And more ‘shelters’ in the country have been visited and documented, Bratunac and Trebinje. Like other shelters conditions are entirely unsuitable and contravene the existing animal welfare law in Bosnia Herzegovina which states that dog shelters have to provide proper care of the animals in the shelters, including proper vet care. For a full translation of the existing law, please download this PDF.
As always, the shelters are situated in out-of-the-way places, hard to find and on or near landfills and garbage heaps; the dogs are thin and hungry and without proper shelter or warmth for the coming winter. Generally there is no food or water seen, nor anyone to actually take care of dogs or to guard the shelters (remember dog fights are popular in Bosnia and ‘shelter’ dogs make nice ‘bait’ to train fighting dogs…).
Municipality ‘shelter’ in Bratunac:
And Trebinje ‘shelter’:
More photographs in the slideshow at the end of this post.
Just one “interesting” detail from Trebinje: on weekends dogs are without food or water as there are no workers there during weekends. Activists were told by a worker at the nearby landfill told them that often when they clean cages puppies end up in drain holes. The activists found one right in it… a puppy under a month old. They rescued it from certain death.
We recently made a post about the dogs at Foča shelter. 5 dogs were found in relatively clean conditions, although they only had white bread to eat. Activists were surprised about the shelter as they had seen so much horror elsewhere. The worker seemed to be kind towards the dogs. Funds were raised to release all five dogs into homes or foster homes or pensions in Sarajevo, and activists returned (it’s a long trip, about 80 kilometres) to collect the dogs. BUT ONLY TWO DOGS WERE ALLOWED TO GO! The worker seemed a different person, certainly not the animal-lover he’d portrayed himself as on the first visit. A new young puppy was in the shelter, and he kicked the puppy, right in front of the activists.
Activists left food for the dogs and they will do everything they can to get the dogs out, including the new puppy. This means making an appointment to meet with the local authorities and this could take some time unfortunately.
In the meantime these lovely dogs face an uncertain future… the lovely black and white one has an eye condition and may be going blind.
Without radical change in the how the authorities are dealing with strays, the only way to help the dogs in these shelters is for activists to visit them more often. For most of these “shelters” no one never visits. The activists are usually the first people after 3, 4 or even 5 years who express any kind of interest in the dogs in these hell holes.
Funds are desperately needed just to pay for petrol to visit the shelters, and for food to be brought to the dogs.
We need also must to ensure Bosnia and Herzegovina does not follow Romania and draft a new law at the next Parliament session on the 5th of October, paving the way for thousands of strays to be put down (and you can be sure if this happens it will be using the most brutal methods, which are cheaper and easier than any ‘humane’ euthanasia methods). Also please read this excellent piece by lawyer Dalida Kozlić, her analysis of the implementation of Animal Protection and Welfare Act as well as other issues of protection of animals in Bosnia. As she says: “Euthanasia deals with only the symptoms and not the causes of population problems. It will not lead to population management and must not be relied upon as a sole response.”
PLEASE SIGN THE PETITIONS:
Relevant articles from this blog:
Bosnia Killing Dogs – No Different to Romania!
Saving Lucia and the dogs of Foča and Gorazde
BOSNIA! IMPLEMENT HUMANE STRAY-DOG AND CAT POPULATION CONTROL AND TREATMENT
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend PART TWO
Mass Graves Found Near Dog “Shelter”
Other relevant information, links, websites:
Care2 Petition: Demand Investigation into Horror Shelter in Hresa, Bosnia
Thinktank Policy Brief on the issue of animal welfare in Bosnia Herzegovina November 2012 (PDF)
Making the Link – A study to identify psychological effects of children regularly exposed to uncontrolled community animal abuse and evaluation of efficacy of interventions.
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: email@example.com as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.
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.