Demand Investigation into Concentration Camp for Dogs in Sarajevo

  • By: Sandra Jensen
  • Target: the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Municipalities and authorities of Sarajevo, the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State Veterinary Inspector for Animal Welfare and the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina

Prihvatiliste KS Praca, commonly known as ‘Praca’ is in Sarajevo. Since the shelter was built (March 2012) reports, photographs and eyewitness accounts demonstrate that dogs are held in entirely inhumane conditions.

A recent visitor (February 2013) to the shelter states:

The picture is scary with creepy sounds and incessant barking. Everything is terribly dirty, unfinished buildings, leaking from all sides…. Stench spreads all around. There are many cages facing each other, divided by a narrow corridor. Almost no light enters most of the cages, cages are in pitch dark during the day.  Many cages are floating in water, mud, urine and faeces. Small/young dogs are barking, terrified of bigger dogs that are facing them in opposite cages. Blankets or rugs donated are not used. Workers say: “Don’t you see how much water there is, as soon as we put blankets in or over the cages for cover, they become wet and we have to throw them away … we do not have possibility to wash or dry them …“”

In May of 2012 reports stated there was no electricity or running water in the "shelter", that there was no fence around the compound, nobody there during the night, not enough food for dogs, no veterinarian. There were 15 workers and 500 dogs.

Taking photos in the "shelter" is forbidden. The photograph above was taken secretly just a few days ago. 

In order to visit you have to call in advance to make an appointment and you have to say which dog you want to visit. You cannot just go and walk in or walk around. Praca is about 60 km away from Sarajevo, and difficult to get to by public transport, thus making it difficult for anyone to visit to check on activities there.

For more information: Concentration Camp for Man's Best Friend

Dear Sir, Madam,
 
We, the undersigned, request that the Government of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Municipalities and authorities of Sarajevo: Ilidza, Novi Grad, Novo Sarajevo, Centar and Stari Grad, the Veterinary Office of Bosnia and Herzegovina, the State Veterinary Inspector for Animal Welfare and the High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina investigate the matter of the Prihvatiliste KS Praca dog shelter in Sarajevo.
 
We have reliable reports and eyewitness accounts substantiated by photographs taken last year and this year, March, 2013, that dogs are being held in entirely inhumane conditions in this shelter.
 
Two months after Prihvatiliste KS Praca was built (March 2012) reports said there was no electricity or running water, that there was no fence around the compound, nobody there during the night, not enough food for dogs, no veterinarian. An eyewitness account from this year tells us that the buildings are unfinished and filthy, that stench spreads everywhere; that almost no light enters most of the cages, that cages are in pitch dark during the day, that many cages are floating in water, mud, urine and faeces, that small/young dogs are barking, terrified of bigger dogs face them in opposite cages and that dead dogs are left lying in the pens.

We demand that a full investigation is undertaken into the conditions for the dogs and that the municipalities and State Veterinary Office ensure the facility is immediately provided with proper management and funds to care for the dogs and that they are looked after with all due respect to the animal welfare law of the country.

Modern practices must be implemented, giving food and fresh water and the facility be must kept sanitary and properly staffed with veterinary professionals so the animals are cared for and, ultimately, caring homes need to be found for the dogs.
 
This situation has sparked a global outcry and we look to the Bosnian and Herzegovinan justice system and authorities to conform with EU standards regarding animal welfare, and to apply the law that was passed in Bosnia Herzegovina incorporating these EU standards.
 
Thank you for taking the time to read this letter.
 

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