Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo

CULLture

Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH writes:

On June 30th the Government of Canton Sarajevo issued a decision ordering the hygienic service of Public utility company “Rad” Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company “Veterinary station” Ltd. Sarajevo to begin mass catching of stray dogs in Sarajevo.

Authorities of Canton Sarajevo admit they don’t in fact have enough places to put caught stray dogs and more details about the mass actions will be published on Monday.

What we do know is that the hygienic service of “Rad” will actively be catching stray dogs in Sarajevo, and to a greater degree than ever before.

The hygienic service/dog catching service of P. E. “Rad” Ltd. of Canton Sarajevo began working on the 14th of August, 2015. The assembly of Canton Sarajevo voted to establish this hygienic service in March, 2015, after the Bosnian media portals presented months of debate between animal protection activists and organisations and the government authorities. Canton Sarajevo’s efforts to establish this hygienic service failed in the autumn of 2014 after activists uncovered that the government had, in fact, issued an illegal decision to establish the service.

Most of the dogs caught by dog catchers of “Rad” are taken to the Cantonal veterinary station of Canton Sarajevo (Stup) where the dogs are examined and then taken to shelters for stray dogs.

10801687_379932732183613_2004348567224426053_nHowever, the hygienic service of P. E. “Rad” Ltd. does not fulfil the conditions required for a legal hygienic service, conditions which are provided by the laws of the country.

The most disturbing fact is that the director of this hygienic service is the notorious Mustafa Maglajlija. He was the director of an illegal killing pound that existed within “Rad” until 2009. Dog catchers’ service of P. E. “Rad” was previously active until 2009, and became a notorious group of dog catchers who were known for their mass slaughter of stray dogs in Canton Sarajevo. All these atrocities happened under the supervision of Mustafa Maglajlija. Also, the headquarters of the new hygienic service are in the same building as that of the former killing pound which is now full of stray dogs that have been caught by the new team of “Rad“. It is impossible to enter to the facility but witnesses have confirmed new dogs are arriving all the time.

It is obvious that the government of Canton Sarajevo has established a new facility for money laundering that is trying to work in the same way as it worked until 2009. The dog catching service of “Rad” wants to establish the same policy of killing as the Lokom dog catching service established since 2013.
Untitled2Mass catching of stray dogs in Sarajevo will cause existing shelters to become even more overcrowded than ever. These public shelters do not provide even the barest minimum of health and safety for dogs.

According to provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals of Bosnia every municipality is obliged to establish and finance shelters for stray animals as well as hygienic services to catch and transport stray animals to veterinary stations and shelters. Two very important laws were legislated in 2010: laws on the establishment of and conditions within shelters for stray animals and hygienic services. Both laws 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 a very different state of affairs and animals within these shelters and caught by the ‘dog catchers’ suffer greatly.

This decision of the Government of Canton Sarajevo is an illegal decision because there are no shelters that fulfil the conditions required by the law. Before a mass action of catching of dogs can be organised, legal shelters must be built and a register of pets must be established.

When authorities finance the catching and placing of stray dogs in illegal shelters, authorities are committing criminal offences according to Bosnian criminal laws. These offences include cruelty to and killing of animals, money laundering and abuse of an office or official authority.

Article 318 of Criminal Law of Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina

Cruelty towards and Killing of an Animal

(1) Whoever severely maltreats an animal or exposes it to unnecessary or long-lasting suffering, or causes it unnecessary pain, or unlawfully destroys animals’ habitats in a larger scale or within a wider area, or kills animals contrary to regulations, shall be punished by a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding six months.

(2) Whoever perpetrates the criminal offence referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article for the bet or other material gain, or if, by the criminal offence referred to in paragraph 1 of this Article, the death of larger number of animals or protected species is caused, shall be punished by a fine or imprisonment for a term not exceeding one year.

In Bosnia Herzegovina there are many illegal shelters for stray animals managed by persons close to Bosnian authorities. Politically eligible persons construct so-called shelters for stray animals, which basically have the a function a concentration camp. The managers /owners of these shelters invoice for false spay/neuter programs, for food that will never be given to the animals; for veterinary examination and treatment, and at the end, a means for euthanasia.

P1020736Animals are tortured and killed in those shelters. Animals are beaten, cut, clubbed, and worse. Animals are not given adequate water, food, accommodation, they freeze or are exposed to extremely high temperatures. Animals are killed with wires, clubs, glass shreds, poison, firearms.

In the meantime, the local authorities finance people who own those shelters. In addition there are a number of illegal hygienic services which receive money from budgets from different municipalities. These hygienic services kill stray animals, but receive money for food, medications, treatment, catching of stray animals as well as their placement as if they are alive.

Praca shelter, the only registered and the biggest shelter in Bosnia has many problems. It is overcrowded, but at least people are allowed to donate food and medications for dogs, and rescuers are able help to maintain the shelter and provide food, but the situation is still not ideal by any means. This shelter should have been financed by all the municipalities of Canton Sarajevo, but after it was published how much of the budget money had been spent for illegal activities, the shelter was forgotten, but many new dogs were placed there. Apparently, dozens of new dogs are arriving at Praca shelter because of the mass catching of stray dogs in Sarajevo.

