Animal Writes
25 April 1999 Issue
Yugoslavian Pets

Only silence comes from the news media about how the bombing in
Yugoslavia is affecting the animals. This week we received a copy of a
letter from a pet owner in Belgrade. Though Animal Rights Online does
not condone breeding of more pets until there are no more for adoption in
shelters, this letter, though from a show breeder, gives an insiders view of
how the animals are faring.

Dear friends, schnauzer lovers from all over the world, I feel an obligation to
inform you about a situation in my city, where we are bombed every night.
I am calling from Belgrade, Yugoslavia and my name is Marijana Mihailovic.
I am an owner of two Giant [Schnauzer] bitches, Sunshine and Lucky Moon;
my eldest bitch died on the 19th March, just before this madness started.
I am sorry to say, but it was a great luck for her, she was 11 years old. My
bitches are show quality, but they share destiny of all other pets, and of this
nation too.

I would like to describe you the present situation, and how this situation
affects on our animals. I feel a great responsability because I know that this
letter will be seen worldwide, and I will try to be objective, as much as I can,
concerning the fact that I am personaly involved in this chaos. This meaning-
less attacks on our country brought us, dogowners, and petowners great
trouble. As you all know, our country is under sanctions of UN for nine
years and our population is financialy broke. In last few years we menaged
somehow to feed our dogs and take care of them as much as we could, but
now, we are faced with cruel reality- we must feed the people who are coming
from different places of our country every day, and we dont have enough
money to feed the animals. That is one of the major problems. My personal
suplies of dog food are coming to an end, what will be later, I dont know.
I used to feed them with Purina Pro Plan pet food, but I cannot afford it any
more. Other thing is very important, there is less and less dog food in town,
soon we will not be able to buy, even if we had the money!

During the air raids my dogs are very calm, because their temperament is
stabile, but my friends are telling me that some animals are having signs of
mental dissruption - they hide in the dark corners, they want to run away.
My riend has an 8-year-old Giant who refuses to go outside, he is out of his
mind when he hears the sound of bombs and detonation. There are many
abandon dogs walking on the streets, some of them are dangerous, both for
the people and other dogs. We dont have gasoline to take them to the vet
ambulance when they are sick, people are not thinking of vaccination
nowdays, all these things are conected. We can expect spreading of
diseases which are dangerous for the animals and people too. People who
have puppies are in very bad position - they cant feed them, and nobody
wants to take a puppy now. My friend Milan Dosen has a great litter of Giants
now, sire is Jabel de Pichera, they are two months old and he will be forced
to do an euthanasia on 5 puppies for these same reasons. We are helping
each other, as much as we can, but this is not enough.

During the air raid we are not allowed to go to the shelters with our animals,
and most of us are at home. I never went to the shelter with my family, I am
a mother of two kids, girl is 4 years old and baby boy is 10 months. We will
all share the same destiny. There is not enough space there for people, thats
the way it is, nobody could predict that this is going to happen at the end of
the 20th Century. We all thought that wars in Europe are history. We are all
concerned for the destiny of animals in the Belgrade Zoo Garden, people are
there with guns every night during the bombing, they are waiting for the signal
to kill them. If NATO bombs hit the Zoo, they cannot alow animals to escape,
they must shoot them. Please, dont let thet happen! Many animals there gave
joy to our children, we were proud on our Zoo. Director Vuk Bojovic has taken
care of them for many years, and many humanitary actions were held there
during the years.

I am also proud to say that I have many friends in Europe, and they invited
me to come, but I dont want to leave the country, especially because of my
dogs. Where would I take them? I have my proud, and I cannot challange
anyones hospitality by bringing two dogs and two kids. Not to talk about
refugee camps! We will all have to think about the solution of the problem.
The whole world is facing the humanitarian catastrophy. Birds in Belgrade
stop singing half an hour before the air raid. They feel! My bitches also feel
my fear, they come and kiss me. They also need the protection, but I am so
helpless, as we all are.

People of the world, dog lovers, SCHNAUZER lovers, do whatever is in your
power for this war has to stop. Just think on us all, try to put yourself in our
position, we are all suffering havily together!

Sincirely yours, Marijana Mihailovic , Belgrade

To see Marijana's dog = Schnauzer

Go on to USA Today Article
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