Illegal Catching and Killing of Dogs in Sarajevo

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As you know from our previous blog, on 30 June, 2016, the Cantonal Government of Sarajevo issued a decision which requires the utility company KJKP Rad Hygienic Service (or “P.C. Rad”) in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the street. And also you know there are not in fact enough places new dogs in the already overpopulated, poorly maintained and inhumane shelters.  This removal of strays from the city will not solve a problem which is the direct result of owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs. 

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

On Monday 25th July, a peaceful demonstration called “Stop killing the dogs“ was held in front of the Sarajevo Cantonal Government. Those who attended requested the prime minister to end the illegal activities of the public company KJKP Rad (Hygienic Service).  Amela Turalic, animal activist, took an opportunity when Mr. Elmedin Konakovic, Prime Minister of the Sarajevo Canton, was passing by and asked him for a meeting. He agreed. Previously, no one from the Cantonal Government had replied to a letter sent by a group of Sarajevo citizens for such a meeting.

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On 26th July, a few dog lovers and rescuers from Bosnia and Herzegovina met with Mr. Elmedin Konakovic and with the Minister for Utility and Infrastructure Senad Hasanspahić. It was the first time that the Prime Minister had such a meeting with several people defending dogs. The group was represented by the following people: Berina Alihodzic, Deputy Chief Cantonal Prosecutor, Amela Turalić from the NGO sector, Dalida Kozlic, lawyer, Elzemina Bajrović from the UNDP, an employee of the UN in the role of a concerned citizen and Almir Kuduz, owner of King pension.

13663563_10208548917874050_990398905_oPrime minister Elmedin Konakovic’s attitude initially clearly envisaged a “meeting with filthy activists/ demonstrators”. He began by insisting the situation with dogs was very alarming, that dogs were aggressive and infected, attacking pregnant women and so on. He said he would solve the problem of overpopulation of stray dogs by mass catching of stray dogs and that he wants to change the law immediately so dogs can be euthanised after 15 days in shelters. He stated all sick dogs should be euthanized. He seemed to have just one aim: to remove all dogs from Sarajevo. Apparently, he has chosen this illegal way to do it and he wants to implement illegal practices.

The Prime Minister had a strong support from the Minister for Utility and Infrastructure Senad Hasanspahić,

The team presented their arguments to the Prime Minister showing they were not “filthy activists” but serious people coming from recognised institutions.

13662480_10208548917914051_755251969_oElzemina from the UNDP talked about UNDP programmes regarding curbing stray animal populations and also stated that the UNDP BiH Representative gave her approval to attend the meeting (the Prime Minister had previously mentioned his collaboration with all ambassadors on the subject saying that they all agreed with him…). Almir Kuduz spoke, stating amongst other things the need to simplify and make affordable the process of transporting Bosnian dogs abroad for adoption; the fact that government should assist citizens and all people who care for stray dogs so it is easier to run legal pensions.

Prime minister Elmedin Konakovic booked another meeting with the group in a week.


13884396_10208548868872825_938767276_nThe intention of the group was to raise the question of the implementation of the decision of the 30th June. Since the Government and Prime Minister keep claiming this has been done legally, the group wanted to seek permission to have access to all dog catchers services (including all vehicles at the street) and to be allowed to follow the whole procedure from catching the dog to the placement in shelters or eventual euthanasia. Therefore, this issue will be raised at the forthcoming meeting with the Prime Minister on Thursday.

The Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals is the main legislation regarding treatment of animals in Bosnia. Authorities of one canton must implement the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals and it is a criminal offence to finance activities that are done in accordance with illegal decisions of low level authorities.

13866823_10208548868952827_907391138_nAs you can see from the pictures, dog catchers are very active. They catch dogs even when they are asleep. Dogs who manage to escape being caught appear traumatised. There are three teams of dog catchers, working in two shifts. Dogs are taken to Cantonal veterinary station Sarajevo where rescuers and other people can rescue caught dogs, and also from this station some dogs are sent to Praca shelter mentioned above. However, dogs are also being taken to the headquarters of KJKP Rad where no one – no rescuers or animal advocates –  can enter, only employees of KJKP Rad. Also, dog catchers of KJKP Rad have started taking dogs to the infamous veterinary station in Reljevo and the infamous military base Zunovnica in Hadzic, where the dog catching service of P.E. “Lokum” of Novi Grad, has taken dogs. It is important to emphasise that the veterinary station in Reljevo is owned by Lokom and that it is known to be the worst killing pound in Sarajevo.

