Torturing and killing of strays in areas with problematic human population

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 22.37.39By Dalida Kozlic

There are an increasing number of cases of animal abuse in the countries of South-eastern Balkans. Animal rights activists and associations for the protection of animals are daily faced with cases of the worst forms of animal abuse not only in public shelters and by dog catching services but on the streets of all cities and towns.

Cases of animal abuse are common even in the centre of big cities such as Sarajevo. You probably remember little Precious who was thrown of a bridge in the centre of Sarajevo. Despite the fact there are many cases of animal abuse in almost all parts of Balkan, the most specific thing is that there are areas where abusing of animals is part of everyday life. People who live in those areas are mostly people who live on the edge of society or they belong to so-called problematic populations who do not have any support from authorities but authorities do not control them either.

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 22.37.48Animals in Medjimurje (Croatia) are paying appalling price for the lack of involvement of authorities in solving the problems of the Roma population. Roma children (all younger than 14) have been torturing stray cats and animals in the most horrific ways for months. Media decided to become involved in the case a few days ago and their discoveries have been horrific. Children have been raping, clubbing, slaughtering and throwing animals on railway to be ripped apart by trains.

Also, dogs are being used as bite provocation for other dogs. Authorities now involved and everyone is hoping the problem of young psychopaths will be solved soon and that perpetrators will be punished.

I am dealing with a similar case in Breza. I found Sarpi in one very problematic area in Breza few months ago. He was badly beaten and injured. He died of injuries a few days after I had found him.

Garo was found by me in the same area few days ago. He has injuries on his hind legs and a wound that has been caused by an air gun. All these cases have been reported to the police, but the problem is that in the area where they have been found live many drug addicts, other very problematic populations as well as forgotten Roma population, and there is no video surveillance. Everyone claims he/she knows nothing. (Garo and Sarpi are pictured in this blog. If you wish to help with the vet care of Garo, you can donate via the details below, be sure to mark for ‘Garo’.)

Unfortunately, there is no appropriate response from authorities to violence in these areas.

There are also cases of severe animal abuse in developed countries. However, any such case is well covered by the media and the general public is involved in finding perpetrators. Names of animal abusers and murderers are publicly disclosed. Also, the punishments for offenders are rigorous and exercise a preventive and repressive function. Most importantly, the authorities are consistent in catching and prosecuting perpetrators. Western society understands that animal abuse is a serious anomaly in the behaviour and psyche of man, and therefore a great deal of effort is made in the prevention and punishing of animal abusers and killers.

TScreen Shot 2015-12-13 at 22.37.26he problem in the countries of the Balkans is that the protection of animals is often identified with the financial situation in the country. It is a complete absurdity. Financing services for the protection of animals is not a process that can be financed only by economically developed countries. On the contrary, the construction and funding of animal shelters and services for the protection of animals is the cheapest option when it comes to the attitude of society towards animals.

In the former Yugoslavia, there is a problem in the minds of people, and not in lack of funding. In this region, the society is completely incapable of understanding animal abuse and why it is wrong. The society does not understand those who are unable to fight for themselves and their rights, as well as having a complete lack of empathy for those who suffer. Also it implicates that society in having a pathological feature. What the individuals and society in this area do not want to understand is that animal abusers are people with pathological personality traits, who tend to become abusers and killers of people (if not already).

Prosecution and punishing of animal abusers should be the basic function of protecting animals. Special prevention sends a message to abusers that if they re-offend their offence against animals, they are to be arrested and punished. The general prevention message is thus sent to the society: the state and the judiciary do not tolerate animal abuse, and the problem is recognized as a deep social anomaly and that each abuser is to be punished.

In the countries of former Yugoslavia torture and killing animals is a criminal offense. However, the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators of the crime very rarely occur. It is evident that police officers, as well as prosecutors and judges, are not properly trained and educated. When it comes to the response of police officers, they tend to consider abuse against animals unimportant offences; police officers and inspectors in this area of crime are not familiar with all the consequences and symptoms that animal abuse points to. The problem of judicial institutions is similar; it is generally the view that cases of animal abuse are irrelevant to judicial institutions.

Screen Shot 2015-12-13 at 22.37.16Apprehension and prosecution of offenders is the job of the police and judicial authorities, and funds for financing all types of institutional protection of animals can be provided by implementation of our Act on Animal Protection and Welfare, the introduction of compulsory microchipping and register of pets, and then punishing with fines those who abandon or abuse animals, as well as using funds from foreign organizations towards these procedures.

This approach to problem solving is necessary due to the general lack of awareness that exists in this area. The public itself creates a distorted picture when it comes to animals. Animals are not objects, but living beings with intelligence and awareness of the outside world, but this is not the general view of the populace of this area.

These are the main reasons animal abuse is so present in the countries of ex-Yugoslavia, especially in the areas where authorities actually do not their job at all. Police forces and social services avoid being involved or implementing laws in those areas because dealing with problematic populations is not a priority at all. This causes many issues including cases of horrific animal abuse. Intervening in these areas is absolutely necessary and only when animal rights activists expose the real picture of animal abuse and forgotten areas, some things start changing as is the case in Croatia.

