Written by: Senka Filipović
Photo: Public domain
For too long I chose to avert my eyes and ignore the plight of dogs in Bosnia. I love dogs, I saved a Bosnian dog with the help of my wonderful father, but the entire problem felt too overwhelming, painful and helpless to fully go down that path. I knew of some animal welfare activists and hoped that there were others somewhere who would take on this cause.
I also had a hard time accepting this reality of Bosnia. The country has been through so much, everyone needed a break, and I just really wanted to latch on to something positive about it. Bosnia is a beautiful and wondrous country, and I found it so refreshing to see my country start showing up in newspapers and magazines across the world as a new travel destination and not just as some country shackled by its recent history of war and ongoing problems of ethnic divisions, poverty, unemployment, corruption…There wasn’t a person that I met to whom I did not say, “Go to Bosnia, you will not be disappointed!”
But, now I am disappointed. I am disgusted and sad and mortified. And let me show you why if you have the stomach to review just a single week worth of animal abuse and cruelty in Bosnia that regularly goes ignored and unpunished.
A puppy brutally beaten by an alleged group of children in Sarajevo
A loved neighborhood dog hanged in Gradiska, Bosnia
A shelter in Doboj, Bosnia where animals are neglected, starved, and abused
A starved dog saved from a horror shelter in Banja Luka, Bosnia
A dog run over by a car and left helpless by the side of the road in Ilijas, Bosnia. He was later taken by activists to Sarajevo for help where he ultimately lost his battle
Yes, with a reality like this, I would say that the charm of Bosnia is becoming dangerously low…
This post only highlighted cases of animal cruelty over a span of about one week that were likely committed by ordinary citizens of Bosnia. Simultaneously another battle is raging as the government-led campaign to eliminate stray dogs using inhumane methods is in full force and in direct violation of the 2009 Animal Protection and Welfare Law.
Note: Senka Filipović is an animal welfare activist. She was born and raised in Sarajevo, Bosnia and she currently lives in New York City.
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