In the municipal animal shelter near Nikšić in Montenegro, 70 dogs must give thanks every day to Network for Animals’ supporters because, without you, they would be dead.
Five years ago, the Nikšić shelter was a kill zone for any street dog taken there. Local authorities had given the workers a simple instruction:
“When the cages are full, kill all the dogs.”
We promised the authorities that if they stopped killing dogs, we would create a better shelter and do everything we could to solve the problem of sick and abandoned dogs overwhelming the town’s ability to care for them. We knew it would be tough, and indeed, there have been moments when we almost despaired, but we are winning - and with your help, we will continue to make life for the dogs much, much better.
Montenegro was formerly a communist state, and when communism collapsed, many of the old attitudes lingered on. “Dogs do not matter,” we heard. "Use them… and if they are inconvenient, kill them."
To give you an idea of what we face, let us tell you what happened when our team was in Nikšić just before COVID closed travel. Late at night, our executive director, David Barritt, and videographer Vic Dobraczynski were driving on a busy main road when suddenly, tiny puppies appeared in the car headlights in the middle of the road. Some monster had dumped six puppies there, hoping cars would kill them.
Of course, David and Vic rescued them and got them emergency medical care and shelter, but the puppies had been so neglected that only one survived. Tragedies like that are everyday occurrences in Nikšić.
Shelter dogs now need help to stop the spread of a deadly disease!
We kept our promise to the authorities, even throughout the COVID lockdown. Thanks to donations from our supporters, we provided food, kennels, a water supply and storage tanks, fencing and a small clinic. Now, we are asking for your help to stop a deadly disease from spreading and killing all the dogs we have worked so hard to save.
A particularly horrible disease called canine parvovirus is spreading in the area. It is highly contagious and if left untreated, kills 91% of dogs it infects. Treatment requires intensive veterinary care, intravenous fluids and tube feeding which makes it terribly expensive. The shelter dogs need a separate quarantine area so that when sick dogs arrive, they do not infect the others.
We need to raise $5,000 (£3,600) to urgently create a quarantine area. COVID has taught us all the importance of keeping a safe distance and it is just as important for dogs. A quarantine area will save so many lives. Please help the dogs of Nikšić by donating right now.
After all you’ve helped to do to save these dogs, we can’t let parvo kill them now!
Of course, if any dogs do contract the disease, we will have to find a way to treat them. Last month, our team was able to travel to Nikšić for the first time in two years after the COVID lockdown was partially lifted. The dogs gave us such a warm welcome as if they knew that we represented the kind NFA supporters whose donations feed and care for them. It was heartwarming.
We cannot abide the thought that everything you have helped us achieve is in jeopardy because of the killer virus called parvo. We promise that, with your help, we will keep the dogs safe with a quarantine area - and if any do get sick, we will provide whatever treatment they need. But we can only do this with the help of you and other animal lovers like you.
For the animals,
Brian and Gloria Davies (and Max and Flora!)
Network for Animals
P.S. Street dogs in Nikšić lead harsh lives among uncaring people, but we care, and we know you do too. Please help us prevent unwanted, abused and neglected dogs in a remote area in the Balkan mountains from dying horrible deaths from parvo. There is nobody else to care about them but us - you, and NFA. Please, help us by donating generously right now!