England: ‘Shelties’ (or ‘Shetland Sheepdog’) – A Very Special Doggie – Enjoy !!



In memory of my beautiful ‘Golda’ (photos below) – and before I had her, ‘Sheba’

– Shelties; intelligent, gentle, loving, energetic, a perfect dog !


Remembering all the superb years we had together – missing you every single day !























Work to do - Lazy Staff



England: 7/7/14 – “Cut The Bull STA !!” – League Against Cruel Sports Visit London Offices of STA re Pamplona Bull Run Travel.





Dear Mark,

Today we paid a visit to STA Travel’s flagship store in London, Victoria with ‘Bully’ the bull to ask them why they are still promoting the cruel Pamplona fiesta – Watch what happened here

Six weeks ago we contacted STA Travel about their promotion of the Pamplona Bull Run and bullfighting. We pointed out how they are not abiding by the ABTA Animal Welfare Guidelines, of which they are signed up to and called for them to stop selling trips from 2015 and talk to us now about the issues.
The company has however refused to talk to us, aside from one tweet last week. As such we decided to book an appointment to see them in their flagship store today. 

Despite STA saying on Friday that they were reviewing packages and not selling trips to Pamplona a member of our staff, pretending to be an interested customer, was offered a trip to the festival on sale and also their ‘Europe 2014’ brochures are still in store with five different Pamplona trips promoted. 
Our friend ‘Bully’ the bull then joined and we revealed we were from the League. We handed over a copy of ABTA’s animal welfare guidelines and yet another request to meet with their CEO.

>> Click here to watch the film from today

We await their response, but in the meantime we would encourage you, if you have not done so already, to please get in touch with STA Travel by taking part in our action.
Please take action NOW and ask STA Travel to stop supporting bull running and bullfighting.

Take Action 
Once you’ve taken action please also share with your friends and family. Together we are stronger for animals. 

Thank you for your support.

Mark McCormick

Bull Running Festivals

The ‘running of the bulls’ is a practice which involves letting loose up to a dozen bulls to run with and in front of thousands of jeering crowds along a designated route to their final destination, the bull ring. 

The Sanfermines or Pamplona bull run is the most publicised bull run which attracts thousands of International tourists each year, but there are bull runs and bull running festivals which operate in many towns and countries across Spain and Mexico, and in many other countries such as Portugal, Peru, Nevada, France, California and more recently Arizona.

The Pamplona Bull Run

The Pamplona Bull Run takes place during the San Fermin festival in Spain every year between the 6th July and 14th July. This year’s campaign against this cruel festival has seen the League appeal to the student travel operator, STA Travel asking them to stop promoting and selling trips to the festival through their supplier TopDeck Travel. 
STA Travel are an ABTA member and despite being signed up to ABTA’s Animal Welfare Guidelines, which deem bull running and bullfighting as ‘unacceptable practices involving animals in cultural events and activities’, are still confusingly selling packages that support tourist attendance at the Pamplona Bull Run. 
We have written to them to ask them why they do this. We have called them. We have emailed them. But they refuse to talk to us about why they continue to support bull running and bullfighting, knowing full well it is in breach of the Guidelines.  

So we need your help

Please contact STA now ahead of the festival starting on Sunday, and ask them to do the right thing and stop promoting Pamplona Running of the Bulls.
Each morning bulls are forced to run a kilometre down the cobblestone streets of the town, chased by cheering participants and spectators. Once released, the bulls are frightened with gun shots, electrocuted with cattle prods and kicked and hit by jeering spectators, often down concrete or cobbled streets which they slip and slide on, suffering broken legs and other injuries in the process. 

The bulls are chased into a holding pen at the bull ring, to await their deaths at the bullfights, during the ‘corrida de toros’ that take place later that evening. Whilst in the holding pens some may be subjected to further ‘weakening’ which can involve the shaving of their horns (an excruciating process which leaves them disorientated and more sensitive to pain), being debilitated with laxatives, having vaseline rubbed into their eyes to impair vision, and by being drugged. 

In front of jeering crowds, the bulls are then tortured and antagonised by the matadors on horseback, waving flags and repeatedly stabbing the confused animals in the neck and back. The injured, bleeding bull, weakened and exhausted, is then killed with a sword by the picador.

If the animal is not killed immediately, it is stabbed repeatedly until paralysed. When the bull finally collapses, its spinal cord is cut, but the animal may still be conscious as its ears and tail are cut off and kept as a ‘trophies’.
Bull fights and fiestas attract people from all over the world; including Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, America and Europe, including the UK. Many are unaware of the bulls’ fate after the initial ‘running’. Frustratingly, revenue generated from curious tourists ensures the survival of fiestas such as San Fermin.

