New Risk of the Law Changing: the Strays of Bosnia Will Suffer!

Screen Shot 2015-04-05 at 18.58.49Dalida Kozlic L.L.B, lawyer and activist writes:

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

This Law regulates the responsibility of humans regarding the protection and welfare of animals in terms of breeding/owning; providing shelter and food; protection from cruelty; the well-being of animals during authorised slaughter, ensuring animals are not exposed to stress during transportation, wildlife protection, treatment of abandoned animals, pets and laboratory animals, establishing ethics committees and expert councils/boards, as well as conducting the supervision of the implementation of this Law and penalty measures for all violators of this Law.

The government of Canton Sarajevo has sent an official request to Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina to enact amendments to the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals. The prime minister and ministers in the government of Canton Sarajevo demand that article 14 (euthanasia) of the Act is changed. This article allows euthanasia of stray animals only because of veterinary reasons. It is prohibited to kill stray dogs in shelters. Amendments to this article would allow authorities to kill healthy stray animals in shelters if the animals are not adopted.

CULLtureThe proposal of this amendment is not in legislation procedure yet, but we are expecting that one of the leading national parties, the Party of Democratic Action (SDA) will accept this request and start legal procedure to enact these “KILL” amendments. Dino Konakovic, the prime minister of Canton Sarajevo, is a member of the SDA.

As you all know, we had a similar situation in 2013, when rescuers and animal welfare advocates managed to stop the legal procedure to enact a “KILL LAW.” We need your support again.

The Bosnian Act on the Protection and Welfare of Animals is one of the best in Europe but no one is interested in this: corrupt authorities are often involved in the illegal killing of stray and wild animals as a way of money laundering.

Stray animals are victims of notorious cruelty. Politically eligible persons construct so-called shelters for stray animals. These shelters are no better than concentration camps, and the authorities invoice for spay/neuter programs that they do not undertake, as well as invoicing for for food is never given to the animals. They invoice for veterinary examinations and treatment, and at the end, for means for euthanasia. In reality, the stray animals are tortured, and killed in worst possible ways. All this represents a series of violations of criminal law as well as the Animal Protection and Welfare Act of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

While these atrocities are occurring, local authorities are also financing people who own these shelters. It is money laundering. Also many stray animals are abused and killed on the streets.  Authorities do not nothing to find and punish animal abusers.

10892019_955233547821769_7086032730255842381_nThese proposed amendments, allowing the euthanasia of healthy stray animals, has as their purpose a means to conceal the massacre of stray animals that is already occurring.

Should these amendments be in Parliamentary legislation procedure it will be critical to apply pressure to stop the amendments. International focus and support would be the only solution. International animal welfare organisations, embassies, media, as well as individuals will have to press BiH authorities, insisting they do not change the law, but rather to implement it. The authorities must seek out legal and humane ways to solve the problem of over population of stray dogs in BiH.

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.

P1020736Failure 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.

screen-shot-2016-10-12-at-21-39-28Finally, after seven years the State Veterinary Office enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals Bosnia and Herzegovina, but it has not yet established a unified register 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 animals. The implementation of repressive measures will directly affect the consciousness of citizens and thus help solve the situation. 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 adequate shelters for stray animals, but rescuers and concerned citizens 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 should finance the feeding of stray animals, and authorities are obliged to implement spay/neuter projects.

14225350_1114575611942665_3682593145194114853_nIf the shelters for stray animals, which must be “centres for care 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 regarding decreasing the population of stray animals. Hygienic services must be established in accordance with the provisions of the laws 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.

22Only by full implementation of the Act for the Protection and Welfare of Animals, will misuse and illegal killing in shelters and by hygienic services be prevented. Also, all responsible authorities such as the 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 in Bosnia 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.

Prevention of abuse, which is 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 animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

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 for an even greater and longer-lasting problem. The problem of overpopulation of stray dogs 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 to resolve.

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Please join Dalida’s Facebook group and AWABosnia Facebook group.

Related posts:
Dogs Have Become Public Enemy Number One
When Bosnian Activists do the Work of the Authorities
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
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia
ANTI KILL-LAW FIGHT CONTINUES
KILL-LAW DEBATE IN BOSNIA
BOSNIA ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT KILL LAW!
THE HORROR SHELTERS OF BOSNIA – SOMETHING MUST BE DONE!
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend

 

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DONATIONS

Funds are needed to help individual rescues, for spay-neuter projects, for education also to continue advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there. Donations are managed by AWABosnia, an independent group of animal advocates. On their website, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

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.

