Serbia:a eu country candidates
A Serbian animal welfarist describes her experiences
The last three weeks I have been in Serbia and I have to tell you:
The life of the domestic and stray animals is hell there ( especially dogs). Day and night, dogs which are fastened to a chain howl and and whine.
They do neither have food nor water – and this with a heat of 36° Celcius. If the peaople feel disturbed by the howling, the dogs will be simply thrown in the street. Also dogs which have ticks will be brought far away from home and left alone in a foreign area.
The suffering goes on in the streets. They do not have food, no water and stones are thrown on them by the dwellers, beer bottles are thrown on them by drunken neighbours and they are beaten.
In addition the smaller dogs are attacked by the bigger ones and they are lacerated. Frigthened dogs stray around for days with brogen legs and open wounds. It is a picture of horror, full of pain and fear.
The steet, I live in is approx. 1 Km long and only there, everytime I come home, I find minimum 5 to 10 new dogs.
Some of them lie there poisoned, half or really dead in the ditch.
If you have seen something like this, once you cannot forget it anymore.
The worst is, that there is no institution or office, where you can ask for help, if you need it.
To solve the problem “street dogs and cats” the authorities instructed the following: “ Catch the animals, keep them for 2-3 days in small cages and then kill them.”
The Serbian animal camps- Animal abuse paid from public money
The office in charge in Brussels does probably not know in which manner these poor animals are removed from the streets and what happens to them then.
In Serbia there are no controls and check-ups of the so called animal shelters ( „zoo-hygiene“).
If there are controls, then they are executed by the same people, who arranged and support this cruel and inhumane solution of the problem. In Central- and Southern-Serbia the situation is extremely tragic.
Although the local authorities provide a budget for these shelters, it is not used for the poor animals.
The most money is spent for the staff.
Unfortunately corruption and the misuse of public money are also existent in this domain.
In the so called “ zoo-hygiene shelters”, which belong to national waste disposal companies, animal catchers are working: Workers of national street cleaning companies, which have no training and no feeling for the animals.
Beyond that a lot of staff is working there, too, like secretaries, directors, operators for the office rooms and a whole troop of staff, who is doing nothing and who profits from the existence and the agony of the animals and gets their wages from.
At the same time the hungry, sick and frightened animals are in the cages without water or any care.
Dogs are caught out off the street with nooses and strangled at the same time, because this is the cheapest way of killing.
And they say that this has happened because the animals have defended themselves.
Those dogs, which come alive to the centers of pain will be mixed: Small dogs will be put together with big ones, which are aggressive, healthy dogs are put together with sick ones in cages of 10-15 animals.
Ther are maximum 1-2 water bowls for all of them but those are mostly filled with the urine of the dogs. They only get food, if visitors bring it and the food will simply be thrown on the floor, which full of urine excrements.
During the weekend nobody is there, to care for the animals, so that they have to stay there for 2 days without water, lying in urine and excrements up to their necks.
In the beginnig of the week a chlorine liquid will be dumped into the cages, because of the hard smell and infections, and the animals -if they did not die on hunger or infection before- die slowly half or fully poisoned in the corners of the cages.
Their bodies are eaten by the other hungry animals.
Every two or three days a bigger number of the animals vanished. They are killed in the cheapest way or they are buried at the garbage dump nearby by a digger.
The other animals are in the cages for only one reason, to legitimate those cruel shelters and the salaries of the staff.
The well equipped operation room is used as a wardrobe by the director and his staff e.g. zoo-hygiene – Kragujevac).
Even if a visitor offers to pay a castratin on his own, this will not be executed, because after the surgery thos animals need care and this means additional work for the staff.
Example „zoo-hygiene“ shelter Kragujevac
If you intend to drive to Kragujevac, be prepared for the following:
The situation in the animal camp will be explained to you with lies and skill, different than it is in the reality.
We did believe it in the beginning, too.
The animal camp is situated near by the garbage disposal JKP of Kragujevac, which was built 5 years ago.
After a look in the community cgarges of 2006 the “shelter” got 80.000,00 Euro from the community of Kragujevac.
With this amount 15 simple and cheap cages and 1 truck with hanger (container), for the transportation of the animals, were bought. The rest of the money was, according to the director, spent for staff cost.
I live in Vienna and always when I drive to Kragujevac I find more ownerless dogs, which get puppies again and again. I was happy when I heard that thers in an animal shelter in my town, too, which takes care of all these stray dogs and cats.
In my street there was a young and beautiful female dog, which always came to my garden door, to get food. Because she got puppies again and again, I wanted to bring her to the shelter to neuter her. I paid the amount of 3.000 Dinar for it.
I called there a couple of times from Vienna, to get information about her and I asked the person in charge to keep her until I would be back to Kragujevac. I brought the dog to the shelter in September 2009 and came back to Kragujevac with a friend of mine in October 2009, to pick it up.
When we arrived in the animal camp, the dog was not there. We have been told that she obviously could escape out off the cage. On my questin, when the dog had been neutered or when it did escape, the director could not give me a clear answer, because he did not know about which dog I was talking.
