Montenegro midwife and animal advocate is facing jail time for feeding strays

A Podgorica, Montenegro midwife and animal advocate is facing jail time for feeding stray dogs in her area. While this is a ‘dog story,’ I wanted to write on it because people caring for stray and feral cats tend to face the same situation when someone in authority disapproves of their good deeds.

Indira (YouTube 2012)
Until September 7th I will give 10 cents to an animal charity for every comment. It is a way to help animal welfare without much effort at no cost. Comments help this website too, which is about animal welfare.

Last year, Indira Lajko was voted one of the best midwives in her country. She was recently convicted by the courts for feeding and watering dogs who live on the streets. Indira, 60, has tended to the dogs for more than 20 years in Pljevija, northern Montenegro.

Indira has been ordered to pay a 150-euro fine ($169) by December 29 or she’ll go to jail. The fine equals 40 percent of her salary and is the latest blow in a battle she’s waged against local authorities for the past ten years.

In an interview with VOA News Indira stated

“I have no money to pay the fine. Half of my salary goes for loans taken to pay various fines to local courts for my care of stray dogs. Sometimes I’m hungry but my hunting dog Srecko always has meat and abandoned animal food.”

The founder of Right to Life animal rights group in Pljevija, Indira is well known in the area. It’s a shame her love of animals has threatened her freedom.

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2 thoughts on “Montenegro midwife and animal advocate is facing jail time for feeding strays”

  1. You’re right, Elisa. This dilemma is seen in so many places around the world where ignorance just runs amuck. Even here, in one of the most civilized nations, we are still struggling to enforce TNR everywhere.

    Reply
  2. This persecution of carers of stray animals in Montenegro is not unusual. A few years ago one woman, Alexandra Zakarova, a photographer, made it her mission to TNR and feed as many street cats as she could in her Montenegran city.

    She worked tirelessly and faced nothing but abuse and obstruction from the people. Montenegro was formed after an extended period of war in the 90s. There is no doubt that this has brutalised the people.

    A number of people on social media tried to help, buying multiple copies of her digital book on cat photography, sending letters to the media and the authorities, highlighting the plight of the cats. All to no avail. The abuses and cruelties meted out to these innocent animals, including methodical poisoning was horrific.

    Montenegro is a country that likes to promote itself as a fabulous tourist destination for the rich. It is a country of extreme poverty and extreme wealth. UK tourists have regularly recorded footage of poisoned, dying cats and dogs, in the parks and on roadsides. The tourists are appalled, but rescues and welfare organisations are few and far between. Often they only deal with animals from their own area, or are at war with each other.

    Eventually, Alexandra and her partner were savagely attacked and beaten badly by thugs when they were on a feeding trapping job. This was the final straw, they upped stumps, defeated, and returned to Alexandra’s native home, Russia.

    Over the years, this work to help cats wore her down, she was once determined and optimistic, welcoming support. As it became obvious that the authorities were never going to implement any animal welfare legislation, she understandably became angry, which isolated her from those who tried to support her.

    Montenegro is trying to join the EU, they have a long way to go regarding meeting the criteria, for both animal and human welfare.

    If I remember rightly, Michael did a piece on Alexandra’s work for street cats a while ago.

    Good luck to Indira, she will need it.

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