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Winter Appeal

Updated: Nov 12, 2022

Winters in Serbia are harsh and deadly, reaching sub-zero temperatures. Every year we run our Winter Appeal to ensure that we have extra funds to help cats and dogs on the streets who will freeze to death, that's if injury, disease and hunger doesn't get to them first. Without food they won't have the energy to keep their own bodies warm.

This year we are being PROACTIVE to make sure we go into winter with the food available. We will be providing heavy plastic sheets to cover the sides of the pound and insulate the dogs as much as possible. We are concentrating on the pound, street dogs and assisting those local people in remote areas who live on next to nothing themselves to provide food for the street dogs and keep them sheltered.

It costs £2 for a bale of straw which will literally save a dog's life; £1 for eggs which will keep a dog alive with the protein and fat; £10 for a plastic dog bed to keep them off the ground; £25 for a bag of food because they can't scavenge for food when the ground is frozen. We have rescuers who get up at the crack of dawn even in winter to feed the dogs on the street, the mountains, forests and parks.

Due to the energy crisis, and the state of affairs caused by politics and wars globally, this year is particularly hard financially, due to people having to tighten belts. But our cats and dogs will continue to need food, shelter, and warmth. More are being dumped every day, the abuse doesn't change. The hunger will not be stopped, and the warmth will not be made

without vital funds raised through this appeal. We spoke to our rescuers on the ground in Serbia and asked them what it is like during the winter. Please note, we have kept the identity of our rescuers anonymous.

Rescuer 1

We are on the street early every day because strays need a strong and regular meal to fight the cold. A lot of beautiful dogs and cats have been put out on the street in recent weeks. Summer is easier, there are people on the street, there is food, they can sleep anywhere because it's warm, we protect them from ticks and fleas once a month and de-worms, so somehow, they can survive.

Winter is hard, too hard... Dogs and cats on the street during the winter need everything: houses where they will sleep, straw, a strong warm meal... If the days are really cold and the water in the containers freezes, we have to go out several times a day, break the ice in the containers and pour new water. That's the only way they have a chance.

Rescuer 2:

For animal rescuers, there is no season that we can say is good, but winter is always especially difficult for us. Rain, cold wind, snow, low temperatures are particularly difficult conditions for us. The animals themselves have a harder time getting food, so we try to feed them as often and as many of them as possible, we need more food.

We are trying to make them doghouses where they could hide and at least dry out and warm up a little, for which we always need help with the materials to make them. It is always more difficult to take care of a sick animal in the winter, because we need dry and warm accommodation, so blankets are also welcome to wrap and warm them.

We find many more animals in bad condition in winter, without your financial help we cannot afford to treat them.

Left: Straw-filled shelters are vital to keep street dogs warm in freezing conditions.

We want to thank all of our supporters who make it possible to make a difference to the lives of many cats and dogs. Without you, they would not have the chance to survive. Thank you.

Below: A feed and rescue operation under harsh conditions for street dogs (©Balkan Underdogs 2022)

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