“Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He’s Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs (Video)”

In the heart of Serbia, Dejan Gacic has spent over 20 years rescuing and protecting animals. Alongside his late mother, Svetlana, they started with small acts of kindness, leading to the founding of the Vucjak Shelter in 1997.

Now, this refuge houses over a thousand dogs, cats, and even wolves, each with a tale of survival. Despite challenges, Dejan’s dedication showcases the lasting connection between humanity and the animal kingdom.

Meet Dejan, the heart and soul of Vucjak Shelter’s mission to save lives

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

In the village of Cumic, Serbia, Dejan and his late mother, Svetlana, embarked on a mission that would change the lives of over a thousand animals

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

They started feeding stray dogs in the village more than 20 years ago

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

People in the area saw Dejan and his mom helping animals, so they asked them to save a captive wolf

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

The person who had the wolf was going to let it go for a hunting game, where hunters and dogs would chase it. Dejan bought the wolf with just one bottle of liquor and kept it safe in his basement.

In 1997, Dejan and Svetlana started Vucjak Shelter. When his mom passed away, Dejan kept the shelter going all by himself

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

He began with a tiny sanctuary

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

But as time passed, the number of dogs grew to over a thousand animals

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Now, the shelter houses around 1500 dogs and even some wild animals. Many were left at the shelter or found hurt on the streets

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Dejan shared that most of the dogs were brought by their owners. “Many dogs are just thrown out and left at the gate of the shelter or at a wild dump not far from the shelter. We usually pick up a dog when people call us that a dog is injured or if the dog needs urgent veterinary help.”

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

The shelter aims to be a safe place for unwanted, abandoned, and injured animals in Cumic, near Kragujevac, Serbia

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Dejan’s mission is to save every animal, offering them food, shelter, love, safety, and medical care. He also strives to spread awareness in Serbia and internationally about the significance of treating animals with kindness, respect, and dignity.

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

All dogs have a chance to be adopted. Unfortunately, according to Dejan, it is very difficult in Serbia. “Here, people mostly abandon their dogs. That is why we try to adopt dogs in other countries.”

However, with over 1000 animals under their care, it faces challenges in covering bills and fundraising for projects like building winter shelters and dog houses

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

“Unfortunately, Serbia is a country where there is no systemic solution to the problem of abandoned animals. People who take care of such animals are left to fend for themselves and are mostly exposed to attacks and mistreatment by the authorities. We fight to help every animal that needs help under such conditions,” Dejan shared with Bored Panda.

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

The dogs live in separate groups outside in a large area and gather in wooden dog houses at night to keep warm

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Dejan hopes to build winter shelter buildings and more dog houses in the near future

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

The shelter relies on donations from generous people and organizations to keep running smoothly. Let’s hope this support continues well into the future!

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

Image credits: vucjakshelter

Vucjak Shelter mostly gets help from ordinary people around the world.

“The state needs to address the issue of abandoned animals systematically, implementing measures such as free mass sterilization, tagging, and registration for all dog owners. Furthermore, there should be penalties for owners who abandon their dogs.”

“I will fight for animals until I die. It is my road to heaven and it’s the legacy of my mother”

Serbian Man Started A Shelter With His Mother In 1997, Now He's Taking Care Of More Than A Thousand Dogs

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