ACTIVISTS COVER SARAJEVO IN ANTI-KILL LAW POSTERS

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Last night activists plastered Sarajevo with posters campaigning against the kill-law. Also, they have managed to print and send to the Parliament over 62.2226 signatures of petitions on 1238 pages. Thanks to everyone who donated to help with the costs! If you can help with ongoing advocacy please donate via Paypal to donations@awabosnia.org – mark for ‘advocacy’.

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Here is the latest news from someone actively involved in the campaign in Sarajevo:

“In the worst case scenario that this proposal is passed in the 1st reading [Thursday 24th October] this would mean we have 15 days to the 2nd reading and then we declare open special war. But just I hope it won’t come to that!”

1392013_10202424044505217_1476952051_nThe ‘war’ will not be over on Thursday even if the proposed changes are not implemented. Strategic goal number one is to stay focused on the most important thing and that’s enforcing and implementing the existing animal welfare law even if it gets amended and changed to allow killing of dogs after 14 days in shelters.

In ALL RESPECTS the existing animal welfare law is good but IN ALL RESPECTS it is not implemented!

For example, the existing law states that dogs should have adequate facilities and care in public shelters. As anyone knows who has been reading this blog the shelters are HORRIFIC. So even if the authorities pass a law allowing killing of dogs after 14 days, the shelters are acting illegally by the fact that conditions are entirely inhumane. And this is only one of many such instances of transgressions of the law.

531970_10202233846710391_1820098175_nDonna was found in Doboj “shelter,” at the end of September during one of the investigations of such ‘shelters’ by activists. She was lying in her own excrement, in the filth that is the ground all the dogs there must live in. Her flesh was crawling with worms and she was unable to walk or stand. Inspite of best efforts by activists who rescued her from the “shelter”, she died two days ago.

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On Thursday Bosnia-Herzegovina Parliament will vote on changing the Animal Welfare Act. If these changes are implemented, it will not only be ineffective in dealing with the stray dog problem but will mean untold suffering for thousands of strays. Please read the posts listed below especially BOSNIA ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT KILL LAW! where you will find details of how to help stop changes to the law. We need your help URGENTLY.

Please join the Facebook Event for latest news and updates: STOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW – critically we need you to write letters to your MEP, to the Bosnian Tourism Authority, to Embassies. All details on ACTION TO TAKE.

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RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

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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 . 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.

Prijedor Dog “Shelter” – Another Bosnian Atrocity

1386008_10202389001709169_828181205_nThe following is a translation of the article published yesterday on Tacno.net: Shelter dogs in Prijedor

dogs“Here is one of many similar – or exactly the same! -stories about the sad life of shelter animals and the negligence of authorities.

The only shelter for stray animals in Prijedor area is located on Kurevo Hill, on the local landfill, eight kilometres away from Prijedor. The shelter opened in 2009.

According to official information, since then, for four years, they have killed 2000 dogs.

1382302_10202389000389136_1180234904_n“In spite of many organizations for animal rights and animal welfare repeatedly stating publicly the horrible conditions in Prijedor dog “shelter“, the situation is unchanged and has remained the same for years.

When you visit the shelter, it’s not unusual to see dogs eating dead dogs, or to see dogs starving, freezing or dehydrated,“ said our interviewee who wants to stay anonymous for their safety.

1379781_10202389004869248_2098327275_nFor the shelter’s maintenance Prijedor municipality allocates 108 000 KM (about 55,000 Euros). If that money actually is used for the dogs is still under question. Our interviewee, harshly judged the authorities who, in her own words, “treat dogs extremely cruelly and inhumanely.”

I was the witness when dog catchers from Komunalne Usluge company caught a dog with a gripper and, while the dog still had that cable around its neck, the worker threw the dog into the trunk. The dog’s neck had been broken and everything happened in front of children. Can you even imagine how many similar cases happened that no one witnessed? For animal abuse, no one is held responsible and especially the authorities are not held responsible,” claimed our interviewee.

1381937_10202388999709119_621588778_nLocals say that dog catchers mainly catch dogs early in the morning. For the constant problem of a large number of stray dogs on the streets, locals blame the people from the abroad (local people who work abroad and come home for holidays) who seasonally “adopt” dogs, and later leave them on the street.