Gladnopuppies copyDogs caught are also being taken to the shelter of Gladno Polje in Sarajevo. Rescuers also do their best to take care of the dogs here, but the situation is also critical. More dogs are coming in all the time and the money that is allocated for the shelter by the municipality authorities is not in fact used to provide food other necessities for the dogs and the shelter. Those funds are laundered by establishment of the shelter and authorities.

Because of money laundering through illegal shelters, Bosnian authorities in fact want to have more stray dogs on the streets, not less as they publicise to the citizens. If there are increasing numbers of dogs on the streets, then more dogs can be killed/removed and more money can be stolen.

The paradox is that the veterinary inspection and the police, while being obliged to prevent and punish illegal dog catchers, in fact support them and protect their illegal activities.

gladnosadpuppyActivists are facing the biggest challenge ever and we are fighting against a corrupt system. Police officers and veterinary inspectors have filed a lot of minor offence warrants against activists who are saving animals and fighting against the dog catchers. Since the accusations are false and warrants are not filed in accordance with Bosnian law, activists will prove, before the court in Sarajevo, that the police officers and veterinary inspectors are involved in criminal activities.

The first thing the authorities and the establishment of “Rad” must do is to fulfil the legal obligation of transparency: which means that it must be possible for dogs caught by them to be visited and monitored by activists and citizens.

It is necessary to force the authorities to implement the law and provide a transparent and legal dog catching service and it is clear that we can only force them to do so by filing not only criminal reports but a private suit against all officials who are abusing their position.

The Bosnian law on Protection and Welfare of Animals is one of the best in Europe. In spite of this, a great body of evidence has been gathered and presented to prosecutors and the police about illegal activities. And while there are several on-going investigations into money laundering through illegal shelters and hygienic services, all these atrocities are still happening. It is one of the worst violations of the Criminal Code in Bosnian history.

International focus and help is the only solution for animals in Bosnia. It is very important that international animal welfare organisations, embassies as well as individuals press the Bosnian authorities to stop P1020644killing of animals.

The only way to protect animals in Bosnia is to force Bosnian authorities to actually implement their own laws. Rescuers and NGOs should be overtly involved in implementation of the law. There are so many projects and ideas that could be done in accordance with the law in order to control population of the stray animals in humane and effective ways. Those projects are available in both the short and long term, but the authorities do not avail themselves of these solutions.

The imperative is to stop the killing and to enable rescuers to have access to all shelters and dog catching services, not only is this a legal obligation of the authorities, but rescuers can actually assist with the monitoring of the shelters and looking after the animals. Authorities must take their responsibility for solving this problem.

Silence on many international subjects is something we all should worry about. Only public and international pressure can force authorities to start doing their job. People who wish to help Bosnian stray animals should inform their embassies, the international animal protection and welfare organisations and media, letting them know that the situation in Bosnia is not much different than in Romania and other countries where stray animals suffer enormous cruelty.

Rescuers in Bosnia cannot save all strays. So many more lives could be saved if the authorities are forced to implement their own laws.

HOW TO HELP: Please see this post What to do about Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo? which has information on how to locate your embassy, and a draft letter you can modify to send, to them. Please address also your letters to the Bosnian authorities here:

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

You may add to your letter the following transcript of the speech Dalida Kozlic delivered during the session of the Assembly of Canton Sarajevo.

The problem of overpopulation of stray dogs is a direct consequence of the failure to implement, as well as a series of obstructions and misuse of the Act on the Protection and Welfare of Bosnia and Herzegovina, which has been lasting since 2009 when the law came into force. The Act on Protection Act and Welfare of Animals of Bosnia and Herzegovina is a lex specialis (the main legislation) in the field of treating animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The Act, as well as related by-laws, are the main legal framework for all other laws and by-laws that are legislated by the legislative authorities at any level of organization of authority in Bosnia and Herzegovina, which regulate the relation, keeping and treatment of animals.

By attempting only a partial and non-systematic implementation of the Act, the agony of stray dogs on the streets as well as citizens will only widen further, and budget funds will be spent on non-purpose, illegal and unsystematic attempts to solve the problem. Instead of solving the problem with legal solutions, authorities have been financing the killing of stray animals in illegal pounds for years. Financing of illegal pounds is a violation of the provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, as well as a serious offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Failure to implement the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals is the result of a series of abuses and obstructions as well as of the authorities dealing only with consequences and not with the causes of the problem, and the causes are the abandonment of animals, irresponsible ownership and uncontrolled reproduction.

Increased numbers of dogs on the streets is always and only a direct result of irresponsible ownership, and failure to implement preventive measures that are provided by the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, such as punishing those who abandon animals, the full identification of ownership and pets, 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 Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals very clearly and precisely 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 provided by the Ordinance on the establishment and the conditions that must be fulfilled by shelters for stray animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina. Another legal obligation of the authorities is the registration of ownership of animals.

