers, one was the ring leader who thought doing this would be good fun, but now feel not a day goes by where these lads don’t dream about what they have done. Sometimes things have a way of turning round. I do also feel that the main man that did this is a bully, and would not change his ways and will probably get his just deserts.
Animals amaze me as they do not hold grudges by anyone and forgive anything. And when our loved ones leave us they change back into full health and fitness, all past hurts abuse cleared and healed.


Image by Snarling Flames on Deviantart


“Dogs yelp, cats cry. Animals have died over time. Animals are loving and sweet, and they’re asking you to please not beat. If you come join me, maybe then you’ll see just how cruel you people can truly be. Now you have a choice. A choice to come with me and save the animals that have no voice. Or watch them plea for help and be as cruel as the abusers can be. Choose wise, think hard. Help me win this battle that they are in. Help me save these animals that you see. Animals have thoughts and feelings too, but have no voice to share with you. Please help to be their voice.”
~ Written for Vučko by Barbara Semeiks

Artist Unknown

54 thoughts on “VUČKO’S STORY

  1. Hope these primitive humans pay for what they did. Everyone of us are planting seeds with every action we take, I believe we get what we plant. I am so sorry Vucko!!!

  2. I do hope you hve not died in vane our little wolf you are now on the rainbow bridge please say hello to all my animals that have died and they will be there and they will look after you my sweethaert amen never ever will you e forgotten xxx


  3. I just came across this shocking horrific story, I can not get my head around how someone could do this. I really hope that these people get punished. I have a question, it seems it is known that there were 2 people involved, that they were drunk and it is known that the poor dog wandered that streets for 5 days (so the date f the incident is known)… how come this info is know but that the it is not known who did this? Thanks!

    • Ellis, thanks for your comment. I have spoken to the activist who was there when Vucko was found and also when he was euthanised. This is the story that was heard and told at that time. I have no proof, and probably they do not either, certainly not at this point. It seems people just do not want to do anything about dogs in horrific suffering. A similar thing happened with Sirotica – – Locals decided after 3 days to notify animal welfare activists. Why they took this long, who knows.

  4. What is wrong with people in Eastern Europe?! Not just Bosnia, there are similar stories from Romania, Ukraine, etc…. I have come across lots of horrible stories of animal abuse and torture from all over the world, but Eastern Europe seems to beat them all! What is wrong with these people???! Of course there are animal lovers and people who desperately try to help too, but the atrocities are so numerous and horrific, they seem to beat even China (I live in China). People who do such horrible things to innocent and defenseless animals are pure evil!!! I know about the hardships of many people in Eastern Europe, but that is no excuse to torture and kill innocent creatures! It makes me so sad and angry to read these stories and I sincerely wish someone would invent a biological weapon to eradicate the “evil” gene; the world would be a much better place for it!

    • O how very true are ur words. I don’t care if people don’t like animals but dear God leave them alone and let the ppl that do look after animals to there job. I work with ppl and animals in need and I know which I prefer at the end of the day!!!!!

  5. thank you for your email I have read it and I am in total agreement in how you feel about these people who abuse and toture animals, when I read and sign petitions I cry as when reading they break my heart, but I have to carry on and try and help by signing, you are doing such a great Job, and you mentioned that you lived in China you are so brave I dont think I could I would probley end up in prison for murder! thank you for being there for the animals and well done to you

  6. I came across this site now, I have read the story about poor Vucko, but I must confess, I`m just can`t take looking at the real photo of him, for fear that I`ll probably be devastated for days to come, being depressed enough already due to the horror and plight of so many animals in the world. The longer I live, the more shattered I am over all the evil acts being done by humans towards animals. Dear, dear Vucko, I will remember you. And I will try to support the animals in Bosnia whenever I can. I will send a donation today, in memory of you. Hope you are in doggie heaven now.

    • I completely understand, Mette. There is no need for you to see what happened to him. Remember him as whole and beautiful, that is the best way. I too hope he is in a better place. He is no longer in pain, I am sure of that. I don’t believe it is necessary for everyone to see the pictures. The story alone is bad enough. And I was more or less completely out of action for two weeks after seeing the photographs. It’s why I started this website, to do something, anything at all. I have seen the photographs for you, if you like. It is enough. Thank you for your support and help, it’s much appreciated.

