Life is hard for the citizens of Sarajevo.
With the financial crisis continuing, it is becoming more difficult each day for families to earn enough to put food on their tables.
However difficult their lives may be, some residents of Sarajevo are not ignoring those who are worse off than themselves as well as the thousands of abandoned animals on the freezing streets.
A courageous group of animal welfare activists in the city has constructed makeshift kennels (see photo) for just a few of the city's 11,000+ stray dog population. Amongst these dogs are a number of young pups suffering from demodex (parasitic mites that inhabit the hair follicles, often caused by poor nutrition).
As the animals are homeless and receive no veterinary care, the volunteers are feeding the dogs on a daily basis.
Sadly, this good work has drawn complaints from neighbouring properties and complaints have been made to the local sanitary police. The neighbours want the kennels torn down and the dogs evicted (to where, we do not know). The "dog house" is not creating any disturbance for the homes in the area, the animal welfare group is simply trying to provide these animals with basic shelter and sustenance. Without it, most of the young dogs will succumb to the freezing weather.
If Sarajevo had animal shelters operated in a professional manner, these makeshift dog houses would not be needed.
Our group is appealing to the international community to apply pressure on the Bosnian government to stop these abuses of animals in our country and for it to provide its citizens with suitably financed animal shelters, operated to internationally agreed animal welfare standards, where animals are treated humanely and with dignity.
As a first step, please sign our petition to prevent the destruction of the "dog house"!
On behalf of all those who care about animal welfare in Bosnia-Herzegovina, I appeal to you to prevent the destruction of the "Dog House", until such times that the government has in place appropriate animal shelters which meet international standards of care and can accommodate and care for the stray animal population of the city.