For seven years the State Veterinary Office has not enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor has established a unified register of ownership of animals. Abandoning of animals by their owners is a direct generator of the problem, and the cause of abandoning of animals is the policy of impunity of people who abandon their animals. The only way to solve this problem is for municipalities and cantons to establish their own registries of ownership of animals, and this will significantly contribute to improving the situation in the canton, and then the entity and state level. Sarajevo Canton authorities have already been offered software for the registration of ownership of animals.

If the registry of tagged animals and owners of animals is established, it will enable the identification, prosecution and punishment of people who abandon the animals. The implementation of repressive measures will directly affect the consciousness of citizens and achieve the functions of general and special prevention and repression. Because of the absence of a register of breeders, illegal breeding causes an increasing of number of stray animals. Irresponsible or unregistered breeders and breeding contributes to increasing the number of stray animals.

Although it is their legal obligation, municipalities and cities refuse to finance the construction and maintenance of shelters for stray animals because of poor financial conditions, but we witness everyday improper and illegal spending of budget funds. Also false information about the cost of maintaining shelters is published. If violators of the provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals are punished, the funds raised from fines ought to be directed towards the construction and maintenance of shelters for stray animals. Also implementation of the Act of Protection and Welfare of Animals can be financed by funds collected from legally obligatory vaccination of dogs against rabies. Until shelters for stray animals are built, municipalities can assist by financing the feeding of stray animals, and authorities are obliged to implement spay/neuter projects.

If the shelters for stray animals, which must be “centres for treatment and adopting of stray animals,” are built and maintained in accordance with state regulations and law, and if there is an appropriate policy for establishing and managing shelters, the cost will be low. Quality education and raising awareness of the citizens will mean an increase in the percentage of adoption of abandoned animals.

Hygienic services are directly related to the existence of shelters for stray animals and because of this, the establishment of hygienic services cannot be an independent measure to solve the problem and to decrease the population of stray animals. Hygienic services must be established in accordance with the provisions of the law on the establishment and the conditions that hygienic services must fulfil in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The purpose of a hygienic service is capturing and transport of stray animals to veterinary stations and shelters. Certainly the establishment of a legal hygienic services is necessary, but hygienic services cannot exist and work without implementing all the other legal obligations of the authorities, especially without building shelters. If hygienic services work without implementing all the provisions and measures provided by the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, those services do not solve the problem and they are perfect grounds for different abuses and misuses of the laws. The working of hygienic service of Public company “Rad” Ltd. without full implementation of Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals represents an improper and illegal spending of budget funds.

Only by full implementation of Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, misuse and illegal killing in shelters and hygienic services can be prevented. Also, all responsible authorities such as Veterinary Office, Veterinary inspection, authorised official veterinarians, police, etc., must be involved in the implementation of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, and it is their legal obligation. Authorities have failed to fulfil their legal obligations and many authorities that are responsible for implementation of the Act have actually violated the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals. Such illegal behaviour must be punished and prevented.

Preventing of abuse, which are particularly related to the fact that stray dogs can “ disappear” is only possible by consistent implementation of all the measures stipulated by the Act on the protection and welfare of Bosnia and Herzegovina, as the maximum commitment and legal responsibility for the implementation of the Law on the protection and welfare of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and these are the SVO, Inspectorates of veterinary inspection, an authorized official veterinarians, police officers and others. Such engagement is so far absent even in many of the cases which are violations of the law by those responsible for its implementation.

You should be aware that the partial and manipulating misuse of Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, which has been in practice so far, only makes an even greater and longer-lasting problem. The problem of overpopulation of stray dogs in Sarajevo Canton can be solved by the registration of ownership of dogs, engaging a certified trainer for the protection of animals to educate people, assistance in developing of a strategy to solve the problem of stray animals and finally the building self-sustaining shelters for stray animals.

Without complete and consistently implementing of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, the problem of overpopulation of stray animals will not be solved. It is important to end the illegal practice of partial implementation of the law which is a criminal offence and which causes the problem to become even more complicated and difficult.

10006087_10203823803458316_4186946809907017188_o
Also there is a petition you can sign, but it is our experience these petitions do not make much difference. It is better to send emails and letters as suggested above.

Two videos from AWABosnia’s visit to Sarajevo in 2014:

 


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

_____________________________________________

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.

paypal_banner

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.

______________________________________________

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.

Stray Dogs in Sarajevo: a documentary

13425_10206975866062246_592115921099283898_nThe following is a documentary by the French director and journalist Julien Tridat who investigated the issue of the infamous ‘dog catchers’ of P.E. “Lokum” of Novi Grad who Dalida Kozlic and others have been trying to bring to justice. Dalida and other rescuers are interviewed in the film:

Screen Shot 2016-06-15 at 14.51.56

The blurb to the video says: “Since the end of the war in Bosnia in 1995, it is estimated that more than 100,000 stray dogs were killed in Sarajevo. While taking care of abandoned animals was not the center of attention Bosnian authorities during the rebuilding of the ruined city, in recent years, under pressure from the European Union, they introduced strict rules relating to the treatment of stray dogs. However, the situation is not in conformity with what is on paper: Activists for animal care accuse authorities of brutality, corruption and abuse of animals. French journalist Julien Trdat has researched this gripping story of Sarajevo.”