13654145_1837702073130454_8254499706440615420_nThe imperative is to stop the illegal catching and killing of strays and to enable rescuers to have access to all shelters and dog catching services, which is a legal obligation of authorities, but also it is very useful since rescuers can help maintain shelters and help feed and look after the animals there. Authorities must take their responsibility for solving of this problem.

Because owners are continuing to abandon their unsterilised dogs or the unsterilised offspring of their pets, and because there are not sufficient numbers of adequately run sterilisation campaigns, the number of dogs in the Canton Sarajevo is still around several thousand.
gladnosadpuppyNo one knows the exact number as there is no database. Local authorities built several shelters around Sarajevo in which conditions are even not close to a satisfactory level, animals have no vet care, conditions and treatment are inhumane. These shelters include Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje and Zunovnica with a maximum capacity of around 600 dogs in total. Dogs often die due to sickness or are attacked by other dogs. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Dogs survive – if at all – thanks to groups of volunteers and animal-friendly citizens of Sarajevo who visit them and provide food and some medicines. Some public companies donate some food or food scraps. Lucky dogs are homed in Bosnia or abroad thanks to volunteers. (During the meeting Prime Minister Elmedin Konakovic stated the government most likely would buy Praca shelter, and who knows what the consequence will be for the dogs.)

Thousands of dogs remaining on the streets cannot be placed in shelters as they are so overcrowded. Furthermore, there is not any official evidence as to how many dogs are taken from the streets, how many arrive in the shelters, what their health condition is, how many are euthanized and for what reason, and how many are currently at the shelters. There is no adequate inspection in practice, no official cooperation with the NGO sector which could make and keep evidence on everything in cooperation with the authorities. Hence dogs are often left at the mercy of employees of the hygienic service and shelter owners. No one knows how many die in between visits of the volunteers and due to what reason.

The Bosnian media is also getting more and more involved in reporting this case:
BIH MAGAZIN [22.07.2016.]
Misterija iza smanjenja broja pasa lutalica u Sarajevu
UBIJANJE ZAKONA O ZAŠTITI ŽIVOTINJA: Aktivisti tvrde da se sarajevski psi ubijaju u nelegalnim skloništima!

P1020736However media has also encouraged citizens of Sarajevo to live in fear of stray dogs. They constantly publish overwrought, bombastic articles about dogs attacking people, of infected and rabid dogs, of the filth they are producing in an otherwise very clean city et cetera. Currently there is, in fact, an alarming situation of rats and other rodents on the streets, but the media presents the dogs as a bigger problem. And no media is reporting on dogs being transported from other areas of Bosnia to Sarajevo, even, perhaps, from other countries (a truck has been seen filled with dogs in Sarajevo, with Albanian registration plates). A story was published about 10 days ago in several news portals, where the Prime Minister stated that child support is only 33 KM (about 16 euros) per child and yet the government is allocating 153 KM (about 78 euros) per stray dog. If this money did in fact go towards stray dogs, then the situation in the shelters and the overpopulation would not exist. Nevertheless such stories inflame the rage of the populace against dogs.

Most of of media is controlled and/or financed by leading political parties, which is why they do not publish the real situation.

HOW TO HELP:

PLEASE NOTE THAT PETITIONS DO VERY LITTLE. WE HAVE ORGANISED MANY WITH HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS OF SIGNATURES OBTAINED, BUT NO CHANGE HAS HAPPENED. It is better to write letters as follows:

1. Write letters to your embassy representative in Bosnia:

To find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina go here:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina
Finding any MEP in Europe – a ‘Euromap’
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html
Finding any MEP by the alphabetical name list can be done via the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/expert/alphaOrder.do?language=EN


2. Write letters to the Bosnian authorities:

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

3. Write letters to international animal welfare organisations – google this for email addresses or go here on Wikipedia for information

Below is a draft letter you can modify to use. Or you can simply copy and paste the above blog and ask that something be done. Please be sure to address it to a specific person and to sign it, including your contact details.

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Dear XXX

Millions of citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty. Countries seeking to acquire EU membership need to demonstrate certain standards of animal care, and so I want to bring to your attention Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are seeking admission, and yet who constantly contravene their own animal welfare laws.

