Sasha Riess Foundation




  • The Sasha Riess Foundation emerged from twenty years of working experience with animals and a lifelong compassion for, and commitment to, the lives of animals. The Foundation was established on the 14th of September, 2011.
  • The Foundation took on roles as both initiator and carrier of change as part of its mission to support the coexistence of humans and animals, placing special emphasis on the local community and on local sustainable development. The local community is defined as a harmonious system based on the owner and his or her pet. Working with these two elements, and being mindful of their understanding and mutual respect, we set the stage for further development of cultural coexistence between humans and animals. The Foundation is concerned with the ratio of these two elements, the existing and real deficiencies within the system, the need for ongoing education and understanding of love for the pet, as well as addressing failures in responsible pet ownership.
  • Raising awareness of the needs of animals, their rights and our human responsibilities towards them is a key part of our mission. Along with the skills of a responsible owner, an awareness of animal rights will be aimed at local communities. From the Assembly of tenants through Local community to Local governments, we want to work with all levels of community structure. Local decision makers, along with systems for monitoring and control of communal problems, are sometimes not trained sufficiently or ready to act in a professional manner with respect to owners and animals. Approaching the owner and communal inspections stewards, we want to help achieve a better understanding of the fundamental issues of human and animal coexistence. Local decision makers, in turn, are the next element that can respond to the needs of animal owners. In accordance with owners, local leaders can make decisions that reflect consensus with the participation of citizens. A special element would be the provincial and national institutions responsible for decision-making in this field. Following the analogy of local participation, the Foundation intends to cooperate with associations, individuals and local governments to affect policy changes related to animals and their owners. Interfacing with all elements from micro to macro level, looking at their needs, and actively participating in decision making are fundamental. We consider this path to be both realistic and feasible.

Included are:

  • Related organizations
  • Government institutions
  • Other domestic and international foundations and donors
  • Animal owners
  • Citizens

The Foundation will use the following methods in its work:

  • Implementation of activities and programs independently
  • Implementation of activities and programs in partnership with related foundations, organizations, institutions, formal and informal groups
  • Assigning funds to other organizations for the implementation of programs and activities
  • Granting scholarships for empowering persons at risk

The Foundation has focused its activities on the territory of the Republic of Serbia with the support of regional and international activities and programs.




  • The vision of the Sasha Riess Foundation is to be a leader in the development of the cultural coexistence of humans and animals as reflected in the harmonious life of man, animals and the local community, based on sustainable principles.




  • Based on the expertise of its founders, the Sasha Riess Foundation systematically defines the coexistence of humans and animals as a real-world problem of today, raising issues that humans must take responsibility to solve. The Foundation supports exploration in addressing these problems by:
    • Seeking a basic understanding of the needs of diverse social groups
    • Facilitating cultural and educational activities to create new value through entrepreneurship, self-employment and new job creation

The Foundation seeks to coordinate with local, provincial and national political entities in order to create a positive environment for the adoption of sustainable and applicable regulations.



The values of the Foundation:

  • Taking care of individuals
  • Social responsibility
  • Tolerance
  • Respect for diversity
  • Proactivity

The principles of the Foundation:

  • Transparency - The basic principle of the Foundation, with a special focus on financial transparency in addition to transparency for customers, partners and the public.
  • Expertise and Professionalism – Since its inception, the Foundation is proud to have incorporated professionalism in the execution and implementation of its activities, communications and interaction with members and associates, and in the timely and accurate completion of assignments.
  • Commitment – The Foundation is committed to the efficient and effective use of material, finances and other resources, to achieve clear and specific results.
  • Equal Opportunity – Activities of the Foundation are available to all citizens, regardless of religion, race, geographical, linguistic or any other characteristic, whether real or imagined.




  • Contribute to the design and practical implementation of an education system in the field of cultural coexistence of humans and animals. This will help meet a variety of social and individual needs for the citizens of the Republic of Serbia and in other countries.
  • Promote and popularize issues related to quality coexistence of humans and animals.
  • Expand the professional and general public outreach about the latest developments in the field of coexistence of humans and animals.
  • Contribute to the development of theoretical and practical knowledge in the fields of human, animal and environmental protection.
  • Contribute to the development of applicable new technologies and related fields responsible for the coexistence of humans and animals.




The strategic plan of the Foundation includes five key areas to be addressed within the next three years. Program activities comprise four strategic areas, and the fifth is directed to the development of the Foundation.

  • A new problem-solving approach to the old problem of stray dogs
  • To date, the problem of stray dogs has been considered to be a veterinary communal problem. The aim of the Foundation is to raise awareness and responsibility for this problem to a higher level, beginning with the understanding that stray dogs represent a social problem. The Foundation will promote a greater understanding of how to properly organize institutions and societies to help solve this as a social problem, because we believe it is the only way to reach the necessary, sustainable solutions.
  • Successful integration of at-risk social groups as professional workers with animals
  • For some groups at risk (e.g., those living in poverty, addicts under treatment, the Roma population, people living with HIV), many doors are closed. The Foundation believes that the provision of knowledge, skills and financial independence through dignified work will help promote and sustain societal change, as well as provide emotional stability.
  • Support for associations, formal and informal groups dealing with similar topics
  1. The Foundation’s vision and goals are vast. They cannot be the job of a single organization or individual, but rather are part of a cross-sector set of goals that can be achieved only through good partnerships and joint implementation of projects and programs.
  • Support scientific research
  • A complex societal problem cannot be resolved without adequate information. One of the priority issues will be to conduct scientific research pertaining to dogs on the streets. Are dogs expelled from the household onto the street, or is it in their nature to leave? The Foundation supports a number of studies that will allow us to better understand the interactions between humans and animals, affording us a basis for rationale decisions leading to better and easier lives.
  • Development of the Foundation and Operating Models
  • In order to have measurable project indicators, the Foundation will establish long-term, sustainable partnerships with outside stakeholders who are dealing with these issues. The Foundation plans to do future work in the development of human resources and political actions to strengthen the capacity for grants to civil society organizations, coordinate on action plans, carefully review strategic documents, and build financial stability for the Foundation.

If you need support based on our strategic plan, please contact us at: