A Dogs Trust vet nurse from Kent has recently returned from Bosnia and Herzegovina where she has been sharing her expertise with local vets who are working to improve the welfare of street dogs. 

Michelle Henry-Clement, a vet nurse from Dartford, visited Bosnia to support Dogs Trust’s work in the country. For the last ten years, the UK’s largest dog welfare charity has been running a neutering, vaccination and education programme designed to reduce the number of dogs living on the streets of Bosnia and improve the overall welfare of dogs in the country.

When Dogs Trust started working in Bosnia in 2012, there were over 12,000 stray dogs surveyed on the streets of Sarajevo with unwanted litters of puppies being born every day. Pre-covid in 2019, when the charity last surveyed, there were just over 3,000 dogs.

With the support of members of Dogs Trust’s veterinary team like Michelle, over 450 local vets have been trained to provide humane and effective services and around 102,000 dogs have subsequently been neutered across Bosnia. The team also works to vaccinate the dogs at the same time to ensure they remain fit and healthy.

During the week-long trip, Michelle provided support and training to Bosnian vets on a range of techniques, including surgery and anaesthesia which involved showing the vets different handling techniques and ensuring the correct medication was given.

Dogs Trust vet nurse Michelle Henry-Clement said:

The week in Bosnia was such an amazing, positive experience.  We operated on around 20 dogs and all six of the Bosnian vets successfully completed the vet training programme. The Dogs Trust team were so lovely and welcoming with impressive knowledge. The facilities were outstanding, where the dog’s welfare is the focus of everything they do.

“Most of the street dogs were friendly and easy to work with, with any stress being minimised due to Dogs Trust protocols. The resilience of the street dogs surprised me and was so memorable.

“Whilst I was in Bosnia I saw very few stray dogs in the city, highlighting the incredible impact of the project.  It has been so successful now the team are working in more rural areas of the country which makes me feel proud to be part of the Dogs Trust team.”