In 2009, the Law on Animal Welfare and Protection entered into force in Bosnia Herzegovina. Amongst other things this law proscribes that owners of dogs and cats are to register their animals at the veterinarian organization and mark them with microchips. Additionally, within the period of one year, institutions were obliged to build humane shelters in which all abandoned and lost animals found on the streets should be placed after being caught by a hygienic service, and in which they would be treated on a humane way and provided adequate veterinarian care. Until then, stray animals could be spayed and turned back to the street, while only sick, aggressive and dogs in agony were to be euthanized.

So far, no legally proscribed measure has been conducted. Since the local authorities have not conducted sufficient neutering campaigns on time and properly, the number of stray dogs has multiplied. Dogs Trust sterilization campaigns nave not been able to significantly reduce the numbers of dogs in Sarajevo. Owners are continuing to abandon their unsterilised dogs or the unsterilised offspring of their pets, so the number of dogs in the Canton Sarajevo still seems to be around several thousands. No one knows the exact number as there is no database. Local authorities built several shelters around Sarajevo in which conditions are even not close to a satisfactory level, animals have no vet care, conditions and treatment are inhumane. These shelters include Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje and Zunovnica with a maximum capacity of around 600 dogs in total. Dogs often die due to sickness or are attacked by other dogs. Conditions are almost the same as in concentration war camps. Dogs survive thanks to groups of volunteers and animal-friendly citizens of Sarajevo who visit them and provide food and some medicines. Some public companies donate some food or food scraps. Lucky dogs are homed in Bosnia or abroad thanks to volunteers.

Thousands of those remaining on the streets cannot be placed in shelters as they are overcrowded. Furthermore, there is not any official evidence as to how many dogs are taken from the streets, how many arrive in the shelters, what their health condition is, how many are euthanized and for what reason, and how many are currently at the shelters. There is no adequate inspection in practice, no official cooperation with the NGO sector which could make and keep evidence on everything in cooperation with the authorities. Hence dogs are often left at the mercy of employees of the hygienic service and shelter owners. No one knows how many die in between visits of the volunteers and due to what reason.

On 30 June, 2016, Cantonal Government issued a decision which requires A utility company KJKP Rad (Hygienic Service), in collaboration with Veterinary Station and supported by the police, to remove all stray dogs they find on the street. In the course of their action, they take every dog, regardless of whether they are aggressive, sick, spayed (with a visible marked at the plate on the ear) or not. Even babies. While the Government is claiming that this is being done legally and in a human way, the implementation of the conclusion is illegal due to the fact that there is no space and no conditions at the shelters to put new arrivals of dogs. Therefore, it is obvious that hundreds and thousands of dogs taken from the streets are killed.

Furthermore, government public statements have been made with regards to this dog catching stating there is a need to collect aggressive and ill street dogs, which is part of the country’s animal welfare law. The same law prohibits the destruction of healthy dogs. And yet, animal welfare activists have documented healthy and non-aggressive dogs been caught and removed. In addition, the problem of strays in the city is a result of owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs.

Increased numbers of dogs on the streets is a direct result of irresponsible ownership, with owners either letting their unsterilised dogs free-roam, or because they abandon their unsterilised dogs and because of government failure to implement preventive measures that are provided by the laws, such as punishing those who abandon animals, creating a registration of pets, providing adequate 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 BiH law on Protection and Welfare of Animals very clearly 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 outlined in the law.

Regarding registration of pets, for seven years the State Veterinary Office has not enacted the laws on registration, micro-chipping and identification of ownership of animals in Bosnia and Herzegovina, nor has established a unified database for registration.

The only way to solve this problem is for municipalities and governments to establish their own database of owned of animal. If the database of tagged animals and owners of animals is established, it will enable the identification, prosecution and punishment of people who abandon the animals.

Also, the dog shelters in this country are documented by animal rescue organisations and activists to be inhumane ‘death camps’ for dogs, and are in fact used for money laundering purposes: money destined for the dogs and the shelters is pocketed.

I am writing to ask your assistance in ensuring that the current ‘dog catching’ service of by the public utility company KJKP Rad Ltd. Sarajevo and Public company “Veterinary station” Ltd. be monitored and investigated to ensure it works according to Bosnian law and that the shelters in Sarajevo – in particular Zunovnica shelter – and other public shelters in the country have radically improved conditions,  and in particular that animal activists be allowed to document and ensure that the laws are applied.

