Prijedor Dog “Shelter” – Another Bosnian Atrocity

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

PLEASE SIGN THE PETITIONS!

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Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues and to help us keep safe the rescued dogs we are sponsoring but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.

On our sister site, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: donations@awabosnia.org . Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

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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.

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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.

Safe haven for dogs and cats needs your help

KizaFedin Gunić and his parents built a private shelter for dogs and cats in the Kozarac and Prijedor municipality of Bosnia-Herzegovina, a place where during Bosnian war in 1992 some of the worst war crimes and crimes against humanity occurred in Europe since WW2.

282496_2314649427981_5213871_nFedin’s family were refugees in the war and only returned to their farm in 2002. Kittens and puppies were all the time being dumped on their farmland. They could not watch them starve or get run over by cars so they took them in and cared for them. In 2004 they built the shelter that now provides care for almost 60 dogs and 40 cats. The three of them do all this without having any material or financial benefit. They built the shelter using savings and bank loans, and have managed until recently to keep the shelter running on the small salary of Fedin’s mother as well as income from his father’s shoe repair shop. Sometimes donations from welfare organisations come in, but these are few and far between and right now funds are exhausted.

Please help the Gunić family continue their sterling work with their rescues. For donations via PayPal, please donate to: erdelman@live.com 

Chupo

You may know about other “shelters” in Bosnia. If not please read about them here. Unlike these state funded concentration camps for dogs, the Gunić family has created a truly safe haven for animals. I’ve seen the progress of many direly sick dogs and cats that have come under their care, animals who would have most likely died in any other circumstance. But Fedin and his parents are able to perform miracles.

Please see for example the story of little Lyra, found late last year, a kitten so severely mauled by a dog her intestines were protruding from wounds in her abdomen:

bandagedVideo taken in late October:

Lyra needed 24/7 care and developed a number of complications during her healing process, and although she no longer has the use of her right hind leg, she is a now a very healthy, happy young cat:

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156823_1774646568247_5285282_nThe family has had to deal with threats from local authorities, in spite of the fact they are doing the state a service and have a legalized shelter. In late 2011 the municipal veterinary Inspectors decided to shut them down and take away all the dogs to the Ljeskare-Kurjevo dog shelter in Prijedor municipality where the dogs would be killed. This was most likely in retaliation for the fact that the Gunić family had reported this public dog shelter to the State Veterinary Inspector and to the animal welfare organization NOA Banjaluka – as a result of this report the State Inspector gave a one year deadline to the Ljeskare-Kurjevo dog shelter to improve conditions there.

However, the decision of municipal veterinary inspectors was annulled by State Minister after the family’s appeal. It was established and confirmed that the veterinary inspectors made serious mistakes in their conduct with the Gunić family and broke several laws in their investigation.

155046_1767170621353_7351908_nIf you are in any doubt as to the legitimacy of Fedin and his family, I can tell you more. In 2008 Fedin Gunić worked for the animal welfare organization NOA Banjaluka which saved, with the help of other organisations and a few local people, a brown bear, Miljen, kept as a pet by an infamous Bosnian mobster. Fedin took care of all the complex negotiations required for Miljen to enter the EU. Miljen is now in a sanctuary in France. Der Spiegel published an article about this incident and there is a Reuters report on YouTube here.

willyjazoFedin has been involved in other high profile cases, trying to change the conditions for abused animals in his country, including a Lipizzaner Stud in Prnjavor where the horses were kept in appalling conditions. Prior to this kind of activism Fedin worked as a humanitarian worker for Dorcas Aid International and also as a project assistant for British ODA (Overseas Development Administration) and later DFID (Department for International Development). Most of the work related to the returning of refugees and displaced persons to their homes. Other projects included renovation of schools and clinics in the towns and settlements where the refugees had homes.

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Please help the Gunić family continue their sterling work with their rescues. For donations via PayPal, please donate to: erdelman@live.com 

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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.