Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia

They are called ‘shelters’. I cannot call them this word. You know about Hreša.
If not, please read the following:
Part One 
Part Two
Part Three

The conditions entirely inhumane in most if not all state shelters. An animal welfare activist in Northern Bosnia states:

There is a dog pound in another municipality that is really not better than Hreša and they kill anywhere from 30-80 dogs there every month. As of two weeks ago communal/municipal police banned activists from entering the dog pound and helping dogs there and they ordered that at least 30 dogs should be “euthanized” there every month. Dog pounds are used to launder money from public budgets and they don’t want activists to poke around and witness how dogs are mistreated or abused at the dog pounds that they dare to call dog asylums/shelters. Population control and promotion of spaying and neutering as well as implementation of the animal welfare law is not in their interest because they want and need constant flow of new dogs through the dog pounds so that they can justify the funds spent each month from the budget. This is common knowledge amongst Bosnian animal welfare activists

In the case of the shelter in Hreša Jelena Paunović of Život BiH and other activists were not only prevented from taking a severely emaciated, suffering dog to veterinary care (see photograph above) but were violently threatened by the shelter manager. A Serbian friend who wishes to remain anonymous has stated she heard money had been stolen from the Hreša shelter funds during financial pre election manoeuvres.

I have access to images from the state dog shelter in Banja Luka, the second largest city in Bosnia and Herzegovina. These images show dogs that were killed by injections of bleach and a dog killed by other dogs and dead dogs left amongst the living.

Banja Luka Shelter

Here is a video of images from Banja Luka (text in Serbo-Croatian).

The smaller of two state shelters in Sarajevo is called Gladno Polje. Senaid Memić, one of the municipality mayors in Sarajevo (Ilidža municipality), signed a contract with the Agricultural cooperative (website http://upizzilidza.com/) to build a shelter on land owned by the Agricultural cooperative. It was to house about 120 dogs. The land for the shelter belongs to the Agricultural cooperative. The municipality supplied money for the construction work and volunteers were brought in to care for the dogs, however volunteers also provided their own funds for the construction and they were involved in cleaning up one of the buildings that existed on the land: a chicken farm.

The Director of the agricultural cooperative (Almir Džanković ) accepted the contract with the municipality without the agreement of the volunteers and employees who would be ultimately responsible for the dogs welfare. Essentially, the employees were ‘given’ 120 dogs to take care of, with minimal wages and no funds to take care of the dogs.

Jelena Paunović attempted to interview Almir Džanković, the agricultural director, but he refused to answer any of her questions regarding who is actually responsible for the dogs and why no proper provision has been made for their welfare.


Gladno Polje Shelter in Sarajevo

The municipality gives about 2 500 EUR every month to pay salaries for four full time employees and to pay water and other bills. The employees have no health insurance, their salaries are paid in cash, and they are not involved in the paying of bills so they don’t know what actually happens with the money.

There are about 200 dogs in and around the shelter. It’s impossible to know the exact number because people constantly leave strays in front of the shelter. There are big and small dogs, about 60 puppies, healthy and sick dogs.

There are several really big problems.
– There is no money for veterinary care
– There is no spay or neuter program
– There is no heating during the winter
– There is not enough dog food

The employees and volunteers at the shelter are actually beggars on social networks. If they collect donations, 200 EUR or even more – it means nothing. One vaccine for one dog for an infective disease costs 10 EUR, one basic veterinary exam costs 10 EUR, antibiotics 13 EUR and so on. Vets in Sarajevo will not see a dog without funds upfront, and thus many die.

Because there is no spay / neuter program, most of dogs are always in their cages and never go out.

When winter temperatures hit -20 to -30 degrees. In the Shelter, dogs sleep on the concrete or wet boards. Once they had beds made out of wood, but since the dogs are closed in for the most of the time, they have either eaten the wood or it has disintegrated due to the water used to clean the boxes. Volunteers and employees of the shelter constantly beg for old clothes to be donated to them. Dogs and especially puppies especially cannot live like this.

Jelena says: “We owe the greatest gratitude for the survival of the shelter and the dogs to Sanela Kotorić Etterle and Adnan Smailbegovic, who fight the most for everything dogs need.

Gladno Polje

I have also seen images from the larger of two state shelters in Sarajevo, which show horrifically starving dogs. The situation is the same: no funds.

Regarding Hreša, the State Veterinary Office informed Dogs Trust in Bosnia a few days ago that the vet inspectorate responsible stated the shelter has been closed down by the local public utility company, even before the inspectorate had a chance to act, in an apparent effort to avoid possible legal sanctions.

Because there have been no prior inspection visits and because the shelter closed down before they could act now, the inspectorate couldn’t provide any more details.

Dogs Trust BiH state that they will continue following up on this, but as no result has, as far as I know, ever occurred regarding similar situations, I don’t hold up much hope.

In the meantime, the dogs in Gladno Polje desperately need food, veterinary care, and spaying and neutering.

The dogs rescued from Hreša need re-homing or sponsorship. Right now the monthly cost for the just the dogs rescued from Hreša is over  500 Euros (650 USD). And it is winter: there are over 10,000 strays in Sarajevo that Jelena and the other activists go out and feed or the dogs die – temperatures reach minus 30C.

Please help. I have drafted a letter for EU MEPs. I have a list of all EU MEPs email addresses. Go here for the letter and all information.

And please donate. If you have a specific issue you would like your donation to go to, please state it on the donation. 