We have been advised by BiH lawyers and activists that as the BiH politicians themselves are involved in stealing of money from illegal shelters and hygienic ‘dog catching’ services, and that since the prosecutors and police officers are also corrupt, the only way to force the BiH political establishment to stop their illegal practises is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies.

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

The law 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 and adequate care, including veterinary care for the animals housed there. Again, the truth is that the conditions in most public shelters are horrific, with dogs being left for days without water, food or care of any kind. There is documented evidence of this.

As you will be aware, the European Union provides the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with many millions of euros worth of financial aid each year.  My understanding of the provisos attached to these aid packages is that there is a requirement for the recipient country to abide by EU laws which would include the laws related to animal welfare. The Commission has stated that aligning national animal welfare legislation with EU law is a prerequisite for EU membership.

I would urge you please to raise the above issues with the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of animals (http://www.animalwelfareintergroup.eu/) and, critically, with your representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The issue of the failure of the BiH authorities to apply even the barest minimum of the law to ensure the safety of the animals must be addressed. It is imperative that the European Commission and the Parliament discusses this matter with their Bosnia and Herzegovina counterparts.

We urge you to help ensure that the Bosnia Herzegovina authorities implement internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray dog population control and management, and that resources be allocated to ensure such principles are followed.

Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

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

Terror for strays on the streets of Sarajevo
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?

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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.

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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.

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.

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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.

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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...”

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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.
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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

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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.

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

______________________________________________

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.

Bosnian public shelters for stray dogs – A True Horror Story

By Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH:

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

Gladnopuppies copyThe Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals of Bosnia and Herzegovina was legislated and entered into force by the Parliamentary Assembly in 2009. Also, torturing and killing animals is a criminal offence in Bosnia and Herzegovina. According to provisions of the Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals every municipality is obliged to establish and finance shelters for stray animals as well as hygienic services that are obliged to catch and transport stray animals to 1794744_10152361893331080_2473322703677950794_nveterinary stations and shelters. Two very important ordinances were legislated in 2010: Ordinances on both establishing shelters and the conditions that shelters for stray animals and hygienic services must fulfil. Both ordinances 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 different and cruel for stray animals.

There are many illegal shelters for stray animals that are established and led by persons who are close to Bosnian authorities. Politically eligible persons construct so-called shelters for stray animals, which have the function of concentration camps, and they invoice false spay/neuter programs, as well as for food Gladnoawfulthat would never be given to animals; veterinary examinations and treatment, and the means for euthanasia.  In fact. animals are tortured and killed in those shelters constantly.  Animals are beaten, cut, clubbed, raped or tortured in many horrific ways. Animals do not have water, food, accommodation, they freeze or they are exposed to extremely high temperatures. Also, animals are killed with wires, clubs, glass shreds, poison and also fire arms. While all these atrocities happen, local authorities finance people who own those shelters. Also, there are 1475885_770877902939000_260306746_nmany illegal hygienic services that receive money from budgets of different municipalities. Those hygienic services kill stray animals, but they receive money for food, medications, treatments, catching of stray animals as well as their placement as they are alive.

Nobody knows how many illegal public shelters exists in Bosnia. There are public shelters in Praca, Hresa, Gladno Polje, Hadzici, Tesanj, Jajce, Bratunac, Bihac, Sanski Most, Banja Luka, Prnjavor, Doboj, Trebinje, Foća, Goražde.

In some of those shelters activists and rescuers are allowed to come and feed and help dogs. Those shelters are Gadno Polje, Banja Luka and Prnajvor. Conditions are very bad and activists struggle to help dogs, but at least dogs are not illegally killed and they are fed and treated. Since municipalities do not give enough money for those shelters, and food and 1379787_10202389002909199_1658533155_nveterinary costs are financed by activists and donators. It is not good solution because local authorities must fulfil their legal obligations and finance shelters in accordance with Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals, but it is the only way to keep an eye on authorities and protect stray dogs in those shelters. It is necessary to work constantly on legalisation of those shelters and adjustment of shelters as it is required by the law.