      • Sandra, I ended up watching the photos after all. And as I thought, they have left me completely upset and shattered and I`ve been crying all evening. My husband watched them, too, and could hardly believe what he saw. But what are my emotions, compared to the suffering Vucko had to endure? I am totally ashamed of belonging to the human race. What`s wrong with people?!?! We have seven husky dogs, in addition to numerous other animals, and we treat them all as if they were our children. My heart goes out to Vucko, and to all the other suffering animals in Bosnia. Thank you for doing something good for them.

      • Oh Mette, I’m with you. Be gentle with yourself. Know that he is not suffering anymore. I don’t know if I believe in any kind of afterlife, but sometimes I feel he comes to me and is very lovely and at peace. And, because of him, a lot of people have come to know of the plight of animals in Bosnia and are trying to do something. xo

      • Mette and Sandra,
        I am only pleased I did not come across this website b4 Christmas. Like u Mette my heart is shattered for this beautiful animal and the horrific pain he must have been in for days. I like u Mette treat my animals like children, and my heart was shattered very recently by the death of my very faithful and beautiful little cat Chloe, whom died in my arms on the 12.12.12 at 11.03am and she was 23 years old. She left me with me looking her in the eyes and telling her how much I loved her and thanked her for her beautiful life and how very honoured I was to have been chosen by her to love her, and her to love me.

      • Oh Angela, I’m so sorry for the loss of your beautiful Chloe. But I am happy she experienced so much love and care and that she was not alone at the end.

    • Angela,
      I’m so sorry to hear about your cat. All my cats are seniors now the oldest just celebrated her 16th birthday on April 1st and the youngest will be 10 November 25th. People don’t understand the connection that I have with my babies as I tell them I can’t have children these are my children. I have had my oldest cat in more years of my life thatn the years when she wasn’t in my life before she was born; I got her when I was 11 and I always wanted to name a cat Sassy because of homeward bound and 16 years later she still lives up to her name. I have already had to put my dog Buddy down in 2004, i miss him all the time but it was the best thing for him as he was much older and compromised mobility and it was belived he had a massive systemic infection that progressed to quickly. My heart aches for you because I know what it feels like and having all senior cats and dog that will be 6 on Aug.28th the thought crosses my mind often how much time do I have left with them. They don’t live as long as we want them too but what an impact they leave on us in the short time they are here. I wish you well and my deepest sympathy in this time of sorrow. My thoughts and prayers for you.

  7. Jeanofalltrades, I totally agree with you – it is a lovely thought to know that someone is actually doing something for the animals in Bosnia. If something good can come out of the cruelty poor Vucko had to endure, it comforts me a litte bit. Sadly, he is not the only one being treated horribly there. I have sent a Christmas gift for the animals in Bosnia, and I hope many others will do the same!

  8. Angela, so sorry to hear about your cat. 23 years, that was quite an age! I feel certain that she had a wonderful life with you. I know all too well what it feels like to lose a beloved animal. 1,5 years ago I lost my doggie friend Dennis, a dog who came into my life in 1993 and lived till he was 18 years and 3 months. It was so hard to let him go, but I know he had a good life and was so much loved. There are so many, many less fortunate animals in this world – and the best way to honour those animals that leave us – and leave footprints in our hearts – is to care for and love every animal we meet.

  9. When I read that this photo was “shocking” I really had no clue what I was going to see… I was expecting I guess another picture of some ass hole sending a dog into a fight and it coming out with a few horrific bite marks or something, not for the poor babies entire face to be blown off! That’s probably the most horrific case of animal abuse I’ve ever seen…
    Rest assured vuko, while your running around happily in heaven with the kind teens who’s lives also didn’t deserve to be taken, your murderers (the ones that did this to you, not the ones that where forced to end your life, I know you knew that was best for you… I know you where happy to be found, even if it did end in death…) will be rotting away in the special place in hell reserved for people who abuse animals like this…
    Justice always comes for those who are cruel enough, who cause suffering enough, even if they have to wait until death to get that punishment.