Another major problem are hunters who experiment with inbreeding hunting dogs, as well as combinations of different breeds of working dogs. All unwanted puppies are left on the street. Also, their own dogs are usually free to walk around on street and breed with strays.

1382302_10202389000389136_1180234904_n“In some parts of the municipality towards Mount Kozara there are packs of wild dogs that kill sheep and owner’s dogs in the yard. When the dogs wander into the hunt zone, hunters just kill them all. On the other hand, there are places where such dog packs are far away from hunting area and shelter workers should act to catch these dogs as a priority. However, they claim that they cannot do anything with these dogs because they are neither equipped nor trained to catch them. There is no need to mention what problem they represent because nothing is being done to control the population of dogs in general.

1379787_10202389002909199_1658533155_nThe streets are still full of abandoned and abused animals, and for the four years of the shelter’s existence and over 2,000 dead dogs later, the problem is still there.  Nothing is achieved by killing, ” says our interviewee.

The Law on the Protection and Welfare of Animals has provided measures to control the population of stray animals and to prevent irresponsible ownership in the Prijedor region, as in many other parts of B&H, but nothing has been done about it. Spay and neuter programs don’t exist, there is no register of ownership of dogs and cats. Irresponsible ownership is not prevented, nor are there any training programs on the need for humane treatment of animals.

Zoran Bulić, the manager of the working unit “Deponija”, who is also in charge of the dogs’ shelter, told us during a phone conversation, that, due to bad experience with the media, he did not want to give any statements via telephone. He asked us to deliver the questions to him in writing, but even after we have delivered inquiries in writing Mr. Bulić failed to respond.”

1383848_10202385804669245_1943685907_nThe photo above was taken in January 2012. It was taken by a man from Ljubija town (Prijedor Municipality) who wanted to drop off puppies at the shelter that he found near his home. When he arrived at the shelter he saw that dogs inside the shelter were eating a dead dog. He took pictures and returned home with the puppies that his wife took care of and found homes for throughout 2012.

The following photographs were taken at the ‘shelter’ 2011:

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In six days Bosnia-Herzegovina Parliament will vote on changing the Animal Welfare Act. If these changes are implemented, it will not only be ineffective in dealing with the stray dog problem but will mean untold suffering for thousands of strays. Please read the posts listed below especially BOSNIA ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT KILL LAW! where you will find details of how to help stop changes to the law. We need your help URGENTLY. 

Please join the Facebook Event for latest news and updates: STOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITIONS!

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RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

295623_587838614561266_1046506254_n_____________________________________________

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 . 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.

KILL-LAW DEBATE IN BOSNIA

urgentdog5PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THE NEW PETITIONSSTOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW!

And the same one on Change.org https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/stop-bosnia-from-implementing-kill-law – it’s important to sign both, thank you!

I have a translation of the article mentioned in the previous blog, (BOSNIA ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT KILL LAW!). This article covers the debate in Parliament on October 3rd and is written by a supporter of the animal activists. When you read it, remember that the government representatives and in particular SDP representative Nermina Zaimović Uzunović (who originally presented a Bill on changes and amendments to the Animal Welfare and Protection Act at the assembly on July 6 2013) behaved as if they heard none of the facts, explanations of the cause of the problem and how to remedy the problem.
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“Killing will not stop people from abandoning animals, and that is the cause of our situation; it is what leads to an increase in population. We should not succumb to small temptations, big goals are reached with small steps.”

THE PROBLEM OF STREET DOGS IN BOSNIA AND HERZEGOVINA: THE SOLUTION IS IN REGISTRATION, STERILISATION AND PUNISHMENT

Adnan Ucambarlic
klix.ba 
03/10/2013 (photo by Nedim Grabovica)

131003077.1_xl Organized by the Constitutional-Legal Committee of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly held a public hearing on the application of the Law on the protection and welfare of animals, which should help in finding solutions to the burning issue of a growing population of street dogs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Four years after the law on the protection and welfare of animals came into force, the constitutional committee House of Representatives of the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina is faced with the non-implementation of the law, people’s dissatisfaction and a growing population of street dogs, which is why today’s public hearing has been requested and organized today. Transcript of the debate and its results will be submitted to the House of Representatives, in order to make decisions.

In June, the Parliamentary Assembly received a proposal of Amendment to the Law on the protection and welfare of animals, which is still in the legislative procedure.