Praca shelter, the only registered and the biggest shelter in Bosnia also has a lot of problems. It is overcrowded, but at least people are allowed to donate some food and medications for dogs. This shelter should have been financed by all municipalities of Canton Sarajevo, but after it had been published how much budget money had been spent for illegal activities, the shelter was forgotten but many new dogs have been placed there.

xxxThe situation is much worse in shelters that cannot be visited by anyone. It is common practice to establish illegal shelters – pounds in former military buildings that are no longer used by the Bosnian military. Those buildings are hidden, surrounded by hectares of the land and huge fences. Those places are perfect for killing of stray dogs. Most of them were built by the former Yugoslavian army and therefore they were very complicated to be visited or to see what it was going one in there.

One of such former military base that is used as illegal pound is the casern Safet Zajko in Sarajevo, which is used by a notorious and illegal group of dog catchers that has been established in municipality Novi Grad Sarajevo. There have been killed thousands of stray dogs.

bihac_18_894824008Also, illegal pounds have been established in former military buildings in Hadzici, Tesanj and Jajce. No one has ever visited those buildings. Local people have confirmed as well as local authorities that “shelters” have been established in those buildings. There are no records of how many dogs have been caught and placed there. Caught dogs that are taken in those buildings have never been found again.

The pattern is similar with other illegal shelters, which are not placed in former military buildings. Most of them are placed in some unusual, old and destroyed buildings.

208674_587515221260272_1966183606_nBecause of the obvious money laundering through illegal shelters, Bosnian authorities want to have more stray dogs on the streets. If there are a lot of dogs on the streets, than more dogs can be killed and more money can be stolen. If people abandon dogs and if stray dogs are not spayed/neutered, then there will always be enough dogs to be killed by corrupt authorities who take money for dead dogs.

The only solution that can save Bosnian stray animals is to implement Act on Protection and Welfare of Animals in all its provisions and to establish system that is provided by the law.

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.

What to do about Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo?

How to make a difference, from Dalida Kozlic, lawyer and activist in BiH:

All our politicians are involved in stealing of money from illegal shelters and the hygienic services. Since money laundering through shelters is one of the most popular criminal activities for our politicians, there is no one who can help from politics.

If the Prosecutor’s office reacts, which it is obliged to do, our politicians will stop their illegal practice, but our prosecutors and police officers are amongst the most corrupt in the world.

The only way to force our political establishment to stop this illegal practice is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies. Activities of foreign activists and organisations should be focused on writing letters to embassies of UK, USA, Germany, Italy and France etc. Foreign politicians are able to make a difference, not our own.

Below is a draft letter you can modify to use. Please be sure to address it to a specific person and to sign it, including your contact details. You can also send it to your MP and MEP. 

To find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina go here:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina

Finding any MEP in Europe – a ‘Euromap’
http://www.europarl.europa.eu/meps/en/map.html
Finding any MEP by the alphabetical name list can be done via the following link: http://www.europarl.europa.eu/members/expert/alphaOrder.do?language=EN

________________________________________________

Dear XXX

Millions of EU citizens care deeply about animal welfare and are sickened to see constant reports of horrific animal cruelty, and look to the EU to help improve animal welfare across Europe. Countries seeking to acquire EU membership need to demonstrate certain standards of animal care, and so I want to bring to your attention Bosnia and Herzegovina, who are seeking admission, and yet who constantly contravene their own animal welfare laws.

There are countless dog shelters in the country that are documented by animal rescue organisations and activists to be inhumane and ‘death camps’ for dogs, and are in fact used for money laundering purposes: money destined for the dogs and the shelters is pocketed.

I am writing to ask your assistance in ensuring that dog shelter at Gladno Polje in Sarajevo and other public shelters in the country be monitored to ensure that conditions are improved and that the dogs there are safe, that animal activists be allowed to document and ensure that the laws are applied. We are asking that any dog catching service is monitored and works according to the laws of the country.

We have been advised by BiH lawyers and activists that as the BiH politicians themselves are involved in stealing of money from illegal shelters and hygienic services, and that since the prosecutors and police officers are also corrupt, the only way to force the BiH political establishment to stop their illegal practises is pressure from international organisations and especially embassies.

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

The law 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 and adequate care, including veterinary care for the animals housed there. Again, the truth is that the conditions in most public shelters are horrific, with dogs being left for days without water, food or care of any kind. There is documented evidence of this.

