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Our home is very famous in Italy because here lives my dog ​​Leo, hero of the Cinque Terre.
Leo has saved me in October 25 2011 during the terrible flood, it won the International Award Loyalty of the Dog and all the newspapers and many television
have spoken about its history. 
September 27th, 2012 2:13
The dog had to be killed in Serbia has become a hero in Italy
By Sasa Milosevic 

When Pietro, an Italian man from Vernazza, adopted a brown puppy from Serbia, he could not guess that small Balkan dog would soon save his life . He named him Leo.

He knew nothing about him except that Leo was waiting to be executed in one of Serbian pounds. The cute mongrel entered the Italian family thanks to Humanimal, an Italian non-profit association saving many animals from Serbia and Bosnia. They rescued Leo at the last moment. He arrived in Paradisi’s Guest House on September 15, 2011 and easily adapted to the warmness of foster family in the house of stone with a colorful garden and twelve cats to play with looking beyond a horizon from the undergrowth.

On October 25, Pietro and Leo were in the car driving back home when a furious storm hit them on the local road  seriously upsetting the dog. He had to move him to the rear seat. As the storm got stronger the car progressed to a crawl but after 200 meters from the junction Leo suddenly changed mood and jumped on the master’s legs who has nailed the shot.
Pietro has only time to move the dog to the right seat and as dog continues whining he sees the hill collapsing before him and sinking down into a bottomless void that swallowed everything.

”The landslide had touched the nose of our car and if Leo had not given me the alarm it would fall in; he felt the danger and I yelled : ”Stop, stop, let’s save ourselves, we do not go to meet death.” Not knowing what did happen he called the police but they responded to him : “It’s pandemonium, we can not send anyone, make yourself safe as you can.” He turned the car around and they escaped the death, unlike the 9 locals who died in the floods that hit the Italian Riviera.

Pietro describes the scenes associating it with the Apocalypse….
”Full of landslides and desperate, pieces of asphalt and guard rail were everywhere and you could hear a few voices; someone who was beginning to use pick and shovel, someone called and no one answered, a helicopter flying over a sailboat sank.”

The Pietro’s house has remained intact, but the gigantic landslide in San Bernardino County has made the housing unsafe to use. Analyzing Leo’s sixth sense Pietro relies on scientific explanation:

”Dogs have 255 million olfactory receptors; we humans only 5 million. This big difference explains so strange facts . I do not believe in metaphysics, but I believe that dogs who have suffered a lot, like Leo, have developed some sense to perceive danger.”

Leo became an overnight Italian star. The Mayor of San Rocco town awarded him by “Concorso Internazionale Fidelity of the dog” during the fiesta of San Rocco, the patron saint ofdogs, a local tradition celebrated since 1962. The Mayor have also made a special party in gratitude to Leo. Italian RAI 2 broadcast a special program in Leo’s honor. The most popular Italian newspapers wrote about brave Serbian dog who escaped death in homeland to become a national hero in Italy.

Serbian media re-published the story, but their message obviously has not touched the people responsible for the basic dignity and human rights of animals. Serbia didn’t learn a lesson from Leo’s case continuing to ignore the abuse of stray dogs and cats that happens all-daily at streets and state pounds.

That’s why Freccia 45, an Italian Association for protection of animals, sent an official letter to European Parliament warning them about animal torture in Serbia insisting on urgent measures to stop further killing . According to Freccia 45, Serbia practices systematic execution of stray animals.The document reveals a gallery of the most notorious methods of killing including: massacres of dogs with sticks, mass poisonings, hangings and stabbings. Also, the paper warns about a business where the lifeless body of animals being sold to industry as animal food making illegal profit on such way.

Unlike the Italian mayor, who proudly awarded Leo, the mayors of Serbian towns “bless” animal execution.
Despite the financial assistance of Deutsche Bank and USAID funds especially donated for animal protection, Mayor of city of Loznica has not yet start with planned projects ( building of animal asylum and animal sterilization ) leaving animals to suffer. The Facebook photos confirm the Loznica horror. In 2006, Mr Geza Kucer, the Mayor of Subotica promised to his citizens that he will ” continue destroying the stray dogs”.  An authorized veterinarian in city of Nis has killed 1.500 dogs in 6 months injecting them with T61 directly into the lungs. The activist from Nis initiated the petition ” Sign the vet-killer Mitke Davkovski” accusing him of killing the stray animals. Even the Serbian National Television reported on the case of a dog with an opened abdomen found on the street shortly after Davkovski sterilized him. However, no one took responsibility for this case. According to the Petition, Vet Davkovski is a brother of an influential local politician .

Freccia 45 also accused Serbian police of ignoring the animal offenders. The police refuse to arrest them obstructing the help to animals in such way. Although the Veterinary Law Article 168 strictly prohibits the killing of stray animals ( with exception of animals infected by rabies). The Serbian Association of Friends of the Animals (EPAR) stresses that Serbian authorities administered death in many ways:

1. by paralysis of the respiratory system through T-61 injections into the heart or lungs [...]; 2. by injection of Nova and Kreozan poisons, causing death by suffocation; 3. by burying alive; 4. by clubbing to death; 5. by sealing animals in plastic bags and disposing of them at garbage dumps; definitely, the protest letter of Brigitte Bardot directed to Boris Tadic in 2005 was not effective. It has only worsened. The famous actress and activist for animal rights requested him to stop ” the barbaric cleaning of animals ” comparing Serbian capital with Bucharest, ” a window of horror”.

“Equally, death squadrons methodically patrol each region of Belgrade in order to mass poison the few survivors of this eradication. The detergents and other products that are used generate intolerable agony and suffering” mrs Bardot wrote in her letter.

Tadic lost any authority over the own people. Shall EU be more rigorous now as Serbia proudly highlights its status in racing for EU membership ?

Rai 2 - I Fatti Vostri dicembre 2012
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