Unfortunately, the situation in Bosnia is even worse because of a much higher rate of corruption, poverty and social cases than Croatia. Law enforcement and social services do not deal with this problem at all. If there are so many cases of animal abuse and killing of animals in well-known areas and big cities, we can only imagine what horrors happen in villages, areas and towns where there are no animal rights activist and persons who can discover and report those crimes.

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Related posts:

Slaughter of stray dogs in Bosanska Krupa, Bosnia
Puppy Flung off Bridge in Sarajevo, Bosnia
Brutal Murder of Dogs in Zenica, Bosnia

Extermination of dogs at Breza Coal Mine, Bosnia

Mass killing of stray dogs in Banovici, Bosnia

Dogs Poisoned in Donji Vakuf, Bosnia

Another Mass Killing of Dogs in Bosnia

Dogs Brutally Slaughtered in Bosnia HerzegovinaPuppy 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

Dog Slaughter in Mostar, Bosnia Herzegovina

Yet another brutal dog murder in Bosnia Herzegovina
Another Dog Tortured by Wire in Bosnia
DOG TORTURED IN BOSNIA-HERZEGOVINA!
More than 40 killed dogs found in garbage dump
Poisoning of Dogs and Cats in Glamoc, Bosnia Herzegovina
Puppy burned alive in Bosnia Herzegovina!
Mass Murder of Dogs in Bosnia Herzegovina
Dog Massacre in Dobosnica, Bosnia Herzegovina
Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia
Dog Beheaded in Bosnia

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DONATIONS

Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia Herzegovina, 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.

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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 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.

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This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Go here to find out how to help them.  Money is needed for food, medicine and foster housing. Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

Saving the Dogs of Gladno Polje, Bosnia

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GladnoLeila2Gladno Polje is a public “shelter” on the outskirts of Sarajevo that has existed for 3 years. 150-200 dogs live in this shelter in horrific conditions, and more dogs and puppies are constantly being dumped, some in dire need of veterinary care.

If it were not for dog-catchers taking dogs off the streets to who-knows-where, dogs would probably be better off on the streets than in this awful place.

P1020658When Andrea and Sandra visited Gladno a few weeks ago, it was late afternoon. But because there is no electricity in the shelter, the inside part where there are many dog pens was in pitch darkness. The sensation of walking into this space is impossible to truly describe. All we could make out were some of the dogs’ eyes as they looked desperately at us through the bars of their pens. The smell was completely overpowering – there had been no running water that day, so the volunteers hadn’t been able to clean the pens, and the sound, the sound of barking, of screaming really… in this pitch darkness, and the air so thick with the smell of excrement and fear. Our eyes stung, it was hard not to stop ourselves from retching. And yet the volunteers were in there, in the darkness, doing everything they could, without complaint…

Video footage taken during Andrea Kalman and Sandra Jensen’s visit in September, 2014:

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Sanela Kotorić Etterle, one of the main volunteers

The animal welfare law in Bosnia Herzegovina, which was created in 2009, stipulates that public shelters should provide adequate care for strays. Unfortunately this is not the case.

“..for five years no one has been fined for animal abuse; for five years there has not been a systematic approach to sterilization across BiH, for five years the inspection authorities across BiH have failed to conduct inspections and oversight of shelters, which are in fact torture camps for animals that exist under dubious and even criminal conditions and hygienic services operating outside of the law…” states Snezana Vidovic, President of the association for animal rescue and P1020652protection, Sapa Zenica. “… Shelters are not waiting rooms for death or a gathering places for animals waiting in line to be euthanized. Shelters should not be like the modern Alcatraz, but should be places that have an open door policy, transparency, are responsible and have a work ethic, and are places that you want to visit to adopt a dog.” Please read the full interview here.

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this dog was recently dumped at the shelter… she has a growth on her teats…

Inga Dujmovic, Senior Associate of the State Veterinary Inspector for animal welfare in Bosnia Herzegovina says: “It is not enough to just build shelters. You must build an entire infrastructure of people to work in shelters in order for them to function. Especially because you are dealing with a large number of animals and there is an enormous amount of work. Hence, whoever goes into the business of running shelters must be ready for the fact that it entails a lot of work and that everything depends on the prescribed regulations. Conditions are definitely unhygienic and it appears that the shelters are over capacity.”

gladnopupInga Dujmovic was recently interviewed and she was asked if the Veterinary Inspector Department of BiH has jurisdiction over shelters. Her answer was: “Veterinary Inspector Department does have jurisdiction, however, we have not conducted shelter inspections.” When asked Why? she said: “The answer to that question must be sought from the Director of the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina.”

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one of the dogs in the inside pens…

Gladno Polje shelter, unlike many public ‘shelters’ in Bosnia, does have a tiny group of three volunteers trying to help them. These volunteers fundraise for food, hay and also to try and do some work on the building itself and to build some better pens for the dogs.

