We are delighted to receive the news that the City Council of the City of Sarajevo unanimously decided, on Wednesday, 23/2/2022, to award the Dogs Trust Foundation with this year's Plaque of the City of Sarajevo!
We sincerely thank the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of the University of Sarajevo for the nomination and for being our key local partner, which continuously recognizes and appreciates our work. We also want to thank the University of Sarajevo for supporting the nomination and, of course, thank the city councillors themselves who have shown that they appreciate our work and results.
This recognition is especially important to us because it
comes in the year of the tenth anniversary of our
engagement in BiH and comes after a lot of effort,
investment and excellent results we achieved in
other parts of the country.
In the capital, we continue to implement most of our programmes, including the Veterinary Experts Training Programme, which is implemented in cooperation with the Faculty of Veterinary Medicine of Sarajevo and its experts. This training programme is of essential importance for capacity building and strengthening of the veterinary profession in BiH, for the students of the Faculty, but also for local communities throughout the country, which is why it is included in the Lifelong Learning Programme of the University of Sarajevo and accredited by the veterinary chambers.
When the Dogs Trust began its activities in BiH in 2012, more than 12,000 dogs lived on the streets in just the four Sarajevo municipalities. After seven years of intensive implementation of Dogs Trust campaigns of mass sterilization of stray and owned dogs, this number was reduced by as much as four times by 2019, and the trend continued during that year in which about 80% of the total population of stray dogs was reached through this programme. This percentage is considered optimal by dog population management experts as it represents a solid basis for local authorities to permanently bring the problem under control through the establishment and implementation of a legal dog population management system.
Our programmes of education for owners and dog training, fostering, education of school children, and education and awareness raising of the general public, still largely focused on Sarajevo, and research shows that our efforts have resulted in significant changes in knowledge, awareness and behaviour of a large number of audiences, especially dog owners who have become more responsible, which is crucial for the long-term solution of the problem.
We hope that our engagement will continue to contribute to the improvement of the well-being of the entire community and the dogs in it, and that Sarajevo will, with the increased engagement of the competent local authorities, become a role model in the implementation of a humane and legal system for the management of the dog population, which will lead us to the common goal: dogs living only with responsible owners, and not being abandoned on the street where they do not belong.