The film has English voice over for the most part, but sadly not for what some of the most notorious killers of dogs said when interviewed (eg Mustafa Mrkulić), but the voice over explains the situation very well.



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

_____________________________________________

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.

paypal_banner

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.

______________________________________________

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.

Praca: can a horror shelter be turned around?

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 18.02.54If you have been reading this blog you will know about the horror shelters of Bosnia. Places that are little better – often worse – than concentration camps for dogs. These shelters are supposed to be publicly funded, and compliant with the animal welfare laws of the country – laws which are, in fact, very good. But the laws are not implemented, and the money pocketed by shelter owners or local authorities. In most shelters the dogs are barely fed, not sterilised, and not given any veterinary treatment. In 2013 we published shocking photographs taken secretly in Praca shelter, Sarajevo, a shelter that was opened in 2011.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 18.09.08Since then – all we’ve heard are more horror stories. It is usually very hard, dangerous even, for rescuers to help dogs in public shelters – it’s not in the interests of the owners to have anyone see what is going on or to try and help the dogs.

But, in January of this year there was a meeting between rescuers in Sarajevo, to see if there could be a group effort regarding Praca shelter.  Sadly, only a very small group of rescuers continued after this initial meeting, but much has been done to help these dogs since then, thanks to the dedication and hard work of this small group of rescuers. They do need your help to continue. Please see the end of the post for how you can help.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 17.53.46A written agreement was made between the NGO SAN (Save the Animals Now – http://savetheanimals.ba/ ) founded 6 years ago, and Praca’s owner. The agreement was that the rescuers would help obtain food donations to feed the dogs,  would try to re-home the dogs and provide any urgent veterinary help for those who are in dire need.
The agreement was made to last until April 18th of this year.

What the rescuers – the Praca Management Group – encountered in Praca is almost impossible to describe. Dogs living amongst faeces that hadn’t been cleaned since the shelter opened; dogs living for months – or more – cramped in too small kennels, dogs killing each other just to eat one morsel of food. dogs terrified of light of a human voice. dogs whose physical anatomy had become deformed due to being caged for so long,  dogs who had never seen real dog food, dogs who had never been petted, never heard a warm normal human voice, never known anything except shouting, beatings and hunger.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 17.50.29

Mia Ožegović, one of the rescuers committed to helping the dogs in Praca, states: “When I see death camps for humans all over the world and through history,  I realize that nothing has happened, nothing changed. we humans only shifted this attitude toward dogs …. Stray dogs.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 17.58.48Mia Ožegović also told us: “The workers in Praca are uninterested in any way to either do their job or to deal with dogs. They are mostly drunk. Last week we went to feed the dogs & clean the kennels & take some photos of the dogs that are adoptable. In the bottom kennels we encountered a corpse of a dog ….. The corpse was bloodless,  stone hard,  larvae had already spread all over …. That poor dog had been dead for well over 3 days, lying in the center of its kennel in plain sight and the workers didn’t notice ….I have seen all the Shelters in Bosnia. Gladno Polje,Gorazde, etc,  and none compare to this ….”

The rescuers took an initial estimate of the numbers of dogs in the shelter. There were 273 dogs.  Out of those 273 dogs, 90% were born or came to Praca when they were not even a year old. “Imagine a sea, vast sea of eyes, howls, cries, screams of living & breathing beings who have been incarcerated for well over 3 or 4 years …. Because this is actually it, a prison, a death camp.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 17.52.17There is a dog there whose beauty leaves you speechless.  I spotted her once and the next time I went to Praca I couldn’t find her in the kennels nor anywhere …. I spent weeks and weeks trying to find her.  I figured they must have moved her or some dogs from that same kennel and she either escaped into the mine fields which surround the shelter,  or something “else” happened … Last week, while I was feeding & cleaning the dogs’ kennels, I went again into every single one and even into those which seem deserted.  I shouted and called out for her.

Screen Shot 2016-05-18 at 22.09.40 In the darkest, most humid and cold kennel, I saw a pair of eyes gazing at me …. I squatted and begged for those eyes to just come out,  promising I didn’t mean any harm, I just want to see those eyes in that little light that was coming in from a cracked roof … And she came out. The speechless beauty came out …. I found her. I would have been ecstatic with joy from finding her but her eyes made my heart shiver and my whole body numb … The beauty which I saw in her,  the workers didn’t. She was beaten. she must have been pulled with a leash pole from that 1st kennel to this one, like a  piece of garbage or a carpet ….She was petrified of me.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 17.49.25Cleaning the kennels is a job for some science fiction character. The faeces make a one inch layer in each kennel, that’s impossible to clean or remove because over this length of time,  the layer has become stone hard,  it merged with the cement floor.”

