The acrobatic act of a man rescuing a stranded dog under a bridge in four years ago is an incident many could not forget. The man, Sasha Pesic has a fond heart for dogs, especially strays.
It all began when he took shelter of a litter of puppies in 2008, and ten years later he would have about 750 canines under his care. Even when the video got attention of millions online, nobody actually knew what Sasha did.
Sasha came from the city of Nis in Serbia, where he had an animal shelter housing hundreds of dogs. Almost half his life had been spent rescuing and taking care of about 1200 dogs, 400 of which had been generously adopted by locals.
Though his act of kindness touched the hearts of many, the sensation died down shortly after. Those who showered him with compliments and inquired about ways to contribute just ended up staying behind the screens they knew him from.
Sasha is currently seeking all the help he could from the public. The expense of one month’s food for the dogs costs him about $11,150. Additional expenses such as shelter maintenance, workers’ salary and veterinary care adds up to thousands more in Euros.
He does receive donations, however majority of them are funded by people outside his country. Sasha feels that the locals are not compassionate enough to care for the strays in Serbia.
When he first opened a temporary shelter in an unused equestrian club, he expected to get support from the people of Serbia. To his surprise, he received a series of eviction threats which was fortunately averted due to a successful petition.
What’s even heartbreaking is that most of them would rather leave their pets behind at his shelter than adopting one. They somehow know that he would not abandon them and take them in.
Sasha is saddened by the fact that nobody comes to visit or even pet the dogs at his shelter. “Dogs are living beings and I think they should be treated better, but that’s the way it is here,” he adds.
He admits that his shelter is worryingly overcrowded as more and more canines are coming in, but for now he is thankful that they have a place to live and food to eat rather than wandering out in the streets unattended.
Despite the harsh reality, Sasha is grateful for the little help he gets from people around the world. He has opened up a campaign on Patreon called Sasha Shelter, which fortunately has monthly donations coming in from people who are kind enough to care for the strays’ well-being.
Sasha prides in knowing the name of each one of the 750 dogs and takes great pleasure in tending to all of them. “They recover quickly, they need only to be given a little love, food and care and soon they become tame and cheerful again,” he says.
He is still hoping to build a better home and provide the dogs with an improved environment. Though he’s a long way from making it happen, Sasha keeps his heart open and his hope strong.