Number of Stray Dogs in Sarajevo Going Down Every Year After Mass Neuter Campaigns Start; Dogs Trust Conducts First Dog Count in Whole Canton Sarajevo

The number of stray dogs in the city of Sarajevo has been going down by about 13 percent each year after Dogs Trust started financing mass neuter campaigns in 2013, which resulted in 38 percent of a total drop in stray dog population since 2013, annual dog count survey shows. The survey used an advanced methodology developed in the UK, which Dogs Trust made available for local experts in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2012.

During the initial dog count in 2012, the number of stray dogs in Sarajevo was 11,168. A year later – in 2013, before the mass neuter took effect, this number climbed up to 12,406, while in the two years to follow the numbers started visibly dropping, with 9.804 dogs counted in 2014, and 7,616 in 2015.

Parallel with the 2015 survey in city of Sarajevo conducted every year since 2012, the first dog count using the same methodology for the whole Canton Sarajevo was carried out in June 2015. The results show that in the whole territory of Canton Sarajevo, there are 15,250 stray dogs, which includes the 7,616 dogs in the city itself.

„These numbers show that neutering efficiently, humanely and what is really important – sustainably, reduces the number of stray dogs. If you consider that one female can have an average of two, or even more litters per year, with 8-10 puppies in each, it is easy to calculate that these campaigns prevented tens of thousands of new dogs to end up on the streets in the past three years,“ Anel Becirovic, Head of Dogs Trust Representative Office in B-H said. He pointed out that safety risks for the community have also been significantly decreased because all these dogs have been vaccinated, cleaned of parasistes and microchipped for our database. He concluded that if other elements provisioned in the state legislation start being implemented simultaneously, the stray dog problem in Canton Sarajevo could be stabilised and gradually completely resolved in the most efficient, economic, sustainable and humane way. After three full years of its presence and support in B-H, Dogs Trust can underline its significant achievements, pointing out that the effect could have been much more significant had the main local partners been more more active. Dogs Trust remains firm in its belief that a truly lasting resolution can only be reached through full and consistent implementation of the state animal welfare legislation.

A total of 14798 dogs went through Dogs Trust’s free neutering programme in the past three years, including 10217 stray and 3808 owned dogs. Out of 10217 stray dogs neutered, 6267 were females which, if left unneutered, would have caused about a couple of hundred thousand new street dogs to be born over the course of three years. Additionally, a total of 103 veterinarian experts from all over the country successfully completed free professional surgical and anesthesia training, while the education programme for school children included 2070 workshops, on safety and responsible ownership, with over 45000 children attending in Canton Sarajevo and Canton 10.

The financial value of Dogs Trust’s direct support, for our main programmes since 2012 is close to BAM 6 million. „These funds are not raised or taken from any local source,“ Becirovic said, explaining that the representative office is financed directly from its Head Office in London, and the Head Office is funded by the UK donors. This support has been implemented through the local partners and in full compliance with the local laws, thus effectively injecting these funds into the local economy, Becirovic concluded