The shelter is poorly constructed.  Electricity is only available in the room where the “workers” are. Water freezes in winter. And since this is a mountain area, the temperature drops even in March and for water the rescuers have to go to the nearby stream or a further away public fountain / well. Dogs don’t get food on daily basis from the workers, and the food is either a stone hard piece of bread with fungus all over it or raw chicken legs. Many of the dogs can’t even eat this food due to their age and the fact that they bite the fence so their teeth are damaged – cracked, worn out from trying to escape their destiny to be confined to this prison.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 18.02.09

Mia says: “Once they hear our car approaching ( which broke btw, cause you cannot haul 150-200 kilos of food every week with a small car whose suspense system is not suited for this …they go frantic. Once you give the food to them, and try to dispense it all over the kennel, you start praying … You start praying they don’t kill each other because of the food. That’s why we couldn’t put bowls down at first, that’s why we had to spread the food all over the place so they didn’t fight one another.”

Since the rescuers have been going regularly to feed the dogs under the new contract with the shelter owner, the dogs are very much calmer, and seem to know exactly what to expect when they hear the girls arrive and they do not fight over the kibble. If they do fight, it is when the girls are not there and the shelter “workers” toss bones into the cages.

Mia says: “After we feed them, we get in to check on them. Their joy to see you entering to give them affection, pet them, share a kind word, baffles me.  My dog at home doesn’t love me as much as these dogs do.”

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 17.58.22Apart from hunger and the need of quality de-worming pills, anti-tick medication, the dogs also desperately need grooming. The vast majority of them are long-coated mixes, they have never been brushed, so the matted coats actually stop them from move normally – walking, lying down, eating – all are difficult with the extent of the mats in their coat.

The rescuers managed to fix as much as the could with a pair of scissors. This wasn’t done for aesthetic reasons, but purely health reasons. Many dogs had plant seeds growing from their matted coats. inflamed skin, faeces embedded into their coats.

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 18.09.33Mia tells us: “There is even a female, spayed in the Dog’s Trust program but who is having puppies. We tried to address this to Dogs Trust but they did nothing to sort this out. I will try again to address this this week, because we have photos, videos, number of the ear tag and so on. The vet who is responsible for this found out that we will file a complaint about this,  and he called the workers to beg us to “not do it”. Rumours say that the government wants to buy Praca once and for all  – which would mean doors closed for anyone let alone rescuers. It would make it a kill shelter. Our main concern is getting all the adoptable dogs out. Our need is to find shelters abroad, charities that deal with specific breeds, private foster homes, any relocating solution , so that these adoptable, issue-free dogs can get out once and for all. I know that it can be done. I know because I’m seeing how funds are raised for such causes,  and I know that it should be done.

Each time I leave Praca, I’m followed by thousand eyes & hundreds of cries, pleas, to come back and take some of them with me to freedom...”

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 18.02.26

Please go to the official YouTube channel of the Praca Management Group to see more videos from the shelter.

The rescuers involved with the Praca Managemnet Group are doing everything they can for these dogs. The cages and houses for all 300 dogs get cleaned properly at least once a week and nowadays also on some weekdays. That means the girls can distract the more anxious dogs with a few handfuls of food on the floor while they unlock the doors and go inside with food bowls or pieces of old food sacks to put their meals on. Otherwise they would get knocked over and the bowls sent flying each time they opened a door. With the arrival of two new electric clippers, the girls are now starting to remove the worst of the mats and knots on the coats of the long-haired dogs. There are many plans for the future – including finishing the building of the new roof – quite a few sheds are dry already.

Clearly so much is needed to be done for these dogs. While some people have suggested the owners of the shelter and local government authorities be approached to make changes, this has been tried in the past to no avail, and sometimes, to the detriment of the dogs. Currently, only way for the rescuers to continue is to try to work with the situation as it is. Food, vet treatment, shelter renovations, homes are needed. The list is endless, and funds are desperately needed. Can you help?

Please join the Facebook group: Praca Management Group

There is a YouCaring raising funds for a new roof. This is a critical need, rain is pouring into the kennels.
Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 23.30.25

If you want to donate for their food, veterinary needs. etc please use the following PayPal donate4praca@savetheanimals.ba

For more information, please contact the Praca Management Group via their e-mail: pracamanagement@gmail.com

RELATED POSTS:

Dogs found slaughtered outside Shelter in Sarajevo
What to do about Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo?
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
THE HORROR SHELTERS OF BOSNIA – SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

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
Mass Graves Found Near Dog “Shelter”
Hresa Shelter:
Part One – Part Two – Part Three – Part Four – Part Five – Part Six – Part Seven

Screen Shot 2016-05-17 at 17.57.05

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS
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.

paypal_banner

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.

Monstrous Killing and Injuring of Stray Dogs in Zenica, Bosnia!

13103385_10208334428711136_5621512028657548843_n
Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH writes:

13062474_10208334428831139_5100393005068133087_nA new murder of a stray dog has happened in Bosnia and once again all people who love and fight for the rights of animals are facing an extremely brutal and worrying case.

This killing happened in city of Zenica, on the 27th April 2016. A local stray dog was shot from a building near the football stadium Bilino Polje, by an unknown shooter using a rifle. A number of people – including children – witnessed this crime. They called volunteers of the well organised and professional animal welfare organisation SAPA Zenica, but unfortunately the injured dog died 40 minutes later due to internal injuries, in particular injuries to the lungs.

