The following is a translation of an article published yesterday on Bh-News.com:
Four mass graves have been found around Praca shelter
The NGO Iskra has made a statement at a press-conference yesterday.
In the last seven days, dog shelter Prača has been in the media focus once again and all because of the incident which took place at the shelter’s premises, betwen Amela Turalić, the Shelter’s director and the members of the NGO Iskra.
Due to this event, the NGO Iskra has made a press conference which we are now presenting in full. The press release is signed by Elmedina Devlić, the president of the NGO Iskra.
“In this manner we would like to make some clarifications and to shed some light upon the situation which developed and is in the media frenzy during these last six days, along with putting a stop to the spread of vicious lies and rumours spread by the Shelter’s director Amela Turalić against our family, our NGO and the Shelter.
Her statements are unsubstantiated and undocumented but nevertheless have been published in a variety of media coverage. We will most certainly be filing a lawsuit against her, but at this moment it’s much more important to shed some light upon her work at the Shelter and to explain the exact reasons which lead us to react in the manner to stop the endless catastrophic situation in this Shelter from continuing.
The truth is that the company “Murai Komerc” (one of three owners and the investor of Prača Shelter) is the legal and responsible entity for the shelter from the day the shelter opened until to this day. The company hired Miss Amela Turalić to be the Shelter’s director and manager and has given her the responsibility to take care of the Shelter’s premises and the welfare of all dogs that are brought there. as the co-owners of the Shelter (a signed copy of this Agreement has been attached to this press release) and as the NGO which signed the contract with the “Murai Komerc” company (a signed copy of this Contract has also been attached to this press release), have been warned by the Shelter’s workers on numerous occasions of various irregularities conducted at the Shelter by its director Amela Turalić.
We have tried to talk to the director and perhaps get some clear insight into all those stories, but Turalić wouldn’t answer our phone calls nor was she every willing to arrange a meeting to see us.
On April 15th 2013, we came in front of the Shelter’s premises, so we could once again try and clarify with the director these irregularities, but after seeing us she quickly phoned the police and started yelling and screaming at us. When the police came, we showed them our documentation which states that we are the co-owners of this Shelter and have a legal right to be here and the director Amela Turalić was escorted by the police out of the Shelter (there is a written report at the Police Department of Prača).
As Shelter’s legal co-owners, we have then decided to make a comprehensive inquiry of the work done by the Shelter’s director, which later showed:
1. In the Shelter and around it, there are 4 mass graves each of them containing around 30-170 corpses of dogs (this information was provided by the Shelter’s workers). There are also 1-5 smaller mass graves shattered across the forest situated down the road which leads to Gorazde. The dog-corpses were also thrown into holes near the river so we can’t say with certainty just how many corpses are left there, nor from exactly what type of diseases the dogs died from and what consequences will this all have on the water and overall environment. With this act, the director violated the Federal Environmental Law of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Acts 11, 18, 104 and numerous others acts from this and other Laws.
2. None of the dog-corpses possess any medical/veterinarian documentation, no history of health, the way in which he/she died, an obligatory blood test (because the animals are buried at the Shelter’s premises), and pose as a serious health threat to all other animals and humans in the Shelter as well as the human and animal population surrounding the Shelter, violating directly all State and Federal Veterinary Laws.
3. In the Shelter’s cold storage facility, we found 5 tons of rotten food which was meant to be used to feed the dogs.
4. In one of the Shelter’s rooms we also found a broad range of chocolate cookies which were meant to be used as dog food.
5. They have spayed/neutered puppies of 2 months of age.
6. The wounds of other spayed dogs are infected.
7. Due to the fact that the Shelter was taking more dogs than they can handle or feed, the dogs would usually kill other dogs and eventually eat the rotten dog corpses.
8. According to various testimonies from the locals living in this area or near it, the vast majority of the dogs were set loose from the Shelter and started attacking their livestock or were shot down by the local hunters in the forests ( the surrounding area of the Shelter is a legal hunting area of wild game).