As early as February, a number of the representatives February launched an initiative asking for an analysis of the implementation of the Law, the results of which were available only in September. The analysis confirmed that the law was good, but it was not being enforced. Meanwhile, Nermina Zaimović-Uzunović, a member of the House of Representatives, proposed amendments to the Law. The debate has been launched in order to get instructions from the public what the measures should be.

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The law is absolutely enforceable

State Veterinary Inspector for the control of animal welfare, Inga Dujmovic, explained that we are currently in a phase where we finally have to sit down and discuss problems related to this Law. This discussion of the Law is an examination of our behavior towards the animals. Although the effects and contributions of the Law may seem negligible, it is the basic system offering solutions for the protection of animals and the decisions should be acquiesced to, even when they do not seem to be perfect at the time. The Law IS enforceable, but the information from the field indicates that the system does not exist. The fact is that the SVO (State Veterinary Office) partially failed, since it has not issued regulations on identification of dogs and cats. This identification system is essential in order to punish irresponsible owners, as they are the cause of this problem.

The question we need to ask is who produces irresponsible owners. We do: those who do not report irresponsible owners, as well as those who have not made a census of the animals,” said Dujmovic.

Legislation on identification would help organize shelters, beside the necessity that each municipality has information about the population of dogs at their disposal, which is important for disease prevention. After assessing the population, it is necessary to do triage on the ground and to neuter and spay the animals, she said.

Killing will not stop people from abandoning animals, and that is the cause of our situation; it is what leads to an increase in population. We should not succumb to small temptations, big goals are reached with small steps,” Dujmovic said.

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Professor Selma Filipovic, Head of the Department of Surgery, University of Veterinary Medicine in Sarajevo, is also involved in finding a solution to this problem by enacting legislations and participates in a number of projects related to the problem of dogs. She states that, after four years of non-enforcement of the Law, this issue deserves to come to a public hearing.

Calls to kill are despicable moves by political lobbies in order to buy sympathy from the public, on the basis of inaction. Without analysis, they turned on the weakest link – street animals. This debate is an opportunity to dispel myths about the Law as well as to resolve the issues of responsibility and of who profits from the current situation, and finally, to agree on how to proceed,” Filipovic said.

The Law,” Filipovic continues, “is being held responsible for the problem and is deemed incomplete and non-enforceable. However, this problem did not come to existence in 2009 by the enactment of the law, but is rather the result of many decades of bad practice and elimination of consequences and not of the actual cause of the problem, as well as poor veterinary practice. There was never a desire to prepare the ground for the Law, and four years later, it is absolutely enforceable.”

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“A stray dog is always the consequence, not the cause of the problem; a fact recognized by Law. Program of population control is a form of treatment of this problem, just as well as neutering and environment control are. The most important thing is to identify ownership in order to solve this problem. There are also means of sterilization, education and control of waste, all scientifically and empirically proven methods, implemented by dozens of countries. Street dogs are not strays, but abandoned animals,” Filipovic stated.

Increased number of dogs is direct result of non-selective implementation of the Law, and one of the causes is also the one-year period after the Law was brought in, when mass sterilization should have been carried out.

There is also the difficult economic situation, the issue of being able to afford a dog. With the bad economic situation in our country, it is difficult for a family to adopt a dog.

“The method of killing is unacceptable in the world today. Desire for a quick solution is the result of lack of information. Also, examples of badly-managed shelters are numerous: look at Prača, which is more like a concentration camp. If we keep shifting responsibility and continue with the non-enforcement of the law, there will be no quick solution, even with amendments,” Filipovic added.

As a possible solution to the problem, Filipovic suggested urgent registration of dogs and cats, punishing irresponsible owners, sterilization, strengthening cooperation with citizens, improving the situation related to the number of shelters and adoptions, as well as training veterinarians and inspectors. The system to the solution is contained within the Law; a problem that has been created over decades cannot disappear overnight.

Killing is neither humane nor civilized, and we will condemned by the EU. We are pursuing integration and repeating genocide,” Filipovic said.

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Micro chipping and registration as a solution

Sanda Ljubic of Association “Stop Bite” sees the animal protections activists as associates in finding the solution to the problem, and the citizens as the weakest link. In her opinion, the Law is not good, as it implies that all fishermen or bullfighting fans were violating it, and the relevant institutions are not able to implement it.

As Ljubic further states, the only driver of the implementation of the Law is the court, i.e. bite victims. Many municipalities do not want to build shelters without amendments to the Law.