13118918_10208334429031144_3138017904785274330_n

Volunteers who found him told us:

His heart was slowly beating, there was no blood around the shot wound, but inside, the dog was choking as his lungs were filling with blood, and as he was looking at us while trying to take his last breath. He was not alone. Is it a comfort, I do not know, as there can be no comfort for an innocent God’s creature dying, being shot to death, killed by a monster.

We will not let go, there must be a sentencing according to the Criminal Code of the Federation and the killer must be sentenced.

Today a dog, tomorrow someone of us.

I am sorry little one, I am sorry, we call you Medo, run Medo run free of pain somewhere over the rainbow.

Volunteers and management of SAPA organisation have filed a criminal report against the killer, whose identity is unknown, and they have informed the Bosnian media about this case.

And….another brutal attack on a stray dog occurred in Zenica this week….
13177653_10208384895652778_4995569397725358575_n
Dzeki is a famous stray dog in Zenica, much loved and known to SAPA as their beloved ‘mascot’ of Zenica. Dzeki was brutally attacked and injured with a knife by an unknown person. This attacker caused a deep injury requiring immediate medical attention. Volunteers of SAPA Zenica took her to Sarajevo where veterinarians were shocked by the extent of her injuries. Dzeki is recovering at the moment, but her condition isn’t stable yet. X-Rays showed that there is no internal bleeding, but she is very weak. Her initial surgery lasted two and a half hours.


Volunteers have also rescued Dzeki’s daughter to keep her company: “Dzeki’s daughter Malena is now with her because they are always together… Dzeki had 9 babies, 8 were killed! Only Malena survived! They are always together. 6 years…

13103502_10208392573964731_4782243935745381444_nIt is believed that a single offender committed these two criminal offences: torturing and killing animals which is a criminal offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina, as well as the criminal offence of provoking general danger to the public.

There are specific and particular dangerous aspects of these cases. Medo, the dog who died was shot in the middle of day from a building while the surrounding park was full of people and playing children. The part of Zenica where this poor dog was killed is almost in the centre of the city. In addition, the killer clearly intended to kill an innocent dog in the middle of day. The attack on Dzeki also occurred in the centre of Zenica. Using a knife without any fear in the centre of the third biggest Bosnian city proves that animal welfare activists in Zenica are dealing with a very dangerous psychopath.

13177881_10208392553524220_3696317325594732577_nSince dozens of helpless dogs are exposed to this psychopath who intentionally knows what he is doing and who is fully aware of his actions and the consequences, all activists and rescuers demand that the Prosecutor’s office and the Police of Zenica – Doboj Canton investigate this case and finds the identity of a killer and brings him to justice.

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.

Currently costs for helping Dzeki include transport are 30€, X-Ray 25 € , Blood tests 30€, a total of 85€.  If she does not need another surgery they have to pay daly therapy and pension at the vet of 10€ per day. We don’t have full costs of the surgery but will update here. If you want to help Dzeki, SAPA Paypal is sapazenica09@yahoo.com and please mark that it is for Dzeki. 
13124743_10208387342673952_6996633911066968553_nSAPA 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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RELATED POSTS:

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
DOG TORTURED WITH WIRE IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS
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.

paypal_banner

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.

The responsibility of an animal rescuer

By Dalida Kozlic

Not so long time ago, I wrote a post about animal rescuers who have been doing the work of Bosnian authorities.

12803266_1132172030149396_1481751104226047188_nSummary is that NGOs, rescuers, activists and ordinary people have had to find a way to save as many animals as possible. Because of this awful and paradoxical situation, many private shelters  – kennels – called “pensions” have been built in Bosnia.  Rescuers are forced, at great financial cost, to take their rescues to these pensions since they cannot keep a lot of dogs at their home.  Many rescuers have in fact turned their homes into shelters, but the difficulties here are enormous and there is a limited number they can keep.

When a Bosnian rescuer finds a wounded or abused stray dog or cat, they must take all responsibility if they are to rescue the animal: they must take the dog or cat to the vet on their own and they have to pay veterinary costs and costs of pensions in order to save the lives of these strays. This is the only way to save stray dogs and cats in this country, and yet all these things are actually the obligation of the Bosnian authorities. But, not only do rescuers do the authorities’ job, many of them are actually attacked by the Bosnian authorities because every time a rescuer saves the life of a stray animal, the rescuer is actually preventing the authorities from catching and then killing that animal – which means they are preventing them from pocketing money. Bosnian authorities use public dog shelters and dog catching services to launder money from the budget by killing stray animals and then pocketing money that is in fact meant for food and veterinary services for these animals. The more dogs the rescuers rescue, the fewer animals the authorities can use in these illegal money-making activities.

12809714_10207668953555492_3787774917193158948_nAfter 15 years of rescue work and hundreds of saved and adopted animals, I can tell you that running an animal rescue is not an easy job. There are a staggering number of animals who need help every day and if a rescuer can or cannot intervene, it’s often a case of life or death for the animal.

People often tell me they can’t visit animal shelters in Bosnia because it makes them sad. Animal shelters make Bosnian rescuers sad, too, but we refuse to let our emotions get in the way of saving lives. We understand we can’t save them all but we can and do make a difference. Alone, rescuers have shed many tears for animals they can’t save. But they get up the next day and get back into the ring as they fight for those creatures who can’t speak for themselves.

