An Islington vet has spoken of the pride he felt working with a charity to help dogs in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Charlie Matthias, a Senior Veterinary Surgeon from Islington, visited Bosnia to support Dogs Trust’s work, sharing his expertise with local vets who are working to improve the welfare of street dogs.

For the last 10 years, the 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 the animals.

During his trip, Charlie 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.

Islington Gazette:

Charlie said: "It was an incredibly worthwhile and enjoyable trip. I was very impressed with the dedication of the Dogs Trust team in Bosnia and the local vets made us feel so welcome. 

“It was wonderful to witness the Dogs Trust programme in action and to see that once a dog enters the system, they are very well cared for. Not all of the street dogs that came in were suitable for surgery with some being underweight. These dogs were well looked after until they were ready for an operation.

"During the week we neutered around 20 dogs and all six of the Bosnian vets successfully completed the vet training programme.

“It was amazing to see the impact Dogs Trust has had in 10 years of working in the country. So much has been achieved improving dog welfare and reducing the stray dog population. I feel proud to be working for a charity that is contributing to such essential vet care in Bosnia.”

Islington Gazette: One of the dogs helpedOne of the dogs helped (Image: Dogs Trust)

When Dogs Trust started working in Bosnia in 2012, there more than 12,000 stray dogs were surveyed on the streets of Sarajevo. Pre-covid in 2019, when the charity last surveyed, there were just over 3,000 dogs.

With the support of Dogs Trust vets, more than 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 works to vaccinate the dogs at the same time to ensure they remain fit and healthy.