By Mladen Dragojlovic – Banja Luka
Along with unemployment, small wages and other problems, citizens of Sarajevo have to think twice before leaving the security of their homes. The reason being that in almost every district there are packs of stray dogs that attack pedestrians and often end in injuries.
The last attack occurred on Friday morning in a part of Sarajevo called Ilidza. A pack of stray dogs attacked an older woman who, at 7.30, was on her way to the job. Several dogs bit her and she had to be taken to the hospital. Fortunately, the woman was saved from a much darker fate with the intervention of passersbys, who what was taking place and rushed to help her.
Another woman, who was attacked few days ago, in Grbavica settlement, was not so lucky. A pack of dogs attacked her on the way to the market place and she was also bitten several times resulting in her suffering an artery cut on the hand. Witnesses said that all of dogs had labels that they were sterilised.
In June this year, a pack of dogs in Bjelave district attacked an eight year old girl, who was riding her bike. Neighbours rescued her and her younger brother who tried to help her. Their mother was on the balcony forced to watch as wild dogs attacked her children.
According to statistic records, in Sarajevo alone live more than 12 thousand stray dogs. Almost every part of the city is endangered by at least one pack. According to Law on animal protection, adopted few years ago, it is forbidden to kill stray dogs.
Sarajevo have asylum for dogs but, due to the low capacity and lack of money, this institution cannot take any more dogs from streets.
Statistic records say that in eight months this year, stray dogs, individually or in pack, attacked people in 687 cases. Last year, relevant institutions recorded more than 500 attacks. Veterinary inspectors agree that it is a very large number, adding that the problem can escalate if rabies occur.
“Dogs trust” organization spokesperson, Sanja Bianculli, said to the media that veterinarians must estimate if a certain dog is aggressive or not.
“If veterinarian find that the dog is aggressive, the animal must be removed from street”, said Bianculli. She added that another problem is that the city government does not respect their obligations deriving from the law.
After the last attack, the local government decided to react and do more towards protecting its citizens. They announced that an action aimed at removing stray dogs from the streets will begin soon. Communal workers will first remove packs from settlements, where most of the attacks have occurred, with other parts of the city soon to follow.