Subject: Shelter Oaza – Extreme urgency
The initiative ‘Respectons’, alerted by the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, would like to direct your attention towards a tragic event in the shelter of Etela Merk, in Backa Topola, Serbia. In March 2011 the shelter was consumed by fire – Mrs. Merk sadly died in the blaze, as did a number of her animals.
The initiative Respectons was well familiar with this shelter, which, for some time, had done poorly. Respectons assisted with sterilisations, food, medical supplies and foreign adoptions.
Today the situation has deteriorated considerably, and the dogs must be rescued. Respectons, in cooperation with the Brigitte Bardot Foundation, is seeking a solution.
On April 1st 2011 27 cats have been taken into the custody of the Serb initiative Help Animals.
30 cats had died in the blaze and several of those had later been eaten by the dogs after the fire. There are between 280 and 300 dogs still on location now – they are not sterilised, and the Serb Republic is charged with finding a solution.
A small local initiative has taken 48 dogs to the shelter Kacha in Belgrade – this shelter would like to adopt these dogs out to France eventually. Every day several dogs die in the abandoned shelter of Backa Topola. The dogs are on their own some 22 hours a day; this leads to fighting resulting in injuries or animals being killed. At the same time people take new dogs to the shelter – it is unlocked and therefore open to anybody – all the time, keeping the number of animals at a stable high. It is anarchy.
The buildings are burnt-down, food is distributed all over the place – it looks like a dump. The amount of food, though, seems to be sufficient due to the help from France.
One person, being paid by French donations, brings food every day using his half-starved horse. There is no road to the shelter – it can only be reached on foot or by horse, as the land is very uneven.
This situation of complete anarchy cannot be allowed to continue. Indeed the owner of the shelter and Land on which it stands would like to sell the property. The plan of the shelter Oaza in Serbia, which is being supported by Respectons and the Brigitte Bardot Foundations, is to take on 30 of those dogs from Backa Topola in the near future and shelter them in “Park no 12” (???).
If there were a means to fence in more land it would be possible to house another 70 dogs, which would bring the number of rescued dogs to 100.
The only solution would be to distribute the remaining dogs between Germany, Belgium and France and close down Backa Topola – which never has functioned properly in the first place. It is not possible to continue to run this shelter because of its location, the lack of proper access and of competent personnel.
Mr. Pizurica, head of the veterinary authority of Vojvodina, who was contacted by our vet Mr. Strecko Radojic, has confirmed that the county of Vojvodina cannot take over the administration and running of the shelter due to shortage of funds – there is not even sufficient money for sterilisations. Only 30 dogs, of the several hundred residing in the shelter, are actually sterilised.
He and his team stand ready to assist with a possible transfer of the dogs abroad and will draw up the necessary paperwork for the first 40 dogs as well as all following. He will do the necessary rabies vaccination and microchipping, and he hopes that the shelter can be emptied as soon as possible. Patrick Sacco will also be on location next week to help with the next transfer.
There are currently 27 dogs in „Park no 12“, who will be distributed to other parks of the shelter. After that 40 dogs can be transferred from Backa Topola. The transfers will be arranged in groups of approx. 40 dogs – depending on successful adoptions abroad.
Note – SAV have NO access to this map referenced:
See map of the shelter in attachment
Whole area (blue zone)
150 meters of wire mesh (70 meters already existing) (A)
1 flight of stairs to be built of concrete (flank of a hill) (C)
1 Portal (C) to be installed
1 cover for well (B)
Sight protection from road (A) to be installed over wire mesh
10 niches (Kennels??) (D)
2.20m by 1 m with 3 doors (6 dogs) – for 60 dogs
Ditch and canalisation for fresh water coming in and waste water going out
1 mast with electric cable for lighting
Total = 14700 €
Also taken into consideration must be the rising amount of food needed (+100 dogs) as well as the wages of employees. Raise 3 wages of currently EUR 330.- by EUR 50.- or take on an additional employee?
The search for homes in Germany, Belgium and France has begun now. It is important to note that every adopted dog needs a European pet passport, a serological test done and needs to undergo sanitary examination. This will amount to approx. EUR 120.- per dog (adoption fee?).
The initiative Respectons asks you for your assistance with this rescue effort.
Patrick Sacco travels to Serbia next week to start organisation and coordination of the work. We count on you and thank you in advance for every help you are able to render.
Direct donations to Respectons can be made via the following link to aid with their current on-going work at Backa Topola:
For those who want to send money to help the dogs saved from the fire in Serbia, please find attached a file with the bank references.
Thank you very much in advance.
Past SAV links associated with this issue:
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