Ljubić is for micro chipping and registration of dogs, but also for limiting the period for which the dogs are put up in shelters. She further states that the Law is indeed necessary, but one according to European standards, and that it should be amended now, to prevent major consequences.

Professor of Ecology at the Veterinary University in Sarajevo, Abdulah Gagić states that ecology is an area within which the Law should be revised, and says that nobody had ever consulted him when making it. In his opinion, the Law was issued in cooperation with civil associations, and his main criticism is that it was viewed from the aspect of man, the culprit and generator of this problem. He states that even sterilization is a violation of one of animals’ basic rights ­‑ reproduction, and is therefore not “protection of animals”. He requested that euthanasia be implemented as the solution to the problem. As objections to the Law he listed omitting facts about halal and kosher slaughter, and animals that are not as exposed to the public.

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Citizen Mia Ožegović said it was devastating that the Law is being discussed four years after its enactment and not one year. The Law has never been explicitly implemented, which is the responsibility of its enforcers. Ožegović is of the opinion that the dogs should be removed from the streets and the Law should finally start being enforced, and that each municipality should have its own shelter.

“We cannot find homes for all the dogs being brought in; hence, we have to address the consciousness of people. Also, the dogs should be registered and selling dogs should be done responsibly, especially when dealing with dangerous breeds. Killing of dogs is not going to achieve anything, and the money inappropriately spent on shelters will not be spent on adequate execution of euthanasia,” Ožegović said.

Project leader of the British organization Dogs Trust in B-H, Anel Bećirović said that Dogs Trust, in addition to considerable resources, also brings knowledge.

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Unique database is required

The Law contains advanced and effective provisions for identification and control of dog population, like the ones used in European countries. That is why we decided to come to B-H. Dogs do not belong on city streets, and the problem should be dealt with legally prescribed solutions. The problem is not the law itself; euthanasia is being allowed by it in as much as five cases, thereby the safety of citizens is protected. If animals as defined in those five cases were euthanized, healthier ones adopted, and the rest were to be medically treated and returned to their habitat, the problem would soon be solved,” Bećirović explained.

He also pointed out that it is necessary to urgently create a unique database of registered dogs, and that the problem lies in the people who create it, an in those who do not sanction it. Amendments to the law would not yield results, and they do not reflect a professional approach, since they deal with the consequences and not with the problem. Also, the amendments are not financially viable, as they would result in additional costs of euthanasia, which is five times more expensive than sterilization.

“Legal measures take longer, but they are far more efficient. On April 8, the Council of Ministers adopted the decision that the Law is absolutely enforceable, and I appeal for its immediate implementation, as all of us have one goal,” Bećirović added.

The only lawyer dealing with legal protection in cases of abuse of animals in B-H, Dalida Kozlić also stressed the importance of micro chipping, establishing ownerships of dogs as well as penalties. She believes that penalties are very important because it is one way of imprinting in the citizens’ consciousness what is bad and what is not. She also pointed to the problem of money-laundering by the authorities, as well as to the fact that daily costs for a dog in a shelter are not 153 KM, as being stated, but about 50 KM, depending on the size and medical condition of the dog.

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“Main culprits for the lack of implementation of the Laws are veterinary inspection, police and prosecutors. Veterinary inspectors have directly violated the Law, and some even go as far as to publicly say that it is unenforceable and, as such, should not be to implement,” Kozlić said.

President of organization Friends Mostar, Aida Čizmić also believes that the Law is definitely enforceable, and that the problem is dogs, but it is created by man. Čizmić too believes that a central database and registration of dogs are vital, just as micro chipping, sterilization and education, as well as introduction of penalties for irresponsible owners and officials.

Nermina Zaimović-Uzunović, Parliament member who proposed amendments to the Law, said that she was disappointed that the discussion focused on the implementation of the project “assigned to B-H by the queen”, and that the current way of solving it has proven unsuccessful, resulting in more and more dogs every day. The Law has not solved the problem and municipalities cannot implement it. A solution fitting the citizens, not organizations needs to be found. In her opinion, maintaining the Law is in financial interest of people who are fighting for it.

Citizen Stevan Drašković believes that the Law is unsuitable because people have become the endangered species, and lawyer Goran Jeftić claims that is not enforceable, as “it is not normal”. He states that, prior to the enactment of the Law, five thousand dogs were killed in Zenica every year, and that sterilization and consequent return to the streets are not normal.

