Following its initial reaction to the newest reports about the conditions in the dog shelter Prača, Dogs Trust Representative Office in B&H wants to state the following:
In addition to destruction of healthy and socialized dogs being inhumane and illegal, it is important to emphasize that inappropriate biological waste disposal presents a threat to the overall health of the community due to the possibility and risk of an epidemiological crisis.
Dogs Trust Representative Office is prepared to provide aid to the abandoned dogs in the dog shelter Prača, in the form of veterinary screening, treatment and food donations, as soon as the organisation of the shelter is harmonised with the Animal Protection and Welfare Act, in cooperation with the Veterinary Office in Bosnia and Herzegovina, or in case the abandoned dogs are relocated to shelters that meet the necessary legislative criteria.
The Representative Office has repeatedly warned that mass shelters are cruel for dogs, they quickly exceed their capacity and are a nightmare for any public budget.
Dogs Trust has been promoting a Dog Population Management System in Canton Sarajevo for over five years. It includes smaller transitional shelters with adequate standards anticipated by the Law, in combination with mass neutering of both abandoned and owned dogs, systematic rehoming, and increasing awareness about the importance of implementing responsible dog ownership. Only a law-compliant DPM system can provide a permanent, humane, economically acceptable and sustainable solution to the problem.
Because of this, despite the fact that dogs do not belong on the streets, the Representative office continuously reminds that neutered, healthy and socialized dogs should be returned to live in the areas where the problem has escalated, under supervision that is provided by its Mass Neutering Programme.
Our campaigns are developed to support the transitional period in areas where the abandoned dog problem has escalated, because they are conducted on the catch-neuter-vaccinate-return principle.
Taking into account the extent of the problem throughout the country, the healthy dogs within the community provide protection from the arrival of new abandoned dogs, that have not been neutered and treated, and have possibly been in contact with wild animals. These dogs are not socialized and can be carriers of various diseases, and present both a safety and health risk to the entire community.
Once again, we appeal to all responsible inspections to urgently conduct an investigation about the conditions of the dog shelter Prača and inform the public of the results. In addition to this, we appeal to the authorities to notify the public about the timeframe and plans to end the unnecessary destruction of dogs, and begin the implementation of a law-compliant, systematic and humane solution to the problem.