- Posted May 9, 2013 by
West Yorkshire, United Kingdom
DOG DEATH CONCENTRATION CAMP IN POZEGA, SERBIA
JKP "Naš Dom" in Pozega, hardly a dog shelter, but rather a concentration camp for the poor stray dogs of Serbia, as referred to by many, and is the gruesome epitome of brutality towards animals not uncommon throughout Serbia. Read what the activists who are trying to rescue and re-home these beautiful animals have to say about this place where dogs are being tortured, starved, strangled, abused, and beaten to death, and incompetently sterilized. Starving puppies are eating each other they are so desperate.
The Pozega dog concentration camp JKP "Naš Dom", as this pound has rightfully been called by animal lovers ever since their brutal treatment of stray dogs has been revealed, began its operations in March 2008. It was founded jointly by two cities – Uzice and Cacak, and seven municipalities gravitating towards Pozega, with capacities for 200 dogs.
Estimates are that since the beginning until this day over 7,500 dogs were put to death. They were tortured, killed with blunt objects, their dead bodies buried right next to river Djetinja. Nowadays, the corpses are being sent to Cuprija for cremation. These gruesome details are revealed by Dusica and Dragana, who are trying to help these dogs by alerting people through Facebook. There are plenty of disturbing distressing pictures, for instance, bloodstained dogs in cages. "Napredak", a company from Ćuprija, won the tender for disposing of waste from JKP "Naš Dom" in Požega. The dogs that are kept there are being starved to death, and those still alive are killed by injections without any prior sedation. In the first years, they were injected with liquid detergent to kill them. One of the many criminal charges against this pound was brought by their former employee who testified about the sadistic killing of dogs – as when puppies were killed in front of their mother, who was killed last – say the above mentioned activists.
The head in charge of this concentration camp is Svetlana Božinović, along with her staff, the exponent of Zoohigijena communal service, Zoran Đokovic, the director, and Milan Božović, the veterinarian, according to the activists. Numerous criminal charges have been laid against them, at least 15, but until this day, there have been no criminal investigations. Furthermore, complaints have been lodged with the Veterinary Department of the Ministry of Agriculture against the chief veterinary inspector Mrs. Mićović, for failing to respond to numerous charges laid against this pound. The activists further claim that Mrs Mićović and the pound veterinarian Božović have close personal ties.
Starving and distressed dogs kept in filthy conditions
In addition to crimes of torturing and killing animals as defined in Article 5, Clause 1, Item 18, of the Animal Welfare Act, JKP "Naš Dom" is also being accused of financial crimes: until 2013, they did not issue any financial receipts in relation to the impounded dogs. Those we managed to pull out have not been chipped, although we paid for their chipping, as well as for rabies vaccination. Conditions in cages and boxes are horrendous. There is no regular water or food. Puppies are kept together with large dogs often leading to fatal outcomes. Mating also occurs. The pound does not meet the regulations on shelters and pensions passed in 2012.
Witnesses have seen pound workers beat the dogs with clubs. Those we managed to pull out are traumatized, show fear when approached and have scars from beatings – say the activists. In their efforts to draw attention to this ongoing tragedy, the activists further say it is not known how much funding the pound is getting from local councils of the seven municipalities it operates in. We know the municipality of Uzice is paying 11,000 dinars for each dog the pound takes. They also fund sterilizations. Still, the pound management requests money from each person wishing to adopt a dog, or volunteers trying to pull them out, on account of sterilization. They do not consent to sterilizations at other veterinary stations, while the receipts for procedures at their premises are issued subsequently – say the activists, adding that these procedures are carried out incompetently, often leading to septicaemia, while the incisions are closed with ordinary rope. The tragic circumstances of dogs impounded at JKP "Naš Dom" in Požega have also been described by the Italian association OIPA (http://www.oipa.org/italia/randagismo/appelli/serbia.html) who had arranged the adoption of a dog with acid burns. Reporting from the pound, Svetlana Božinović-Lalić, a volunteer, is calling upon animal lovers to stay united in their efforts:
Rescuing dogs from the concentration camp in Pozega, one is up against a sheer display of power and evil. Irena from "Košutnjak" was told to come early in the morning to get the dogs she made reservations and paid charges for, while my appointment was at 10 am. I then learned they had released to Irena three dogs of their choice, instead of the ones she had previously reserved and paid for. People from the pound had placed a table and chairs by the entrance in such a way that we would have to look out into the street through the fence bars. The dogs to be released to us were put into transporters. All except Svetlana, the manager, were wearing white coats, while a few puppies were running lose. As I went through the gate, the first thing they told me was that since they were suspecting an outbreak of rabies we were not allowed to go inside where the dogs were. Furthermore, they said that under the circumstances, releasing of dogs was against the law and should not go ahead. In the end, they released 12 dogs to me, without answering my questions about other dogs I was interested in. The only information I got was that the skinny dog I enquired about was no longer alive. At that moment, Andrijana Kozić and a few others arrived. Andrijana, of course, was not allowed to g in, so Ruza took charge of four dogs that were being released. From that moment on, things turned completely insane. A few of us, who came to pull out the dogs, stood helplessly by the gate asking them to release those we had already made reservations for. The pound workers then withdrew into the office building and called the police! Four local policemen showed up, exchanged greeting with the pound workers and kept us waiting there for two whole hours. We voluntarily gave them our identification papers. Talking to the police, we learned that one of them had already called the pound many times to come and get a pack of hungry dogs who were attacking his chickens. We suggested to him to feed the dogs and offered help. We also offered to separate the pack and transfer dogs to several different locations to break up the strong bonds and the resulting aggressive behaviour. We also offered help with food. I personally asked the policeman to let me have a copy of the official notification of rabies which the pound failed to provide. He answered it was not his job to do so. In the meantime, the pound workers started leaving the premises one by one – first Mr Bozic senior, the self proclaimed all mighty. Then Svetlana, and all the others followed except for a watchman who stayed behind. Rade Radovanovic called the chief state inspector to come requesting she first contact the pound and order the release of at least the dogs we had made reservations for. But, once the workers leave the premises, as they well knew, any visit by the inspector would be meaningless. After some three hours of standing there in the hope that we would be able to save at least one more life, we had to leave. It was 30 degrees outside and the dogs were sitting in their cages in the van. Two Facebook groups support the struggle against the brutal treatment of stray dogs in Serbia. One of the FB sites is Help Pozega Dogs for more info