  10. I dare not look , I had to put my wonderful dog to sleep on 3 12 12 as she was suffering with cancer and am still mourning her 😦 I already send what I can afford to support 2 dog homes in Romania, but will share the post again

  11. as soon as I am able to contribute, I will. I will keep Vucko’s story in a special folder and will donate in his memory and that of the poor Angel whose story brought me here: an innocent dog who was tortured and decapitated in bosnia. People, GOD sent us his Angels in the form of animals to find out which human is deserving of going back to heaven. There is only one place for the bastards who can do such evil to an innocent dog and we all know where that is. In memory of all tortured, abused and murdered animals like Vucko and “Bosnian Angel” GOD Bless you for saving so many of them. I will help you all very soon.



  13. Vucko, there is not a day that goes by that I don’t get reminded of what you and so many other sweet dogs like you have endured. I have a dog I think he would have loved to play with you, he had a good friend that was also a German Shepard when he was a puppy. I had to put my Buddy down in 2004, I see him everyday with his picture on my desk. When I found out about your story in early 2012, I shared it on Facebook several times. You need to be remembered and loved because you deserve nothing less. You didn’t desrve what happened to you no animal on this planet desrves what happened to you. I know you are in heaven perhaps you already met my Buddy and you are his friend and I hope you play together as he had some many mobility problems in his life which lead to my difficult choice of putting him to sleep. I know you are at peace and I agree that you and many dogs like you wouldn’t hold a grudge because you have unconditional loyalty to us and unconditional love even though many humans don’t deserve the unending loyalty and love you give us. I have unconditional love for animals and I just still can’t understand how someone could have did this. I’m so sorry for your suffering and not given a chance to reach old age, I’m sorry on behalf of humans that claim we have a civilized society. If you were still here I would be giving you kisses and hugs because even though I never met you I love you. Anytime I read your story again or see your pictures, I cry as if you were my own and this happened. i know you are safe and you will never have to fear or experience unimiginable pain ever again. Vucko, I have always loved animals and I have always been an advocate for their rights but your story has changed my life but it would have been best unchanged which would have meant you are alive and well. I can’t change what happened to you and oh I wish I could but I hope and pray all the time that we all can change to prevent any dog to have to endure what you have. You will never be forgotten peace and love from wilkes barre, pa U.S. Bless you always, Vucko! XOXO

  14. When i heard about this and read more about it i really felt like dropping down and crying and i will always feel that way WE LUV U VUCKO SO MUCH UP TO THE MOON AND BACK A BUSHEL AND A PECK AND A HUG AROUND THE NECK A BARREL AND A HEAP AND SOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUCH MORE

  15. My god, words fail me. I too am ashamed to be part of the human race. How I wish I was there to save you Vucko. There should be a special kind of hell for the people that did this to you.

  16. I agree with you, Aliana, I think this is the worst kind of animal abuse I`ve ever heard of, and I was devastated by Vucko`s story. I cried for days and hardly wanted to live anymore. Completely heartbroken. Unfortunately, there are many Vuckos in Bosnia. But there are also some good people who do help. Please check out the wonderful work of Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia and others. Noone can save everyone, but everybody can save someone.

  17. The law for animal protection MUST BE harder. People who can do things like that CAN DO IT with other people. There are no diffrence. They just train on animals first and then continue on human beings. HITLER knew about it and trained his solders to take care about a dog and then to kill it. Those who could do it had no problem to do it with children och old people. So now it is importent to make the penalty as hard as if it was made agains a human. Because next time it will be a human, no doubt. They are criminals an must get a penalty like criminals!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. Vucko, I hope you are happy in heaven. Your story brought tears to my eyes. Something must be done about animal abuse. I hope the bully who did this suffers forever.

  19. Mio caro, dolce VUČKO,
    possa tu perdonare gli “umani” che ti hanno fatto questo! Si sa, i cani perdonano ogni cosa, anche la più terribile.
    Possa tu perdonare anche me… ché sono umana.