As you will be aware, the European Union provides the government of Bosnia and Herzegovina and with many millions of euros worth of financial aid each year. I believe the allocation for 2012 was around €107.8m. My understanding of the provisos attached to these aid packages is that there is a requirement for the recipient country to abide by EU laws which would include the laws related to animal welfare. The Commission has stated that aligning national animal welfare legislation with EU law is a prerequisite for EU membership.

I would urge you please to raise the above issues with the European Commission and the European Parliament’s Intergroup on the Welfare and Conservation of animals (http://www.animalwelfareintergroup.eu/) and, critically, with your representatives in Bosnia-Herzegovina.

The issue of the failure of the BiH authorities to apply even the barest minimum of the law to ensure the safety of the animals must be addressed. It is imperative that the European Commission and the Parliament discusses this matter with their Bosnia and Herzegovina counterparts.

The European Parliament states that “The EU has among the world’s highest standards of animal welfare”. The Eurogroup for Animal Welfare (http://eurogroupforanimals.org/ )is strongly urging the European Commission to adopt adequate measures to ensure that all pet animals are properly treated to protect their health and welfare. If it is Bosnia and Herzegovina’s wish to join the EU it would seem that until their government takes crimes against defenceless, sentient animals seriously they will not be a fit country to be accepted into the EU.

We urge you to help ensure that the Bosnia Herzegovina authorities implement internationally agreed-upon guiding principles on humane stray dog population control and management, and that resources be allocated to ensure such principles are followed.

Please see the petition regarding Gladno Polje shelter, which has already garnered over 6000 signatures since the 11th of January, 2015: “Ensure the safety and health of dogs at Gladno Polje “shelter”, refuse change of ownership to Novi Grad Veterinary station; allow access to the shelter by independent rescuers and activists” http://tinyurl.com/o5yd4ym.

Many thanks for your time, I look forward to hearing from you.

Kind regards,

______________________________________________________________________

Please keep sharing the petition: Ensure the safety and health of dogs at Gladno Polje “shelter”, refuse change of ownership to Novi Grad Veterinary station; allow access to the shelter by independent rescuers and activists

And if you wish to assist the rescuers in their efforts to save the dogs you can donate via YouCaring: Help the Gladno Polje dogs survive winter. 

Dalida has outlined for us the Animal Protection and Welfare Act and Ordinance on establishing and conditions that shelters in Bosnia Herzegovina must fulfill. These are are legal acts, which provide conditions for establishing, financing and working of shelters:

Lost and abandoned animals must be provided with adequate shelter and veterinary-medial assistance.

(1) Animal shelter owner is obliged to: a) provide sufficient quantities of food and water for animals; b) provide veterinary-medical care for animals; c) provide sufficient living area surface for each animal and enable sufficient exercise/movement; d) keep records on each rescued animal; e) keep records on each adopted animal; f) perform obligatory sterilization (spaying and neutering) of all rescued animals upon termination of the deadline as given in paragraph (2) of this Article; g) receive statements on lost or abandoned animals; h) engage in adopting animals and finding animal owners; i) microchip all arriving animals if not previously microchip. (2) Animal owner has the right to request the return of his/her animal eight days upon the animal being rescued and taken into the shelter, or otherwise the animal can be given to another interested party. (3) Persons who adopt rescued animals are obliged to sign the animal adoption statement. (4) Animal shelters can be formed by any physical of private, or legal entity, local community unit, municipality, city, canton or entity. (5) Competent cantonal, municipal or city body issues a permit for establishing an animal shelter, based on the instruction prescribed by the competent ministry, at the proposal by the Veterinary Office, and keeps the animal shelter registry.

Lost and abandoned animals shall be collected by the Health/Hygienic and rescue service employees by causing minimum pain and suffering and turn the animals into the animal shelter.

Shelters and hygienic/health services are funded from: a) entity-level, cantonal, city or municipal budget; b) other sources of funding (donations, grant, etc.).

RELATED POSTS:

Shelters in Bosnia Herzegovina
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.

Uncertain future for Dogs at Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo

GladnoLeila2

Please sign the petition: Ensure the safety and health of dogs at Gladno Polje “shelter”, refuse change of ownership to Novi Grad Veterinary station; allow access to the shelter by independent rescuers and activists

The agricultural cooperative responsible for management of Gladno Polje shelter in Sarajevo did not sign a new contract for the shelter yesterday. We are informed this means the shelter will close, or will be transferred to another company. Either way, the prognosis for the 200+ dogs at Gladno Polje is dire.