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There are in fact employees who are paid to work in the shelter (or as we heard recently, haven’t been paid for the past couple of months). But very little is done at all… and as you can see from the photographs the place is in terrible condition, virtually falling down. The dogs are fed trash from restaurants, and very likely are abused by some of the workers – there is no proof, but the volunteers say it is possible to see the evidence on the dogs and in the dogs’ behaviour.

The shelter does not pay for sterilisations, so any unsterilised dogs have to be kept apart from the others.. if it’s possible. The only medical treatment received is if the volunteers are able to raise funds.
P1020736The dogs are in constant need of vaccines, flea protection and deworming pills. The volunteers also feed about 50 abandoned and street dogs in the municipality of Gladno Polje, who roam outside of the shelter. There is no room to bring them inside.

There is no heating in the shelter, only water, and often not even that – the volunteers have to bring water in, by hand. Volunteers try to supplement the dogs’ food as much as possible with donations (about 60 euros is needed per day).

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conditions inside the main building are horrific

The roof of the building is damaged so it is leaking every time it rains. A lot of the dogs don`t have dog houses and many have nowhere to hide from the elements. Many dog boxes are either damaged or completely collapsed. Hygiene is very bad. There is no quarantine, so dogs brought in from the street are right away mixed with the dogs who are already at the shelter. The yard of the shelter is not properly fenced, so hungry dogs are constantly getting into fights with one another.

Video footage taken during Andrea Kalman and Sandra Jensen’s visit in September, 2014:

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This little dog was adopted and then returned to Gladno Polje for not using the toilet outside… no one thought to teach him……

The fundraising event of AWABosnia is to try and assist the volunteers on the ground first and foremost with much needed funds for materials for urgent repairs of the shelter, for dog houses, for hay balls. Without this, many of the dogs, puppies in particular, will not survive the winter. And those who do survive, will be suffering immensely with no heating, damaged boxes, missing or damaged dog houses, no blankets or straw….wet, cold, scared dogs everywhere.

Below is video footage taken by Sanela Kotorić Etterle, the main volunteer who does everything she can to ensure the well-being of the dogs. But one person can only do so much… and there are so many dogs…

P1020673Just in the last week there have been some unforeseen difficulties with Gladno Polje shelter. The shelter director has stated he is not sure how long the shelter will be in existence and he suggested to her that she take as many dogs to safety as possible. None of this has been confirmed yet, but there’s a possibility that another organisation will be taking over, possibly Lokom, the hygiene service who the Sarajevo government employed to catch and remove strays (see Stray Dogs of Sarajevo to be Killed in Election Ploy and Animal rights activists claim: stray dogs are being killed two days after being caught).

1794744_10152361893331080_2473322703677950794_nNo one is offering any official information, but the news does not bode well for the dogs at the shelter. Lokum does not have a good reputation to say the least, and so far no public shelter has had public funds put into it to make it a liveable place for dogs.

It will be no small thing to re-house 150 – 200 dogs. In the meantime the volunteers will do what they can to make sure the dogs are fed and that any construction work done is removable.

Please join the AWABosnia FB Event: Help the dogs in Gladno Polje survive the winter! 

1492583_902850043060120_4334016915794271894_oAnd please share this blog with your friends. If these 200 dogs have to be moved, an extraordinary amount of assistance will be needed. Pensions normally cost around 120 euros per dog, fosters are virtually impossible to find and the difficulties involved in building a private shelter are almost insurmountable (please see Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation).

 

January 11 2015 CRITICAL UPDATE: Please see
Uncertain future for Dogs at Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo

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RELATED POSTS:

Shelters in Bosnia Herzegovina
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

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This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Go here to find out how to help them.  Money is needed for food, medicine and foster housing. Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia

Pas ugiba Foto Bug ba (10)avaz.ba article: Mass Poisoning of Dogs in Bugojno, Bosnia (in Serbo-Croatian) additional photographs can be found with the article. Translation of an excerpt:

“Representatives of Flekica, the Association for the Protection of Animals in Bugojno, are outraged at a recent case of stray dog poisoning at the beginning of Ramadan. This is not the first case of poisoning stray dogs in Bugojno municipality. All previous investigations have shown that the poisonings were deliberate, by still unknown and irresponsible individuals…” Pas ugiba Foto Bug ba (23)The above photograph shows a group of local children who wanted to help one of the dogs. They managed to gather 50 KM (35 USD) to pay for the dog’s euthanasia so that it would not suffer, but no vet was available.Pas ugiba Foto Bug ba (27)

Admira el Falah, the president of Flekica, the Association for the Protection of Animals in Bugojno posted the video below, stating: “Despite all of my grief and horror watching this I had to share it. This killing of the oldest dog in Bugojno who was in his old age, a peaceful and good dog tended by the entire village, who especially loved children. He wasn’t afraid of people, he loved dear souls in torment and welcomed me always with wagging tail…”

Warning: distressing footage:

Bugojno is the same town where a girl threw puppies into a river, documented on video here (warning, distressing footage).

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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 and finding homes for, 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.