Dogs Trust: Condemnation of brutality in the Zenica shelter; local authorities are obliged to transparently investigate and sanction those responsible

We are deeply shocked by the information supported by truly brutal photos about the killing of a large number of innocent and healthy dogs, including puppies, in the Shelter for Abandoned Animals of the City of Zenica, in Stranjani run by Alba Zenica LLC.

The information about this unimaginable cruelty was confirmed to us by the Association for the Protection and Rescue of Animals “Šapa” Zenica, and as they say, the authenticity of the photos was confirmed by the Veterinary Inspection of Zenica-Doboj Canton.

We must point out that it is especially devastating that this is an official shelter of the city of Zenica, which should be under the supervision of local authorities as a proven place where welfare and humane treatment of animals is a legal imperative, and that such things still happen in BiH. Brutality towards animals is the first step towards violence against people and is contrary to all religious and philosophical teachings, and of course the EU standards to which the city of Zenica and the whole of BiH aspire.

On this occasion, we will directly contact the responsible local authorities in Zenica with an appeal to urgently, thoroughly and completely transparently investigate the details of this inhumane and illegal act, to identify those responsible and adequately sanction them and to ensure that something like this never happens again.

Dogs Trust Foundation, as one of the leading dog welfare organizations in the world, has been operating in BiH for eight years, fully funding several valuable and useful programs that significantly support permanent, legal, humane and systemic management of the dog population, which has a positive effect on community welfare.

We believe that this system, which all developed centres have, including Ljubljana and Zagreb as regional models, is the only way to systematically and permanently improve the welfare of dogs, the well-being of the community, and the country’s global progress.

As the legal system for managing the dog population can and must be established only by local authorities, and to ensure that the Law on Protection and Welfare of Animals in BiH and other relevant laws are implemented consistently and fully. Significant Dogs Trust support allows the authorities to do this work more efficiently and at a lower cost, and to ensure that the problem of abandoned dogs is permanently brought under control.

Since 2012, when it started its engagement in this country, the Dogs Trust Foundation in BiH has gradually expanded its support to a large number of regions, reaching more than 2/3 of the country territory last year, and this support has been extended to Zenica- Doboj Canton since September this year.

In addition, in order to use the expertise and experience of the Dogs Trust Foundation in the field of humane management of the dog population, a couple of years ago the Technical Assistance Program was launched and a professional manual was produced which explains in detail the steps of establishing the System in the context of problems in this country.

Destroying and abusing innocent dogs and breaking the law will not solve the problem, but will also deepen it and prolong the permanent solution, thus causing damage to dogs as noble animals that have long lived close to man and provided him with countless benefits, as well as the whole community.

We hereby appeal to all other influential actors in BiH to, in accordance with their capacity, make a very serious call to the authorities in Zenica, but also throughout BiH, to finally launch a decisive initiative in consistent and full implementation of legal measures to start resolving the problem of abandoned dogs  systematically, humanely and efficiently, i.e. in accordance with the laws of this country.

It should be noted that the problem is caused by the irresponsibility of people who abandon and abuse animals, but that it has escalated and continues to recur, despite the work and support of the Foundation and other organizations, due to inconsistent or no law enforcement, and especially tolerance for violating the Law.