10801687_379932732183613_2004348567224426053_nThe veterinary station “Novi Grad Sarajevo”, owned by the public company Lokom, has offered to take over the shelter. PC Lokom is owned by the municipality of Novi Grad Sarajevo. This company has established a notorious group of dog-catchers known as the “hygiene service”. This is considered by activists and rescuers to be a criminal organisation that kills stray dogs as part of money laundering activities (stealing funds that are meant to take dogs off the streets and into dog shelters for care. However, there are in fact no shelters able to take in more dogs, so what happens to the dogs, to the money?)

Authorities of the municipality of Ilidza will shortly decide whether they will allow the veterinary station “Novi Grad Sarajevo” to take over the shelter, but the fact that the agricultural cooperative has not signed a new contract to continue management means it’s likely the authorities of Ilidza will accept the offer. Gladno Polje will then be under the control of the vet Mustafa Mrkulic who is widely known – as well as PC Lokum – as “the worst illegal dog killers in Sarajevo.”

mainheaderGladno Polje is a shelter established by local authorities which only works because of the hard work of a tiny group of independent rescuers and activists headed by Sanela Kotorić Etterle, who fundraise for proper food, who go in and clean the pens and do whatever they can to improve what are horrific conditions, putting straw down on the cold concrete, and even giving water which is often not available (or frozen in winter).

The shelter’s requirements should be funded by the government, but no one knows where the funds go. Nevertheless, the activists have managed to maintain the dogs and even find homes for some of them.

10892019_955233547821769_7086032730255842381_nIf the shelter changes ownership to the Novi Grad Veterinary station, there is a very real possibility that rescuers and activists who are taking care of the dogs will be forbidden to enter Gladno Polje and that the dogs will be illegally killed to make room for more, who will then also be killed and so on. Please note that the Animal Welfare Law of the country does not allow killing in shelters unless the dogs are suffering beyond help or are a danger to themselves or people.

It is extremely important influence the authorities of the municipality Ilidza to reject the offer of veterinary station Novi Grad Sarajevo and to insist upon the safety of the dogs currently living in the shelter and on improved conditions, and to allow access to the shelter by independent rescuers and activists.

Please write emails to Prof. Senaid Memic, head of the Municipality in charge of Gladno Polje:
kabinet.nacelnika@opcinailidza.ba

opcinski.nacelnik@opcinailidza.ba

And you can also write to the members of the council listed on these page: http://www.opcinailidza.ba/vijecnici.html
http://www.opcinailidza.ba/rukovodstvo.html

You can also write emails to your embassy in BiH:
Find your Embassy in Bosnia-Herzegovina:
http://embassy.goabroad.com/embassies-in/bosnia-and-herzegovina

Please sign the petition: Ensure the safety and health of dogs at Gladno Polje “shelter”, refuse change of ownership to Novi Grad Veterinary station; allow access to the shelter by independent rescuers and activists

Gladnoawful

Other ways to help:

Given the above photographs you might think the best thing is for the shelter to close; however what then happens to the dogs there? There is nowhere for them to go. Rescuers would need extraordinary funding and support to buy land and build and maintain a shelter for this number of dogs. If you think you can help please go to the following:

– Sanela Kotorić Etterle’s Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/sanela.etterle
– Facebook events:
Help the dogs in Gladno Polje survive the winter!
Action to Help Dogs in shelters Gladno Polje
– Facebook page
Dogs from the animal shelter “Gladno Polje”

And if you wish to assist the rescuers in their efforts to save the dogs you can donate via YouCaring: Help the Gladno Polje dogs survive winter

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

RELATED POSTS:

Shelters in Bosnia Herzegovina
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.

Saving the Dogs of Gladno Polje, Bosnia

mainheader

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.

AWABosnia has set up a Facebook event to try and raise much needed funds for these volunteers to make urgent repairs to make the dogs` lives better before the harsh Sarajevo winter sets in.

***You can help by donating via the YouCaring: Help the Gladno Polje dogs survive winter***

Gladnopuppies copyThere 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! 

And you can donate via YouCaring: Help the Gladno Polje dogs survive winter.

If you prefer to donate via AWABosnia, please see the donation instructions below. Make sure to mark your donation for ‘Gladno Polje.’

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).

If you can offer a home to one of the dogs, please send an email to: info@awabosnia.org.

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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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.

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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.