Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Horror Shelter in Hreša, Bosnia-Herzegovina!!!

As most of you know Hreša ‘shelter’ is open again!
On Monday night activists went there to find 20 dogs in cages without heat (temperatures are well below freezing), with nothing to eat but scraps of old frozen bread. Any water available was frozen. Activists were not allowed to provide food. However, they managed to rescue some of the dogs, including one mother dog and five of her puppies. Four of her puppies were frozen to death. She had given birth on frozen concrete.Ibrahim Hadžibajrić, Mayor of Stari Grad Municipality in Sarajevo, has stated he has signed an agreement with Hreša Municipality to send dogs from Stari Grad to Hreša ‘Shelter’ and that 30,000 KM (15,000 EUR/ 20,000 USD) have been allocated for this ‘project’, ‘renting’ the Hreša shelter. The contract as yet is still not signed, however.Although Ibrahim Hadžibajrić denies that the goal behind this agreement is elimination of dogs, note the following: there are over 11,000 strays in Sarajevo; Hreša is in a part of Bosnia (Republika Srpska) which allows killing of dogs in shelters, whereas in Sarajevo it is not allowed to do this.The Republika Srpska law states that any dog in a shelter that is not homed after 30 days may be euthanized, it does not say it must be euthanized. Only dogs who are suffering in extreme agony, who are aggressive, very old, or sick beyond help and similar must be euthanised by law. However it is common practice in this municipality to mark perfectly healthy dogs as being sick or injured and euthanize them on the day of arrival to the shelter or few days later, especially when there are many dogs arriving and they start running out of space. Also, over six years old can be considered ‘very old’. Furthermore, the dogs are kept in such poor conditions they usually become weak and sick within a week and so fulfil the requirements.Note that “euthanization” practices in this country include injections of bleach.Last year animal activists from Sarajevo visited Hreša ‘shelter’ several times and dogs just “disappeared” and employees told them they had been killed, and also that pedigree dogs were kidnapped and held for ransom in the shelter.Although pressure from animal activists inside and outside Bosnia brought about an investigation by the State Veterinary Office, we have heard absolutely nothing about the result of this investigation. In November Dogs Trust Bosnia stated they will ”monitor the progress of this investigation and subsequent intervention and where this stalls or is insufficient we will act.” We will be following up with Dogs Trust as we have as yet had no updates.THE GOOD NEWS IS: Daliborka Colic, who runs a Bosnian/German rescue organisation ( and Bettinna Markovic-Grimm, a businesswoman from Germany, have secured 5000 Euros to help. Daliborka says that the authorities can take dogs to Hreša but activists will simply go and bring the dogs back to Sarajevo each time. Activists will constantly monitor the conditions in Hreša and will inform the media. Daliborka will also rally her German friends and organizations to get involved as much as possible. Read more:

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