    Elisabetta, tua amica e sorella nel Cuore.

    • My dear, sweet VUČKO,
      may you forgive “humans” who have done this!
      It is known, dogs forgive everything, even the most terrible thing.
      So may you forgive also me… because I’m human.

      Your friend and sister in the Heart Elisabetta.
      Blessings and Love, dear Sandra. And Blessings and Love to all of innocents rescuers.
      Stand up for Animals!

  20. every time i read this feel good that there are good people on this earth i pray to god please help them who don,t have their voice from people who are called human but are the most inhumane. i believe those who don,t have compassion for animals are are not fit to be called human. I pray to god to help us to in what ever way to stop the suffering of the animals in this world. i always cry when i think of the suffering of the animals.this is the story of the vucko and thousands like him. I hope we could give it to our children to be always will be worth a fortune I tryto do a bit what ever i can do for stray animals. I don,t let any body bully them. it is worth having a friend like them who brings smile to my face.

  21. i live in india as we have hot weather what we do in summer we keep water in earthen pots on our terrace and outside our houses and grains for birds. birds and animal they don,t die with thirst in summer. as in west people are non veg what ever left over are their of chicken we can make a simple stew with boiling water this way the dogs and kitten can keep themselves warm and it will remove their hunger also. you don,t have to spend much money on this. if every body can take a small initiative like this all over the world i think it can bring a great change, and they will also go garbage dumps.

    • Madelyn I am so sorry you read all this. It’s too much for adults to read let alone for you at 12. You are very brave. I believe there is a single dog ‘soul’ and that even if we can only love and care for one dog, somehow this means we are caring for all dogs, for the great dog soul. So you are helping all dogs by the care of your chihuahua xo


  23. Well, I remember my dog Harley and its a different dog and he got ran over by a truck. Always will remember Harley a labor retriever

  24. When I saw this story my heart broke. I can not believe what people will do to living things to have fun. I am so disappointed in these teenagers I can even express how much I hope they regret what had happened. I know that after some things people change and make better choices and become another person, but something this cruel I hope that it will haunt them for the rest of there lives. I am so upset by this and I am currently in tears. I want to leave a message to Vucko.
    Dear Vucko,
    I hope that you have now found peace with yourself and have forgiven those teens and remember that sometimes people make bad choices, but you can always forgive even if they ruined you. And remember you can have a much better life in heaven and remember you can play with all my dead dogs. I hope that you think it’s much better up there and forget about everything… It is in the past….

  25. This is absolutely horrific, I live in Australia and own two dogs, both adopted from the rescue shelter, one was severely neglected and abused and still has a large scar from where a tight wire was wrapped around his neck, the other was microchipped by the owner but came stray and was taken to the rescue centre, where they tracked the owner down, he arrived two days later and said that he wasn’t interested in the ‘stupid dog’. The dog with the scar is a lovely Rhodesian ridgeback purebred and was sold extremely cheap by the RSPCA because they charge standard rates for each dog, my family was expecting him to be double the price and my mother fell in love with the abandoned puppy, who is a mixed breed (kelpie cross cattle dog) she is extremely clever and we love her to death, it’s really not about the money because if you truly love something it’s not about the money I love and agree with what you are doing here it’s so upsetting to see what people can do to animals I’m a massive animal lover and I will never forgive people who do this sort of thing to other animals. A few weeks ago a beautiful dog was run over by a car approximately 10 times before the cruel people shot it in the stomach over 30 times while it was still alive, they left it for dead and it was dead before the owners (who I personally know) found him, still alive and put him down quickly to save him from the pain. The owners of the dog are lovely people who would never do that to a dog and love animals too, they set up a shelter for stray dogs and the numbers have reduced by 10% in the last month. I completely agree to this and I absolutely love this idea. The cruel people who did this to that dog were caught and are serving 2 years in prison for it, they will never be allowed to handle or own animals ever again and will never be allowed to own firearms ever again. THANK YOU FOR DOING THIS YOU HAVE MY TOTAL AND UTTER SUPPORT FOR THIS!!

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