Monday, June 16, 2008


Pinky surveys her new surroundings. She is fresh off a Lufthansa flight from Serbia via Frankfurt. I wonder what the scents tell her. Does Canada smell different?

Oaza shelter in Avala, Serbia - photo by Cathrine Lowther

What's the point, someone asks (as I've asked myself), of rescuing dogs all the way from Serbia when there are dogs much closer who are in need of saving? No one answers that because there is no good 15 second answer. The answer is too esoteric. I mean, why save dogs period? Is it a great weakness or a great strength to care about those outside of one's immediate circle? Should we only help those who are in easy reach? Should we only help those who can perhaps one day help us back? Lattlay Fottfoy, as an infamous British gangster says. Look after those that look after you. Fuck off those that fuck off you.

Oaza shelter in Avala, Serbia - photo by Ivana Paunovic

The way to kill a dog in Serbia seems to be a matter driven mostly by expediency. Shinters (government employed dog catchers) drive around looking for strays, capture them, place them in cages for two or three days with no food or water. When no one shows up to claim them, the dogs are injected with a suffocation poison. If the poison is unavailable, the dogs are clubbed to death. Or, maybe a pitchfork is used if a club isn't available. If there's a spare rope around, the shinters can always hang the dogs. Sometimes they can't be bothered to actually kill the dog personally - it can get messy, I suppose - so the dogs are dumped into a hole and buried. Or, they are put into sacs and dropped into the back of a garbage truck and crushed.

Oaza shelter in Avala, Serbia - photo by Ivana Paunovic

The next time someone ask why I bother with Serbian rescue dogs, I might say something like:

"Well, it's amazing how many interesting people you meet and it does a world of good for cross cultural cooperation. We can really provide some leadership and funding and help kick start their own domestic, better equipped animal shelter system. And blah, blah, blah ..."

But the real answer is because I feel like it.

Oaza shelter in Avala, Serbia - photo by Cathrine Lowther

1 comment:

Dale said...

Kudos to you and knowing Cathrine as I do, I'm not surprised at the great photos.