Screen Shot 2015-09-24 at 17.34.33The number of lives we can save is dictated by the amount of funds raised and every adoption is a victory and a joy.

Responsibility of the animal rescuers is huge. Thousands of lives depend on us and our ability to find places to keep them safe, provide a veterinary care and find right forever homes.

Responsibility to save a being’s life is the biggest responsibility in the world. If we fail to provide the right care for saved animals, we fail to save their lives. There is a famous quote saying: “In rescuing animals I lost my mind, but I found my soul“. This is an absolute truth.

Rescue isn’t a verb, it is a promise that every rescuer gives animals.

MalaYou must make sure that whatever actions you take are in the best interest of the animals, and when you live in Bosnia it is very difficult to have the best solutions if you want to save a dog or cat’s life. Rescuers are often forced to choose between saving lives and finding finances to pay for pensions and veterinary care needed for their existing rescues. But it is a price we all pay for the situation in our country.

Rescuing doesn’t end once an animal is out of a death situation. It is important to take the time necessary with each animal and make sure that all the proper steps are taken to find them a loving, permanent home. Rescuing animals is a very high stress endeavour. Caring for them requires 24 hour a day, 7 days a week and there is an additional huge stress because of the fundraising needed to be done to do the work and to keep the animals safe. Fundraising is almost a full time job. It is important not to underestimate the amount of care and the level of commitment that is necessary to save animals in Bosnia.

As rescuers we know that every time we save an animal there is the possibility that this animal can make a profound impact on one person’s life. We dream of a day when our services won’t be needed, where there is a loving home waiting for every dog and cat in the world.

By Dalida Kozlic
Screen Shot 2016-04-04 at 20.37.39

NOTE: If you want to help Dalida Kozlic with funding to assist her to continue her rescue work,  her PayPal account is: eldar.kozlic1@gmail.com – or you can donate via AWABosnia as below – just be sure to mark your donation for ‘Dalida Kozlic.’

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

2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
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!

_____________________________________________

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.

paypal_banner

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.

______________________________________________

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.

Dogs found slaughtered outside Shelter in Sarajevo

12795371_1198910400120748_3223911296231228917_n (1)Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH writes:

A new brutal murder of stray dogs has happened in Sarajevo and once again all the people who love and fight for rights of animals are facing an extremely worrying case. An American citizen, who helps dogs in shelter Gladno Polje, as well as stray dogs around the shelter, this week found the corpses of two stray dogs near the shelter. She had been looking for missing dogs for a few days, before she found the bodies of dead dogs. Those dogs had lived outside the shelter before they were killed. One of the dogs was a female dog, thrown into water.

12376792_1198910526787402_1874474239753990798_nThe second dog was also a stray dog which had its hind paws tied up and its body ripped apart. It was obvious that the dogs had been killed in a brutal way and that someone had intentionally left their corpses in the area near the shelter. Since they were disfigured, it was impossible to conclude exactly how the dogs had been killed. The number of cases of torturing of animals has been increasing in Sarajevo, and as well as all other cases, this crime is going to be reported to Prosecutor’s office. It is more than obvious that Sarajevo is a city that is full of psychopaths and this brutal crime proves this once more.

Rescuers are very concerned because those dogs have been killed in an area with a large populations of stray dogs. Gladno Polje is a public “shelter” near Sarajevo. More than 100 dogs live in this shelter in very bad conditions. The area of the shelter is open and anyone can enter there without being checked.  The strays that live outside and in the area of the shelter are exposed to this unknown offender who has proven that he is a brutal person. The method of committing this crime was particularly distressing as it was obvious one of dogs had been tied up. Dozens of helpless dogs are exposed to this psychopath who intentionally knows what he does and who is fully aware of actions and the consequences. The most important thing for this type of person is to be satisfied by expressing power and control over a helpless creature and thus temporarily alleviate his frustrations and / or complexes… until the next time…

12832423_1198910463454075_2680432144058533088_nHere is the transcript of the American citizen who found the dogs:

“Four puppies were dumped by the overpass at Gladno Polje shelter about a month ago. We had been feeding them and a chain link fence had kept them safe from the bigger dogs. Then last week, one of the puppies was missing, which was strange because they were always together. This past Monday evening I was relieved to see there were still there. But when I arrived on Tuesday afternoon, there were only two puppies. I walked all around the shelter, up the hill under the overpass, slogged through the creek and the mud–no puppy. What I found instead was what at first appeared to be a large mossy rock in the water. Then I realized it had fur. I dragged it out and saw that it was a female dog who was either pregnant or nursing. She had what looked like a gunshot wound on her side. I realized how urgent it was to find the puppy so I left her and kept looking. And that is when I found another dog lying dead in the bushes. His back legs had been tied together and he had huge wounds all over as though he had been literally torn apart. I’ve seen dead dogs that have been eaten by birds and this was not that. Some sick individual obviously thought it would be entertaining to incapacitate this poor creature and let another animal torture it to death. I wish I could say that I buried them, but the truth is I was so sickened that I left them there. I searched frantically for the puppy for another hour but he and the other missing puppy have vanished. I just hope to God that they manage to stay safe.”