9. The director Amela Turalić has forbidden the entrance of any “unsuitable” Animal Welfare organizations which were not privately associated with her or close to her.
10. The “Murai Komerc” Company is the investor and the owner of the constructed facility which takes the rent from the Canton Sarajevo, the City of Sarajevo and various other Municipalities . The Company is therefore the responsible but is not the owner of the dogs there nor of the numerous donations which came for the dogs from ordinary foreign or domestic citizens. No one, not even the Shelter’s co-owners nor the various NGOs were allowed to see the Shelter’s documentation, work, donations, bank accounts, cash-register or any other documentation.
11. In the night of April 17th 2013, the director Amela Turalić came back to the Shelter and took away all the donated drugs and medication.
We also must state that from the streets of Sarajevo Canton, an estimated 1.500 dogs were brought into the Shelter Prača.
According to the Shelter’s director Amela Turalić, around 500 dogs are at the Shelter and 150 dogs have been adopted (for those adopted dogs we have not found any details or documentation or any other info to whom and where were any of them adopted), this means that around 850 or more dogs are scattered around the forests and in these mass graves. During our visits at the Shelter, the police have been informed of this misconduct as well as the Municipality and the veterinary inspection (Edin Alagic, the Veterinary Inspector) and they have all made reports of the situation at and around the Shelter.
We therefore ask the relevant institutions and NGOs to help us making this Shelter a better place, with a normalized protocol and a much better director.”
This is PART THREE of posts made about ‘Prihvatilište KS Prača’ in Sarajevo, commonly known as ‘Praca’. Part one and two below:
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend
Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend PART TWO
Please note that the situation regarding dog shelters in Bosnia is very complex. One cannot attribute blame to any single person for the shocking conditions and events that occur in these shelters. They are a part of a general problem occurring in Bosnia where many aspects of society are built on systems of corrupt values and the wrongdoings of many.
Construction Company Invested One Million Dollars in this “shelter”
Prača is a private shelter built by Murai Komerc (a construction company managed by Muris Alić) with contracts with Sarajevo municipalities to take in dogs from the street (on a per dog basis) and to provide them with appropriate care.
Murai Komerc claimed to invest around 750,000 Euros/1,000,000 USD (1,500,000.00 BAM) in building this shelter in March of 2011. It is our understanding that the shelter was never finished as planned, and that the building was highly unsuitable for the housing of dogs. In the current economic situation in Bosnia-Herzegovina this is a very large investment in a non-profit project which according to Bosnian laws does not provide any tax reduction.
Municipalities Owe Money
Muris Alic has recently been in the news stating he will have to close the shelter and return the dogs to the street as funds promised from municipal mayors (800,000 KM/400,000 Euros/500,000 USD) for the maintenance of the shelter not been paid.
(The following articles are in Serbo-Croatian: More than 500 dogs from a shelter will be back on the street / Asylum cannot wait for the first anniversary?)
As quoted in my post last November, Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia, an animal advocate in northern Bosnia states: “Dog pounds are used to launder money from public budgets and they don’t want activists to poke around and witness how dogs are mistreated or abused at the dog pounds that they dare to call dog asylums/shelters. Population control and promotion of spaying and neutering as well as implementation of the animal welfare law is not in their interest because they want and need constant flow of new dogs through the dog pounds so that they can justify the funds spent each month from the budget. This is common knowledge.”
Please write to the Veterinary Inspector, asking that this shelter be thoroughly investigated and that remaining dogs there be given proper care according to the animal welfare laws of the country:
Director: Midhat Hadžiomerović, DVM
Address: ul. Maršala Tita 2, 73000 Goražde, BiH
Tel: ++ 387 38 228 639
Fax: ++ 387 38 228 641
NOTE – this email does not seem to be working, although it is the correct one listed on the government website. We will try to find another and will update as soon as we can.
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia
Funds are needed not only to help individual rescues and to help us keep safe the 20 rescued dogs we are sponsoring but also to continue our advocacy work in Bosnia, uncovering the truth about what is happening there.