Even though the fiesta is often described by package selling tour operators as ‘a spectacle not to be missed’, the harsh reality is that the spectacle they are referring to is based on savagery and cruelty, with no regard for the welfare of the animals at the centre of the attention.

However, like many cruel sports, bullfighting and cruel fiestas continue to be justified by those involved as being part of the country’s history and culture. The League argues that this is a poor excuse for a practice that most people in Spain, the UK and around the world view as ritualised animal abuse.

The pro-bullfighting lobby would have us believe the faux ‘contest’ between a willing man and an unwilling bull is ‘art and culture, a magical rite of life, a just and honourable way of life where man and bull combine to create unique and unrepeatable moments’, an argument that couldn’t be further from the truth. 

Recently, the popular video sharing portal, YouTube, closed down channels devoted to Spain’s “national fiesta”, removing content showing bloody scenes of bulls being lanced by picadors, which it publically categorised as animal abuse.

We are asking for the public not to support this barbaric practice and to boycott any and all forms of bull running fiestas and bullfights, opting for a humane but yet exhilarating festival such as La Tomatina, coined the world’s biggest food fight, where more than one hundred metric tons of over-ripe tomatoes are thrown in the streets, and no animals are hurt as a result.


and …………….


See Dave and the ‘No Joke’ campaign:


East Kent

 Above – the real side of foxhunting.  East Kent Murder.

Photo – Mark Johnson – SAV Founder.









Serbia: July News From Shelter Felix – Serious Problems with the Roof Replacement.

Serbian  Flag


 7/7/14 – We have had the following news in from Danica at Shelter ‘Felix’.

Please remember that so much update and construction work has been undertaken at the shelter – work which is simply there to provide safe sanctuary for all the cats who once lived on the streets, along with all all the dangers that came with this.  Now they have a forever home; but unless funds can be raised for extra work which has had to be completed on the roof; things are in more danger.

At the end of this post you will see some pictures of little ‘Shadow’, who was saved from the market and who has now been restored to a beautiful little cat at Felix shelter.

We know there are appeals all the time for different projects and issues, but it is essential that in order to continue with a forever home for Shadow and the others, the extra funds are raised for the work which has had to be undertaken.

So please, give anything that you can to help Danica and the cats survive this situation.

Look at the photos of little Shadow below – is that not a good enough reason the give a donation ???

Thank you – SAV.

You can donate directly onto the Felix shelter sites as per the following links:

PayPal button is on our blog:


and our website: 




Dinarske uplate: Felix-Felinolosko drustvo  355-1070729-96


Serious Problems with the Roof Replacement





Why doesn’t anything ever go easily?

As you already know, the massive renovation work at Cat Shelter Felix has finally started as of a couple of weeks ago. We kept silent as long as we could, wishing to pleasantly surprise all of our friends and supporters with good news on the shelter’s repair progress. Everything seemed to be going along well, just as it should; workers had finished building the four small dividing walls between the support columns, removed the old roofing, lifted the new roof beams, made the entire wooden frame, our hearts were already singing with joy, but then…

To our incredible disappointment, it suddenly and unexpectedly turned out that we have about one meter of empty space between the top of the walls and the roof beams, through which all of the kitties can easily climb up to the attic and make it all the way through to the section under the roof of the main building. Once they’re there, the whole wide world is theirs; they’ll have dozens of ways to escape and happily wander the neighborhood and curious as they are, they simply wouldn’t be able to resist the challenge. Our happy optimism turned into utter despair in an instant. We could all just sit down and cry.


DSC00131_resize - ZID

DSC00139_resize - ZID1

Although we knew there would be some gap (the pitch of the roof has changed due to the extended roof overhang that protects the walkway), no one could’ve imagined, not in their worst nightmare, how big it would turn out to be! Evidently, the problem is that the walls of the cat’s rooms (and the walls of all of the buildings on this property) are made of rammed earth, some reed and some random bricks, so they were literally crumbling while the workers were lifting the beams and this enormous gap is the result.

All of the cats from the backyard are now enclosed with tarps in a sort of improvised shelter between the side entrance to the yard and the biggest of their rooms, as the top wire mesh (chain linked fence) had to be temporarily lifted. Unfortunately all felines are escape artists and it will be literally impossible to keep them from making their way out of such a weak enclosure for an extended period of time. The only thing we can do is to fill the empty space above the walls and under the roof beams with wooden cladding, if we miraculously succeed in raising the funds to purchase all of the necessary materials – until then, we can’t dream of releasing the kitties back into the yard! We can’t use bricks or any heavy material for that purpose because the existing structure, even strengthened, wouldn’t be able to bear the additional weight and everything will just come crashing down. 