“How can dogs and cats in the countryside be registered, when I cannot be found by a postman? The system does not function. This can only be done in well-organized Europe,” Jeftić said.

Mayor of Travnik, Admir Hadžiemrić, said that was up to him to enforce the law and create a compromise between animals and people, and added that he had been implementing sterilization for two years.

“I am not bias towards either side, but let us enforce the Law or to make it enforceable,” he said.

Adnan Ucambarlic
klix.ba 
03/10/2013 

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Please join the Facebook Event for latest news and updates: STOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITIONS!

RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

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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.

BOSNIA ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT KILL LAW!

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BOSNIA IS ABOUT TO IMPLEMENT A KILL LAW THAT REPLICATES WHAT IS HAPPENING IN ROMANIA. TO STOP THIS LAW COMING INTO EFFECT THE NEXT TWO WEEKS ARE CRITICAL.
Pas ugiba Foto Bug ba (10) It is crucial that everyone, especially in Europe, lobby their embassy and MEPs and also write letters to international welfare organisations.  We need to keep the momentum, with press, meetings, lobbying and letters.

On Thursday the 3rd of October the Bosnia-Herzegovina Parliament held a debate on whether or not to change the existing animal welfare law to allow ‘euthanasia’ of dogs held in shelters for more than 14 days without adoption (see below if you think this is an effective means to curb stray populations).

Those opposing the change in the debate (local representatives from Dogs Trust, various pro-animal NGOs, ordinary citizens, veterinary experts from the Veterinary Faculty, professors, lawyers) spoke out strongly to oppose the changes. They took more room and were in all ways more articulate than those recommending the change. See this article on Klix.ba ( translated here: The problem of street dogs in Bosnia and Herzegovina: The solution is in registration, sterilization, and Punishment.)

However, the government representatives and in particular SDP representative Nermina Zaimović Uzunović (who originally presented a Bill on changes and amendments to the Animal Welfare and Protection Act at the assembly on July 6 2013) behaved as if they heard none of the facts, explanations of the cause of the problem and how to remedy the problem.

It will be hard to keep the law as is. The next 2 weeks are critical.

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PLEASE SIGN AND SHARE THE NEW PETITIONS:

STOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW!
And the same petition on Change.org https://www.change.org/en-GB/petitions/stop-bosnia-from-implementing-kill-law – it’s important to sign both petitions, thank you!

PLEASE GO TO OUR CAUSES.COM CAMPAIGN AND SHARE THE PLEDGE WITH AS MANY FRIENDS ON FACEBOOK AS YOU CAN.

There are other petitions you can sign.

What is even MORE important right now is to lobby your embassy representative in Bosnia Herzegovina and at home, and the Bosnian Embassy in your country, and your EU Member of Parliament.

Write a PERSONAL, POLITE LETTER asking them to strongly urge the Bosnia-Herzegovina government to not change the law but instead to start actually implementing it! (For a full translation of the existing law, please download this PDF.)

A DRAFT LETTER CAN BE DOWNLOADED HERE (word document). PLEASE PERSONALISE, ADD YOUR NAME AT THE BOTTOM AND THE NAME OF THE PERSON YOU ARE SENDING IT TO AT THE TOP.

Find the Bosnia-Herzegovina Embassy in your own country:
http://embassy-finder.com/bosnia-and-herzegovina_embassies

Find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina

Find your MEP and write a personal letter to them as well.
See here to find any MEP in Europe –  ‘Euromap’.

Also on the  ACTION TO TAKE page there are further links and suggestions of particular MEPs to write to. Make sure to end your letter with your name and contact details. 

THE NEXT TWO WEEKS ARE CRITICAL.
We need to keep the momentum, with press, meetings, lobbying, letters. Please also write to any and every international animal welfare organisations you can.

A key member of the animal welfare lobby has stated:

“We need to play this smart, plan good timing for every action and save some ammunition for the days and weeks to come!”

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If you are from the UK, you can mention in your letter an incident concerning SDP representative Nermina Zaimović-Uzunović, the Member of House of representatives of Parliamentary Assembly who proposed amendments to the law.  Nermina Zaimović-Uzunovi said she was disappointed the discussion focused on Dogs Trust and their project (spay-neuter of 3000 strays in June 2013 in Sarajevo) which was financed by “the Queen” – and that Dogs Trust only worked in their own interest and this interest was financed by the “Queen”. Instead of acknowledging the good work done by Dogs Trust, and at great expense, she dismisses it, and certainly does not acknowledge that if her changes come into effect, the 3000 dogs sterilised by Dogs Trust will probably be killed. What a waste!