According to the director, there had been a virus on the computer, which killed all datas and for that there was no evidence any more. We looked in all cages and thought that it it is impossible to escape from there. The cages were filled with 10-15 dogs on aprrox. 2 sqm.
Small dogs with big ones, aggressive dogs with shy ones, sick ones with healthy dogs. They all were lying trembling and frightended in their own excrements and urine. To clean the cages, the animals will not put out of them, but an animal catcher brutally hoses the waterover them and the excrements and the urine is only removed partially.
At the same time there were approx. 8-10 workers in the office: The director, two secretaries, operators for the office rooms and a group of staff, who was doing nothing, who smoked, drank coffee and who played games at the computer. I
In these rooms there was a equipped operation room, too, which was used as a wardrobe by the staff. In one corner there stood a dog basket with a white female Retriever and her two puppies. She and a male Retriever are owned by the director and are needed for breeding. The puppies will be sold or given away to friends of the director, who do him a favour.
These dogs were allowed to go everywhere, even to the yard with the imprisoned dogs, which was a brutal provokation for the dogs in the cages.
The director was always moaning, that he has no money for food, for castrations and vaccinations and he asked us to bring dog food and powdered milk. Besides he would need a pick-up for the transportation of the dogs, although there was a truck already.
The next day we brought dog food and powdered milk with us and we were told, to leave the food, because the staff would feed the animals. A day later, we came again and we were told to bring food again. The food we brought was not given to the dogs in the cages. Why somebody should feed dogs, which are killed within two days?
The food was sold to dog breeders in the town. Our assumption was verified later by a worker of the animal camp.
But we brought the food and demanded, that the animals should be fed, while we are there.
The animal catcher dumped the food and the milk, which we brought with us, in the cages, on a floor full of excrements and urine. It came to a bloody battle between the big and small starving dogs.
We were so shocked and horror-stroken, how the workers treat the animals and about the permanent moaning of the director, that he has no money for castrations, vaccinations and food, that we proposed him to castrate all female dogs, which are in the cages at the moment at our cost.
First he agreed and when we came the next day, to bring the money, he told us avidly, that he has got surprisingly money from the community, to neuter the female dogs and that the animals are already on their way to the vererinarian. The veterinarian told us, that the dogs did not arrive yet.
We wanted to see the animals again, because we wanted to take care of them after the surgery. The animals were not at the veterinarian, we came back to the camp, but they were not there, too.
The director went home already and the asylum was closed at 2 o’clock. The next day at 7 o’clock in the morning, we drove to the veterinarian, to find out, if the dogs have arrived.
The animals were not there again and the veterinarian in charge was not informed.
We looked for the animals for two days between the camp and the veterinarian, but we could not find them. I called the director of the shelter, who pretended to be on his way to Belgrade, and I asked him where the animals are. He told me that the animals are already neutered and put back to freedom.
And he told me that I should not interfere so much, because I have no right to change or affect something there.
You can only speculate, why he did not want, that we neuter the animals on our cost and why he preferred to kill them.
They get a certain amount for every animal, killed and they do not need to feed the neuterd animals later.
I was so shocked and hopeless, and it was clear now, that these animals, as so many others before, disappeared over night and were killed. The animal camp is right beside the waste disposal, where the killed animals are digged brutally with the domestic waste.
A similar situation took place in the town of Nis.
Animal welfare activists excavated a mass of animal corpses at a garbage dump. The community of Kragujevac now made some contracts with the surrounding towns, to catch the animals there, too and bring them to the camp.
This will be paid extra by the towns and is very profitable for JKP zoo-hygiene- In the end of 2009 with the support from Belgrade, there were built additional closed boxes made of concrete and a crematory behind the camp is planned.
The treatment and the keeping of the poor animals has not changed. They are still tortured and killed.
This is the cheapest way to solve the problem of the stray cats and dogs. And in many places the situation is the same: in more than 100 animal camps which are built up by the state and the communities, so called “zoo-hygiene” animal shelters ( Nis, Loznica, Negotin, Vranje, Svilajnac, Sombor usw.) the situation is the same: corruption, misuse of money, abuse of animals and killing of animals!!
Please support this protest
Dear animal friends,
please help us to close the national killing camps.
- the conversion of killing camps into animall shelters with care and treatment of the dogs according to the species.
- a professional training of the staff and the management of the shelter.
- a constant control of the shelters and the staff.
- the observation of the existing animal welfare law, penalization of animal abuse and control of private households by an „ animal welfare police“.
The budget therefore is already provided by the Serbian government, but unfortunately for the profit of many dubious animal abusers.
This is scandalous and not acceptable for a country which is an aspirant to be a member of the EU.
Serbia itsself shows already, that it can be done in another way, there are a few private animal shelters, which show the prove, that they are even cheaper than the governmental camps of torture.
Please help to support this protest and sign the following petition of the „ Alliance for animal rights-Serbia“
We cordiallly thank you!
Text-and picture material with the friendly authorization of "Alliance for Animal rights- Serbia"