The old roof was in such terrible shape that it’s really surprising and a true miracle that it didn’t fall in on the cats a long time ago. Parts of the new roof that have been done so far look good and sturdy, but the mere thought of that gap, that big gap is like a dark cloud over our heads. At the moment, we have absolutely no solution to this problem. The kitties are already nervous because they’re accustomed to having plenty of open space and all of them are definately not impressed with this restricted area they’re now forced to live in. While they’re constantly trying to escape back into the yard, which the most skillful ones have already done a couple of times, (catching them wasn’t an easy task and no fun at all), workers are beginning to install the tiles. The insulation layer or more precisely the foil insulation is already in place (we’ll also have to put wooden cladding over the oblique roof beams to protect the insulation layer from tearing) and in just a few days we’ll have a new roof above the kitties’ rooms. A new roof and a huge gap underneath.



As if all of this is not enough, new problems arose. The portion of the roof that’s being replaced right now is higher than parts of the old roof that will remain in place, because the pitch of the new one has changed. At the end, if we don’t put two triangular wooden gables between the edges of the dual-pitched roof, nothing on Earth will prevent the kitties from having a promenade all over the roof. One wooden gable should be made above the door between the two parts of the yard, so the kitties won’t be able to cross from one part of the yard to another over the door as they please. The other one is necessary to stop them from escaping through the gap between the new roof and the old roof of their biggest room in the backyard, which is made of sheet metal and tiles but is much lower than the new one.



DSC03194_resize - ZABAT KOD GORNJEG DOMA (1)


The only good thing is that if we by some incredible luck manage to raise 2.300 euros needed to purchase the timber cladding, fill the gaps and thus ensure no cats could escape, all of them will have more space on the roof than they have ever had before. Their paradise will finally be a real paradise. But until then, this is a complete disaster.

How long will we be able to keep the kitties in that improvised shelter, when they are incessantly trying to break out? They’ve hated it from the second they were rounded up and forced to be in there. What will happen when they succeed and start fleeing in all directions? I’ve already caught at least a dozen of them who have breached what we naively believed would be only a temporary enclosure and I was forced to use a humane trap for the least approachable and most insolent. Not one of them will step into the humane trap again, that’s for sure, and if they escape just one more time, there would be nothing I can do but to wait for the runaways to find their way back home, which they hopefully will, at one point…





If we fail to raise around 2.300 euros as soon as possible, there’s a huge chance our long struggle won’t end well for the 117 shelter kitties. Workers will finish their job and go away and then what? Is it even possible to raise this kind of money on such short notice? Is there anyone out there who believes it’s worth a try? Many questions, and the answers are sadly nowhere in sight.

I’m totally aware summer is a bad time for fundraising, with holidays, etc, I know people are strapped for cash. The sum of money we need is huge and even more importantly, it’s for shelter repairs, not for saving a few mangled and abused animals, each of them with a sad story and heartbreaking graphic photos. But what we’re trying to do is to ensure a good, secure life for a three-digit number of kitties! Is it not a vital and worthy mission? It’s also a very time sensitive emergency so please, help us with whatever you can afford and share our plight! Every little bit helps as all donations add up and ensure a bright future for these lovely creatures! Our kitties have no one but us, and we all have no one but you!








 novi ram za krovnu zicu

 These are some video clips:










SAV Comment:

Many of you will remember the recent post that we did regarding little ‘Shadow’; the kitten saved from death by Danica.  See our recent post at:


Well now Danica has sent us some new photos of little Shadow, and we want to share them with you.

Danica has sent us the following message:

Thank you so much for posting the videos of our little Shadow 🙂

She was such a sad little critter when I picked her up at the beginning of June from the flea market where she somehow appeared a few days earlier. Oblivious and uncaring people at the market had been kicking her and stomping on her for hours, until one of the sellers scooped her up and hid her under their stall. She had obviously been away from her Mom for a while; she was scared, emaciated, painfully skinny and didn’t even eat solid food yet. 

But she is an incredible fighter and managed to pull through a major crisis, beating all odds.

She is healthy and happy now, playing with her best friend Tinker Bell (which I took from a pet seller at that same flea market a month earlier, after a pretty heated argument and a call to the Communal Inspection) and both of them will undoubtedly be spoilt rotten 🙂

I’m sending you a few pictures of Shadow, some of which were taken when she arrived at the shelter and the others were taken a few days ago. Our friend Kim named her Shadow as she was just a thin little wisp of black when I took her in.

‘Shadow’ Photos:







 Shadow and Tink

 Above – Shadow and Tink



You can donate directly onto the Felix shelter sites as per the following links:

PayPal button is on our blog:


and our website: 




Dinarske uplate: Felix-Felinolosko drustvo  355-1070729-96