If you wish to assist the rescuers in their efforts to save the dogs you can donate via the YouCaring: FEED STARVING DOGS OF GLADNO POLJE THIS WINTER SEASON

Screen Shot 2016-03-12 at 16.16.11
RELATED POSTS:

Shelters in Bosnia Herzegovina
What to do about Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo?
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
THE HORROR SHELTERS OF BOSNIA – SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!

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

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS
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.

paypal_banner

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.

When Bosnian Activists do the Work of the Authorities

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 23.12.14

By Dalida Kozlic

The Bosnian War was an international armed conflict that took place in Bosnia and Herzegovina between 1992 and 1995. Casualties of the war were not only people. Animals also were casualties and suffered during the war. Bosnia and Herzegovina did not have the Animal Protection and Welfare Act until 2009. This law was legislated and entered into force by Parliamentary Assembly in 2009 and now torturing and killing animals is a criminal offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Stray dogs have always been killed in Bosnia. Before the legislation of the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals in 2009, organised groups of hunters killed stray dogs in all cities, even in the middle of day. It was still illegal, but no one wanted to investigate and punish the hunters because they received a lot of money from Bosnian municipalities for their ‘work’.

The Bosnian Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals is one of the best in Europe but no one is interested in this fact.

Since corrupt Bosnian authorities have decided to steal public money, some citizens have decided to implement the animal protection legislation on their own. As with many countries in the world, there are many people who love and save animals, but one thing is different in Bosnia: not only do rescuers save animals, they are doing the job that the Bosnian authorities should be doing. The authorities are obliged to establish legal shelters and hygienic services for stray dogs, but since they have not done this, rescuers are doing these things, actually they are doing whatever is legislated by the law, but on their own.

People started saving animals long before the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals was legislated. People saved stray animals from hunters and dog catchers. After the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals was legislated, everyone thought things would be different. Of course no one expected a miracle but people thought we Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 23.13.40all would have an opportunity to see animals saved in accordance with law.

Unfortunately, just like everywhere else in Bosnia, authorities started stealing money designated for stray animals, and the number of stray animals has been increasing.

NGOs, rescuers, activists and ordinary people have had to find a way to save as many animals as possible. Because of this awful and paradoxical situation, many private shelters called “pensions” have been built in Bosnia.  Rescuers are forced, at great financial cost, to take their rescues to these pensions since they cannot keep a lot of dogs at their home, and many rescuers have also turned their homes into shelters. Also, rescuers are having to catch wounded or abused dogs and take them to the vet on their own; they have to pay veterinary costs and costs of pensions in order to save the lives of stray animals. This is the only way to save stray dogs and cats in this country, and yet all these things are actually the obligation of the Bosnian authorities, but not only do rescuers do the authorities’ job, many of them are actually attacked by the Bosnian authorities because every time a rescuer saves the life of a stray animal, the rescuer is actually preventing the authorities from catching and killing that animal, and preventing them from pocketing money for these illegal actions.

If you want to know how, there is an explanation…

Corrupt authorities are often involved in the illegal killing of stray and wild animals due to basic money laundering. Politically eligible persons construct so-called public shelters for stray animals and then they invoice the government for false spay/neuter programs, as well as for the food that will in Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 23.13.16fact never be given to  the animals, and for veterinary examinations and treatment, and at the end, the means for euthanasia. Animals are tortured and killed in those shelters constantly and money is taken from the budget.

This situation is actually very bad, because the only way to protect animals in Bosnia is to force the Bosnian authorities to implement the existing laws. Rescuers and NGOs should be a part of this process, helping the authorities implement the laws. International support and pressure is the only way to force our authorities to stop killing stray animals and stealing money, as well as to force them to implement all the measures that are provided by the law.

There are so many projects and ideas that could be done in accordance to the law in order to control population of the stray animals in humane and effective ways. In this way all animals could be saved. Those projects could be focussed on both the short and the long term.

The imperative is to stop killing the animals, enable rescuers to have access to all public shelters and dog catching services, which in fact the  legal obligation of the authorities, but also in this way rescuers can help maintain the shelters and help the animals. Authorities must take up their responsibility for solving this problem.

Unfortunately, the silence of many international subjects is something that we all should worry about. Only public and international pressure can force authorities to start doing their job. People who wish to help Bosnian stray animals should inform their embassies, animal protection and welfare organisations and media and tell them that things in Bosnia are no different than in Romania, that people who save animals cannot save them all, not even close, and that many more lives can be saved if our authorities are forced to implement their own laws.

Screen Shot 2015-11-16 at 23.13.59

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

2014: What is happening to the strays of Bosnia Herzegovina?
Disturbing Irregularities found in Dog Catching Service of Sarajevo
Bosnia: Let’s Respect Animals and their Right to Life
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Veterinary Office of Bosnia: is it possible to solve the problem of stray dogs?
The “Aggressive” Dogs of Sarajevo
Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy
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!

_____________________________________________

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.