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If you have been reading this blog (see in particular this post, and this) you will know that to reverse or change the existing law (which, although not implemented, has an excellent basis for a humane management programme) for a kill law will be a disaster for a number of reasons, not least of which:

  •  It will damage Bosnia-Herzegovina’s international image
  •  It will fail
  •  It will allow wholesale murder of stray dogs and cats

We already have documentation of how ‘shelters’ tend to ‘euthanise’ animals: by clubbing, injections of bleach and so on. So you can be sure that if the existing animal welfare law is changed, such means of ‘euthanisation’ will become commonplace.

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Also, the studies on management of stray dog and cat population are unanimous in that euthanisation is NOT the most effective way to control populations. Euthanasia deals only with the symptoms and not the cause of the problem. It is expensive, inhumane and will not provide a permanent solution. Studies have shown that TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) and CNR (Catch-Neuter-Return) programmes are far more effective (and far more humane) than euthanasia to reduce the street animal population. Please read this post for more information.

295623_587838614561266_1046506254_nPlease join the Facebook Event for latest news and updates: STOP BOSNIA FROM IMPLEMENTING KILL LAW

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITIONS!

RELATED POSTS ON THIS BLOG:

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_____________________________________________

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.

Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!

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As you know, the Romanian Parliament has ruled that all stray dogs will be killed if, after fourteen days, they remain unadopted. Tdeaddoghe authorities in Bosnia-Herzegovina will use this as an example to enforce the same law and make it legal to kill all stray dogs. In fact, it’s already happening in Bosnia in spite of 
existing animal welfare laws!

And unlike in Romania, there are no celebrities or high profile activists telling the world about it!

The existing Animal Welfare and Protection Act of Bosnia-Herzegovina is in fact a good and enforcable law. The only reason the law is not being enforced is because certain political and professional circles do not want to do it.

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The law makes euthanising stray dogs illegal, – except a) when the animal cannot be cured and keeping it alive would only cause unnecessary pain and further suffering; b) the animal has reached such an old age, its vital bodily functions are terminating; c) the animal suffers from an incurable and/or infectious disease, or such a disease can represent a threat to humans; d) the animal is dangerous; e) the animal is in agony.

(The truth is, dogs are ‘euthanised’ randomly and seriously disregarding the above laws).

In addition, the Animal Protection and Welfare Act states that every city and town has to build shelters for stray animals. All shelters for stray animals have to provide a NO KILL policy (see below for what is really happening in these so-called shelters…)

smalldeaddogThe government of Bosnia-Herzegovina wants to change this Animal Protection and Welfare Act to make euthanasia legal in all shelters. Euthanasia would be performed within 15 days from a stray dog’s arrival in a shelter.

This is exactly what is happening in Romania, and if the law is changed, it will be used as an excuse to simply kill all the strays instead of implementing a humane stray animal management programe The next session of the BH Parliament will be held on October 3rd 2013, and we need to do everything we can to ensure they do not change the law!

1003457_558748954189914_2004992413_nPlease be aware that while ‘euthanasia’ may seem to be a logical way of dealing with an increasing and endemic stray dog population, this is a costly way to kill dogs and generally other, brutal, methods are used. Please read Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation. Also note that “Catch & kill” or “catch & incarcerate” policies have failed in numerous other countries. Cities that have successfully managed and curbed their stray animal population were those that opted for a “catch & return” policy.

Please sign the petition: BOSNIA! IMPLEMENT HUMANE STRAY-DOG AND CAT POPULATION CONTROL AND TREATMENT

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If you want to know how things are done in Bosnia, please read the following piece recently published on Facebook by Jelena Paunović, animal welfare activist and journalist:

“DOGS ARE GUILTY OF EVERYTHING! LET‘S KILL THEM ALL!

According to my experience related to the care of abandoned animals, this is how the problem of abandoned dogs in Bosnia is being solved, in contravention of all laws and regulations:

1. You load dogs into a van, using the method “as many as you can cram in”, and you throw them out in a hunting ground and inform the local hunters’ association about the “problem”. After the animal activists come,  authorised persons suddenly become “unauthorised”: when activists find out about killing dogs, people, who are responsible for this and who are authorised to prevent and punish those who kill dogs, pretend that they are not in charge of investigating actions such as killing dogs.

