The story of stray animals in Serbia is a horrible testament of torture, killing, disfiguring, poisoning and even raping of these innocent creatures. Serbia is well known for it’s recent history, but behind this the tragic story of a people traumatized and negatively influenced by civil war is also a deep, abiding and enduring hatred of stray dogs among many people – not all of course, but many of the population sadly view them as vermin and are often encouraged do so by the media. This is the case across much of Eastern Europe; it is as though the tendency of a nation under pressure is to identify a helpless or vulnerable minority as a figure of hate for its problems, and attempt to hurt and destroy that minority. In Serbia it is the stray dogs.
They have all the ingredients that make them easy targets: they are very visible because they have lost their homes and are on the streets, their reproduction is not managed, they are easily accused of being nuisances to the public (although the public refuses to use humane methods to control them as per Serbian law) – and best of all, they cannot speak for their own rights. Being animals who are not used for either work or food, they make the easiest of targets. Many Serbians sadly blames the street dogs and they are tortured and killed on a daily basis.
The following are just some examples of the evidence coming out of Serbia on an almost daily basis, showing a pattern of shocking, widespread, normalized brutality, cruelty, murder and torture of street animals, making this increasingly a part of mainstream social violence in Serbia.