By Medina Malagić – Sarajevo
One of the first things to be noticed in Sarajevo is the abundance of stray dogs all over the city.
For several years, citizens of Sarajevo have been acutely aware that the number of stray dogs in the capital city of BiH has grown to an alarming number. Until now, all attempts to reduce the number of stray dogs in the city have proved to be temporary solutions.
The law that was passed several years ago that made the killing of dogs illegal did not hold much sway, since there are few shelters and sterilization clinics in Sarajevo for stray dogs.
Today could be seen as a potential milestone in offering a long-term solution to the problem of stray dogs in Sarajevo. An agreement was signed today by the City of Sarajevo, Canton Sarajevo Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Physical Planning and Environmental Protection of Sarajevo Canton and nine Sarajevo municipalities.
The total value of the project is 780.000 KM, out of which the Ministry of Economy, Physical Planning and Environmental Protection, City of Sarajevo and Center municipality of Sarajevo will offer a part of the funds from the 2013 budget.
The agreement on managing a dog shelter was signed with Murai Komerc, the company that built the dog shelter.
Muriz Alić, the owner of Murai-Kommerc said that the dog shelter has a capacity for 500 places, and there are an additional 40 place for emergency situations, such as for aggressive dogs. In total, he said that the shelter is able to accomodate 10.000 dogs.
”The signing of the agreement will ensure better treatment of dogs in shelters, and this will be the common concern for all signatories», said Minister Hrenovica.
He added that stray dogs are not only a problem for the canton and municipalities, but also for all levels of government.
”There will be a better situation on the streets for the citizens of Sarajevo when it comes to stray dogs. We will treat the animals humanely and in accordance with the law, but our main concern is to keep the peace and health of the citizens of Sarajevo Canton”, said Minister of Physical Planning and Environmental Protection of Canton Sarajevo Zlatko Petrović.
Petrović highlighted that the dog shelter meets all standards for the caring of dogs, as well as the preconditions for expanding capacity for the accomodation of dogs. This was confirmed by the recent visit of representatives of the Canton Sarajevo Ministry of Economy.
Minister Petrović said that all of the combined resources will be implemented in accordance with the relevant laws on protection and goodwill of the animals. Cooperation will be intensified with the Veterinary Faculty, Veterinary Clinic and the relevant utility and inspection services in the next month in removing aggressive dogs from the street.
Thus, the overall aim of the agreement that was signed today will be to solve the problem of the overpopulation of stray dogs in Sarajevo, while at the same time solving this issue in a humane way. The obligations for the signatories to the contract are clearly stipulated. Stray dogs that are caught on Sarajevo’s streets will be taken to the shelter, and be offered checkups, food, treatment and will also offer burials for dead dogs or euthanize aggressive dogs. Veterinary services will also be provided, such as vaccinations, removal of parasites, sterilization, as well as euthanasia for aggressive dogs.