On our sister site, Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia, you can set up a monthly donation via PayPal, or if you want to make a one-off donation, please go to your PayPal account (or set one up, it’s very easy) and send the money to: email@example.com as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.
Or if you want to use the customised PayPal form, click the link below. However, a transaction fee and a percentage (2- 5.4%) will be deducted by PayPal for any contribution made.
If you want your contribution to go to a specific dog or cause, please make a note in the PayPal comment box. If you wish to contribute via bank transfer or have other difficulties or questions, please go here.
This site is dedicated to Vučko. Read his story and don’t let him have suffered and died in vain. Please help the stray dogs and cats in Bosnia-Herzegovina. The situation there is utterly dire, Vučko is but one amongst many horrifically abused animals. Go here to find out how to help them. Money is needed for food, medicine and foster housing. Even just one dollar or one euro will help.
5 TONS of dog food probably donated by kind people that they couldn’t be bothered to give these dogs, easier to let them starve to death, even pawprint dog blankets buried that someone has obviously donated. Makes me cry. Makes my blood boil. So bloody evil.
Oh I agree with you Jenny. I’m so enraged and upset by this. Why is there so much evil towards innocent beings animals and people alike? When I saw the pawprint blanket my heart dropped, this is so horrible and detestable. I hope Amelia goes to jail for a very long time. These poor babies that probably never had a chance. I hope the dogs that survived will make it and be able to find loving homes as they have been through enough. I’m so hurt
NO DOG deserves this disservice! This is the ultimate betrayal for hundreds of dogs! Things MUST change!
I feel the same way, No dog deserves this horrible treatment and living conditions. Horrible deaths of starvation, dehydration, possible poisoning from the chocolate and then just to be tossed aside like garbage. THIS IS SO HORRIBLE, it makes my stomach turn at the thought someone could be capable of essentially killing hundreds of dogs. I think even a very viscious dog that couldn’t be re-trained or rehabilitated and attacked anyone that tried to train them and if they have to be euthanized ok I may not like it but at least when any dog gets euthanized they leave this world without pain without fear and if they are a pet usually with their family there. My point is even the most horrible vicious animal doesn’t deserve this. You are right this is the ultimate betrayal of dogs and things have to change. I feel so angered over this and so upset just at the thought of what these precious babies have gone through. Please someone give these animals a proper burial or creamation.
This is insane!
They are murdering these animals, starving them and making them sick with substandard food and care. Chocolate cookies!!. You morons, that’s poison to dogs. Also they are wasting and trashing food and supplies donated by other concerned citizens, like the paw print blanket. Whole place and all connected needs to be investigated immediately.
Is there any other way to send a donation. I had problems with PayPal a while back and don’t use them anymore. I have a debit/credit card which I believe has a routing and account number. How can I send a donation. I can’t send anything large today but I have to send something. I will know within the next month if my large sum of money is coming in and I already plan on send you a much larger donation Thank you
Victoria, unfortunately the only other way to send money is by bank transfer and it’s usually not worth it because of transfer fees unless it’s for a large amount. If you’d still like to make a transfer, send us a message at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks so much.
I am reluctant to send any money here. I think these dogs survive better on the streets, much like the jews did in the forrest. Sending this country and these people money just perpetuates the problem clearly if all they use supposed shelters for is to launder money. Remember this country also traffics in young girls, why would they care about the poor dogs. At least on the street they have a chance to survive by cunning. To be housed in a concentration camp to starve to death is just too reminisant for me. I will not contribute a dime to this country until their government changes things.
Any donations sent via this website to Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia are used for the rescues we are sponsoring in pension, not shelters – and for advocacy work. We make donations and what they are used for public at our sister site AWAB http://awabosnia.org/.
You are so correct on the subject! Lord only knows where the money is going! I would NEVER donate to a place that could care less about their animals.