2. As a “competent person” you make some sort of an agreement with the local mayor, and since you do not feel like stepping out of the car, you simply open fire on the dogs in the settlement from the car. It is desirable for the car to be moving and that there are children nearby, of course.

After the activists come, once again the authorised persons become unauthorised…

3. As a local “boss“, and if possible, a criminal with a piece of land, you make an agreement with the Mayor, the police and the veterinary inspection and you open a “shelter” for lost and abandoned animals. The Veterinary Office says “Bravo“! You are implementing the Animal Welfare and Protection Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina.” (In principle, this is correct, but…) And then, you take them for a lamb lunch in local restaurant, and there you sign the agreements and fulfil conditions for the “implementation” of the Law.

Shelters function in the following manner:

a) First, registration is not necessary because, “Why should I care, f… dogs”.

b) Then you inform the media of your activities. The mayor says: “Our team of dog catchers is made of highly trained people. Now citizens will be free and fearless to walk through settlements which, until we had this brilliant idea, had been filled with stray dogs, and, by the way, vote for me in the next elections.

c) The “highly trained professionals” start catching dogs and placing them in the asylum. The Director and the Mayor talk regularly and have business meetings, over beer and roast lamb, in case there should be something else that needs signing. Everything has to be according to the LAW, right?

d) The dogs from the shelter are killed using various methods: hitting them with a hammer on the head, putting poison in their food, and every now and again euthanizing them. If an activist comes and asks what is going on, a veterinarian appears from nowhere saying that the missing dogs “have been humanely euthanized since they were old and sick”. If the veterinarian is really very forthcoming, you will be presented with papers signed in one of the aforementioned “business” meetings.

e) “Fools dealing with dogs (activists) visit the shelter, and after visit they publish photographs and video clips. After they have published these photographs and video clips, they are banned from entering the shelters.

f) Dogs die of hunger, illness, thirst. Great amounts of dog food are registered in the accounts as being bought for the shelter. The dogs don’t see any of it.

g) Dogs breed in the shelters.. and yet the veterinarian  registers castration and sterilization. The veterinarian also registers vaccines and tablets against parasites. The veterinarian registers treatments. The dogs continue to breed, become full of parasites, wounds are left untreated.

h) Most municipalities have published reports on the consumption of budget assets from, let us say, 2006. There is not any a trace of money.

i) “Experts are searching for homes” for the dogs, but it is impossible to find the shelter in its godforsaken location. Almost nobody from the local community knows that there is a shelter there, and when you finally find it, they tell you that 100 people come to them in a month and adopt dogs.

j) During foreigners’ visits to the shelter, they present the papers. Then the foreigners tell activists they are fools. The media take statements from the Director, Mayor and foreigners. And therefore, professional reporters, using proper sources of information, inform the ignorant people of a great Mayor and his even greater buddies.

k) Activists do nothing.

l) Dogs are being killed and die in suffering.

m) Activists do nothing.

(This last point has no end. It has been repeating for years.)

1. As a local “boss“ and the Mayor of some small municipality, or as the people call it “in the middle of nowhere”, you take a few hundred from the budget and call local service providers, who see themselves as a hygiene service, to immediately kill dogs found in the territory of the municipality. Then the media reports on poisoning of dogs. The mayor puts in the book “care of dogs in the shelter”. Later, activists come and the authorised persons become unauthorised.

Then the activists come, and the authorised persons become unauthorised…

2. “Endangered“ citizens and their offspring torture and kill abandoned dogs every day. “Poor” children are unprotected from “aggressive” dogs, various parents councils talk about this everywhere in Bosnia and Herzegovina, “good” boys and girls rape dogs with umbrellas, put firecrackers in their mouths, stick screws in cats’ eyes just to see what will happen…

Then the activists have come, and the authorised persons become unauthorised.

The mayor, veterinarian and the police have eaten so much roast lamb, they are still digesting it.

3. The media contacts Mayors, veterinarians, parents, shelters, ambulance service…

4. Everything is done professionally and in accordance with the Animal Welfare and Protection Law of Bosnia and Herzegovina.

The lesson therefore is: DOGS ARE GUILTY OF EVERYTHING! LET’S KILL THEM ALL!”


stray dog

Relevant articles from this blog:

BOSNIA! IMPLEMENT HUMANE STRAY-DOG AND CAT POPULATION CONTROL AND TREATMENT
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”

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_____________________________________________

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.