So, if you’ve already been to Bajram Curri, you will have noticed the (appalling) number of street dogs. There’s no vet that promotes a dog neutering service in Tropoja (although I personally witnessed a not-very-impressive effort on a male dog some years ago), and in my experience people here have never even heard that you can actually DO this. Result? Dozens of homeless dogs who – because it’s a small place – are recognizable as individuals, so I can tell you that they don’t live very long. I mean you just about get to recognize one, and then you notice that you haven’t seen it for a while (with only two – obviously notable – exceptions, one of whom – Jon Jon – now lives in our shop. The other – Reksi – was adopted by the Vodaphone shop). Until now, my only option has been to pick up the puppies who manage to corner me and look me in the eye (HELP ME!), or take in the dogs which actually make it to the house and claim (with lots of barking and whining at the gate) sanctuary. This is how I ended up with 8 dogs in my house, and one resident in the shop. This is clearly not a long term strategy (although luckily I have a big house!).
In 2021 I met the amazing people at the Kosova Small Animal Welfare Veterinary Hospital in Gjakova – or Pro Vet as they’re known locally – and this year I met local veterinarian Ram Hajdari, and together we are all now trying to figure out how to institute a free neutering program in Tropoja – we’ll post stories about it as it evolves. (I think I can fix up an abandoned house on some land I rent for the horses – they’ll love THAT – to serve as a recuperation facility for the street dogs, after surgery . . . . ) BUT!!!! In the meantime, we at JourneytoValbona are hoping that some of you out there might be interested in adopting a Tropojan dog, like little Moxi (see “products” below – eee!).
KOSAW vets Blendi and Eriola know how to do all the necessary processes to prepare a dog for moving to the EU or USA, up to and including selling the appropriate dog crates for air travel, and I’m happy to take care of whatever fostering needed during the two months it takes to pass the rabies certification. So . . . . maybe save a life? I can tell you that I thought it was nuts when I got to four dogs, but if you have four, what difference does five make? And then . . . anyhow, point is, I don’t regret a single one now, and can’t imagine life without any of them. So, in my experience, you won’t regret it.