Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dogs on Thursday: 250+ and counting...

Meet Katja, who lives on a strip of land about 12 x 80 meters (approx. 39 x 263 feet) outside of Belgrade with over 250 dogs that she cares for by herself and with the help of a few occasional volunteers. Katja has a heart of gold, and cannot refuse a dog. Some are left at her gate, some are thrown over the fence (yes...) and some she finds while walking to buy her bread. Conditions are pretty bad, and worse, it's almost impossible for these dogs to find homes, for few people would want to brave entering to choose one. Katja knows all the dogs by name, and they respond to their names. By law, she has to have them vaccinated and neutered, though accidents happen. She feeds them largely through donations of bread, bones, and fat. Believe it or not, this place was Bibi's first home. She was abandoned here with her two sisters as puppies, and an old female developed milk to nurse them. Then along I came, and the rest is history.

Some say these dogs would be better off fending for themselves on the street. (Belgrade has a stray dog problem, and there are many strays.) What do you say?


23 comments:

PJ said...

We pay attention to these situations when we hear about them, weigh in, say what's right or wrong, but in the end this woman needs help and lots of it.

Mim said...

I say bless her...

Abraham Lincoln said...

I would hope this lady gets some help. That is a lot of animals and I suspect the local government is aware of how the animal's health is. Anyway, she had a heart of gold to deal with castaways like this.


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brattcat said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
MuseSwings said...

The dogs look healthy and reasonably well kept - so bless her!

Tash said...

Oh, it breaks my heart that she takes care of SO many! And lucky, lucky Bibi. The dogs are definitely better off being fed and they seem to have room to move around & she loves them.

Suz Broughton said...

What a wonderful story and great picture, too! Thanks for sharing.

angela said...

There are no answers to this problem. Here the dogs are rounded up and often put to sleep after a period of time. It's tidier but it's still the same problem of abandoned dogs.
This woman has a huge heart to do this. Are there no agencies, government or charitable to help..

Lucky little Bibi..
Congratulations on this photo. It touches my heart.

soulbrush said...

what a touching post. and i say, there's a place for this woman in heaven!happy DOT.

Jilly said...

My God, Bibi. This woman is a saint. I've linked to your post today from Postcards.

How can one send money that will get to this lady? What can we do?

Bibi said...

Jilly, I'll be in touch with you through your blog.

Chuck Pefley said...

Bibi, this is an amazing photo depicting a hard life with so many friends with mouths to feed. Is there some way this image and story might be leveraged via a local newspaper or magazine article? I assume many are aware of this woman and her mission, but surely there are more in Belgrade who would be willing to help support this overcrowded kennel of mercy?

Lessie said...

Wonderful photograph. Love the color of the pic and the face of the woman. The upraised paw is really moving.

Alexa said...

Are you kidding? I say God bless Katja—and you too, for rescuing Bibi and for bringing this story to light. Chuck makes a good point: Perhaps if more people were aware of what she does, maybe Katja would get some more help, money, strays adopted from her, whatever.
Keep us posted, will you?

Mo said...

I'm with the majority here. This woman is amazing and probably crazy. She needs assistance. AND NO!! the dogs should not be left to defend for themsleves on the street. I've sen what happens in cities where that happens. Dogs are by nature a pack animal.It is not better for them or the locals to be left to their own devices.

marley said...

Firstly, I think this could be one of your best photos. Its amazing!

Secondly, what a woman to do this. I can see why people question her way of doing things but at least they are loved and fed.

Neva said...

I hope she gets some help ...that is a lot of work she has to do with so many dogs......

Ana said...

There are too many uneducated people here who brought to Belgrade (and few towns we have in Serbia) their ignorance, believes and habits. One of them is - if you are not useful animal, I don't need you, go away. "Someone" will take care of them. Who? It is not up to them to think about.

Knoxville Girl said...

dogs are NEVER better fending for themselves on the street. stupid people, whoever said that.
lucky Bibi, and lucky you!
I love this photo.

raf said...

Your striking image is powerful, Bibi, for good reason. The message is immediate - crisis and compassion - and demands response. Most certainly the dogs can't be left feral and somehow this saintly woman must be supported by the community.
Blessing her is not enough. Bless you for rescuing Bibi!

Nancy said...

Wish I could help - please let me know how...

-Nancy

Tea Time With Melody said...

I say this woman is a saint. More people need to volunteer to help these precious dogs.

Kate said...

This is a real conundrum, one that cannot easily be solved. Communities need to fund shelters for stray animals and volunteers need to help. When we snowbird in Mazatlan (only 3 more weeks beforfe we leave!) my DH regularly volunteers at Amigos de las Animales, which is funded solely through donated funds. Mexico like many other countries have too many stray animals with minimum local support. Can't imagine the amt of work that this woman has to do on a daily basis.