There are so many abandoned animals in Serbia, most of them dogs. Sterilisation is either considered unnecessary, unhealthy or is too expensive and so not widely done to the extent it is in other countries.
Due to economic reasons, an animal may become too expensive to look after, not a cute puppy anymore, or trouble around the house and is abandoned un-neutered to the streets, so the problem grows.
Declining health then becomes an issue whilst living undernourished, without a clean home and around other abandoned sick animals. They are often abandoned by busy roads to be knocked down and killed or cause accidents. Often they are abused on the streets by people who don’t know any better or intentionally poisoned. Most authority pounds are kill shelters and are so overrun that healthcare is of a low standard or non existent. Life for dogs in the Balkans is harsh and a happy, loving home is only for the lucky ones with families that can afford them. With the cost of living increasing at the moment, the problem grows.
It is not necessary for us to go out and about looking for abandoned dogs. We see them all the time standing disorientated by the side of busy roads, running across busy roads, by rivers, rubbish tip sites, roaming around public areas such as petrol stations and food outlets. Now they are left right outside our gates at times. The lucky ones are alerted to us by the current owner wanting to give them up and when we visit they are usually kept in a terrible condition outside.
Our mission is to recover and return to good health as many as we can, find good loving homes and continue our neutering efforts locally. All the animals that live with us at the sanctuary feel at home. We do all we can to make sure they feel part of a family and not abandoned anymore. We keep the healthy dogs in packs of similar temperament wherever possible. They play, eat and sleep together all day and know they are loved.
There are many cats living around public areas in Serbia. Some make themselves useful by providing pest control in return for their food. However, most are at least covered in fleas, at worst very sick, spreading disease and sterilisation is sorely needed. In some areas it is common for litters of kittens to be left roaming around roads who are killed by cars. Abandoned just like the dogs are. We are currently sterilising cats in our local area. Some owned by people, some stray. In the future we will endeavour to renovate one of our dilapidated outbuildings for a cattery so we may help those most in need of healthcare.
However, there is a bright side to the story. Even though many people cannot afford to house, feed and pay for the veterinary care of an animal, there are still plenty of animal lovers in Serbia. Dogs sometimes live on the streets but have someone who looks out for them. It is by no means ideal but we are working to find a way to help those people care for the animals they love by providing health care, neutering and food. There are also people we have identified in our local area who have been taking in strays but don’t have enough funds for proper care in terms of again, neutering and healthcare. We will do all we can to reduce the continued cycle of suffering. Thank you for empowering us to do so and trusting us to do this on your behalf. This is truly a team effort!