Following the nature of the dogcraver, that demands safety at all costs, once the dogs became uneconomical and were harming the lush lifestyle, they were thrown onto the streets. This was the first thing to happen with the outbreak of civil war. The strays have arrived.
At first, people didn't know should they report them or not, cause they were counting that the owner would show up and pick the dog. But he never did. The first wave of strays suffered the most loses. Since they were not custom to the life on the streets, many of them died of starvation, diseases or were run over by cars. However, once whom did survived got the chance to procreate and multiply and their numbers started to grow, exponentially. But so did the war. The state was in the stage of shock and the funding had to be diverted towards the war effort, so budget cuts were made and they landed at the Animal Control desk. The number of dogs was rising while their capacities were diminishing. The equipment was obsolete and broken, their vehicle fleet couldn't was over used and without spare parts. The City animal control service was among first public services to break down and soon it became useless. But it kept working.
The citizens would call the animal service often but the number of calls was overwhelming so the response time got longer and longer, and so citizens lost the faith in the efficiency of the service. Dogs on the other hand didn't lost any of their potency and multiplied even faster. With their numbers growing they became more than the nuisance, they became the serious threat. But without working service, people decided to re-domesticate them so each part of the city had its own “guardians”. Somewhere in the mid 90es, the first animal protection organisation was formed. Thanks to its efforts, the citizens became friendlier toward dogs and the number of dogs started to rise even faster. If the first half of the 90es was characterised by packs of up to 4 dogs, the second half of the 90es the maximum number of dogs was 10 but the minimum number rose to 4.
But there was a change.
If in the first half of the 90es the citizens were disappointed with the weak results of the animal control service, thanks to the work of animal right activists, in the second half they were openly hostile. Often they would attack employees, burn their vehicles or simply hide the dogs. There are two main reasons for this change of behaviour. First, the practice of the Animal Control Service was brutal. Due to the lack of funding, it couldn't get new equipment or re train its employees for more humane practices, but also since the money was thin, the low wage would attract only the most desperate and uneducated people. Those people would than express their frustrations on the captured animals. The second reason, was that since the Animal Control Service was the state service it was, in a way the state itself and the citizens were unhappy with the government. So attacking the Animal Control Service was their way of showing their discontent with the politics and with the Slobodan Milosevic's rule. However, this was another exercise in futility cause the number of dogs, continued to grow and with them the number of attacks mounted. As it was seen in Greece nowadays, the dog became the symbol of oppression and as a victim of the system. The people and the dogs, formed an alliance and detached themselves from the Milosevic's thing and that was the first sign of rebellion against the regime that will from that moment, only grow.
The people whom would do something against the dogs were immediately associated with the regime and labelled as backward,radical, pro-war, and evil. On the other side, people whom protected the dogs saw themselves as progressive, liberal,peaceful,ant-war and good. There was the third group of people, that was against the war but also against the strays cause it saw them as the hazard for public safety, but since the narrative was already formed, it was attacked and dismissed by both blocks. I was the part of that group and had ,at the time ,a solid working experience in rescuing stray cats from the streets and moving them to the village where they were urgently needed cause the rural areas were de populating rapidly due to economic crisis.
The period of the 90es is also significant cause at that time, first pit bulls were introduced and soon they became the favourite breed for the various bad asses and criminal structures across the Serbia. Since it was isolated and under the economic sanctions, with the war going on, many of the young men started to see Serbia as a ghetto and thus identified themselves with the US ghetto gang hip hop rap culture, especially after seeing “Boyz n the Hood” movie. The must have accessory for them was the pit bull. They totally identified themselves with the image of American ghetto that was portrayed in the music videos and movies,and started to use the same slang and dress code. They became know as the “Bro generation” cause word bro was used excessively in every possible situation. So you had a Serbian teenager gangsta rapper whom raps in Serbian, tries to look like Ice Cube or Ice-T, and thinks that he lives in ghetto, while in reality he is the son of the communist general whom got retired early and lives in the projects that were built in the 50es.
It was like Stalin meats DMX in the 50es and I don't know if it can get more absurd than that.