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HOW TO HELP:
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, 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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Dogs at Gladno Polje

~

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. You can donate via PayPal and I then transfer the money to Bosnia. I can also give you the PayPal email address of my Bosnian animal welfare contacts if you prefer.  Even just one dollar or one euro will help.

Horror Shelter in Hreša PART THREE

Jelena Paunović and the other animal activists returned to Hreša on the 7th of November. They found a completely deserted shelter. The dogs they’d seen there previously were no longer. However there was a large, locked container. Without police protection it was not advisable for the activists to investigate further.

So far we have had no response at all from emails and letters to the local authorities. I know many of you have also sent letters, without response. Nor have we had any useful response from international animal welfare organisations or any journalists that we have contacted, other than from Animal-Kind International who have a partner organisation in Bosnia, BAF, which is headquartered in the Netherlands. Animal-Kind have been very supportive in all kinds of ways, but we are all stymied by the lack of support and response on the ground from local authorities.

And please keep sharing the petition:
Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia.

The Rescues

Seven puppies and two adult dogs were rescued from the Hreša shelter.

The Puppies
One of the puppies was too weak to survive. The others are doing well, but are quite traumatized.

Stella

Mia, Stella, Jimmy and Winnie


Johnny, Mia and Pug

Adult dogs
A lovely dog they’ve called Clooney…

Clooney is about 10 months old. They named him Clooney because he is such a sweetheart, such a stunning and handsome dog and such a heart-stopper to all women who see him..  He behaves beautifully on a leash, is very calm, he behaves beautifully with adult dogs, puppies and cats. As Mia Ožegović, one of the activists with Jelena says, “If you ever wondered what George Clooney would look like in doggie-world, THIS is as close as can get!”

But, one of the adult dogs is shockingly traumatized…

Mia says:
“I thought I saw everything…all the worst atrocities a human kind is capable to do to a living creature, especially a dog , whether in reality or on tv shows such as ASPCA on Animal planet etc. But this story …this case ….this female dog …. this is unbearable …. I’m trying not cry and trying to talk and describe her from a distance. I am trying not to let my emotions and anger and despair prevail …. I have never seen so many people cry after getting in touch with a dog that had such an abusive past as this lovely female had. Thinking of how to name her, one adjective was always coming to my mind … “It was a true GRACE that she ran out of that kennel at Hresa so we could pick her up and take her away from that hell …” I think it would be appropriate to therefore to name her Grace …. Grace was (with no doubt) heavily beaten-up over a long period of time, either by her previous owner or by the people responsible at the Hresa Shelter, but we will never know the exact truth. She is unable to walk, not because she is in pain but out of sheer fear. Each time someone makes a gesture or moves a hand quickly she immediately gets down and stays down because she thinks that we will hit her. She holds her tail as curled up as she possibly can. It took us an whole hour and a half just to make her do two steps on her own, or even to encourage her to get up from the ground and just stand. She has bite-marks all over her body, probably because the other dogs with whom she was sharing the kennel at Hresa, would fight or bite each other out of hunger. She is in such a poor psychological and physiological condition that for her complete recovery she will need a great deal of time to pass. She was brought to the very fine edge of starvation. She is a walking skeleton. You can’t call her “a dog” because she isn’t one. She is just an image of a dog, a vague and bleak image of something that people classified as “a dog”. This is a crawling, breathing, nightmare …. Soon we will post a video of her, just so you could see for yourself all this and much much more of all this that I’m trying to explain regarding Grace’s condition. she will be “a dog” one day, she will one day roam and jump and play like all dogs do. She will twinkle her tail when she sees a human being …she will …. we just have to help her become that.”

UPDATE February 22, 2013 Lovely Clooney has been adopted locally in Sarajevo.

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HOW TO HELP:
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, 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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It strikes me that it was a year ago today that Vučko was so brutally tortured.

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.

Horror Shelter in Hreša PART TWO

This from Jelena Paunovic, who just got back from Hreša:

When I first published photos from Hreša shelter many people interested in adopting contacted me. I had probable home for ten dogs. Director of shelter, in our conversation two days ago, said he is interested in cooperation regarding helping him with food, public relations and adoptions of dogs.

Today we went to shelter with the idea to take few dogs and put them in pension until they could be sent to their adopters. Alas, when we got there all of this dogs were missing and shelter was half empty.

We were able to put seven puppies and two grown up dogs in a small car. We put them in pension aware that we saved them of eminent death. All of them will need sponsors for pension costs. First expenses will be covered with money gathered for food as we have almost no dogs left there to be fed. We found out that bodies of dogs were buried at local garbage disposal site and we went there to look for bodies. Employee of facility confirmed that bodies were buried there but said there is no possibility to see them as they dug them in deep. We looked for them but to no result. Later we tried to get few remaining ones out but run into a trouble as workers arrived so we had to flee!

There is probably six more dogs there but we are not capable to get them out as this could be very dangerous now when they expect us. Early this morning one of activists talked to shelter manager who claimed that he released dogs but witnesses and clues are telling another story.

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PLEASE CONTACT ANIMAL WELFARE ORGANISATIONS AND TELL THEM WHAT IS HAPPENING IN HRESA.
(contact me for Jelena’s details to give them so they can verify the story)

Please sign and share the petition:
Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia

Please contact the local authorities directly, see the post below. I’ll be redrafting a letter soon.

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HOW TO HELP:
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, 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.