Barbara – donations have saved hundreds if not thousands of dog’s and cat’s lives. Donating to a shelter in Bosnia is only advisable if one has a trusted relationship. However there are a number of individual rescuers in Bosnia and some private shelters that do extraordinary work and they could not do it without help from international donations. Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia raises funds for some of these rescuers and have seen the miracles performed. At the moment most of the funds coming to us, to AWAB (Animal Welfare Advocates for Bosnia http://awabosnia.org/) go towards keeping safe off the street 20 rescues who we are finding homes for in Europe; also to trauma cases like Ado https://inmemoryofvucko.org/2013/03/12/puppy-run-over-and-left-to-die/, a puppy run over and left to die who is now receiving treatment in Slovenia and will not lose his front leg because of the generosity of donations. We have also funded spay-neuter programes and the expensive work of animal advocacy: stories like this would not be able to be made without some financial support. Praca, for example, is a long distance from Sarejevo, costing quite a bit simply in gas to get there to take photographs.
So one simply has to be careful of where money is sent. We make public all donations and accounts on http://awabosnia.org.
I CAN’T USE PAYPAL EITHER DUE TO PROBELM, CAN I USE A VISA?
THIS IS SO HORRIBLE.. ALSO WHOEVER WAS GOING TO FED THE DOGS CHOCOLATE COOKIES WAS EITHER VERY CRUEL OR STUPID, CHOCOLATE IS POISON. PLS. HELP THIS SITUATION IN ANY WAY YOU CAN… I AM SO SORRY THIS IS GOING ON!
Julia, unfortunately the only other way to send money is by bank transfer and it’s usually not worth it because of transfer fees unless it’s for a large amount. If you’d still like to make a transfer, send us a message at email@example.com. Thanks so much.
I can only deduct that since times memorial and even into our modern times you people have forever been fighting each other and became totally desensitized, which is being translated into inhumane treatment of animals.
As long as we have slaughter houses, we will also have slaughter (battle) fields. – Leo Tolstoi
I tried to use the email address listed in the article to ask for an investigation, however, it is undeliverable as written.
Diane, this is the email address as shown on the government website, so we are having some difficulty finding another one. Will update as soon as we do! Thanks so much.
How damn horrible ……. What the hell, we need to help them stop this by going back to the page you were sent in your email and writing the vet in charge. I DID……… This is the only way this cruel sick act will maybe end. Please write to the vet in charge…….. WE WANT JUSTICE>
This is evil and very sad,this has to change…
this tears at my heart and soul,god knows how these poor babies left this miserable world,but you can bet it would have been without a kind word or the touch of a gentle hand.rip my sweet babies,run free and know that we are at least aware of your cruel departure,all these compassionate people on this earth will pass on to the place you are at now,and you will be rained with kisses and hugs and love for eternity,that is my promise
One can only imagine the lives and deaths these dear dogs have had to endure. The ‘shelter’s’ manager, Miss Amela Turalic et al, has shown complete indifference to the welfare of the animals in her care and has betrayed their trust. She has also shown indifference to the people who donated money, blankets and food in the belief that their actions would make a difference to the dogs lives and provide them with some much needed comfort. With the global Internet one can easily make donations online to the countless charities asking for donations. There needs to be much more transparency as to how much money a charity receives and up to date accounts as to how it is spent. Also,the calibre of people employed by these shelters needs to be much higher.
I hope the dogs saved will receive the love and care they so richly deserve.
You are a sick person or persons who can do this and live with yourselves, you must have no heart . Those are Gods living and breathing creatures and do not deserve to e treadted that way. They do nothing to anyone but want love that s all and they give love unconduitionally. More people could learn from animals. Hope you find GOD and and find peace please do not treat theses beautiful animals this way noone should etreated this way. When they did nothing at all to deserve this kind of treatment.
Sign Very Disgusted
So very sad that these dogs have ended their lives in this way. Barbaric people.
We can only pray that Karma will take care of these evil, cold-hearted scum who have done this type of thing to these animals! God help us all with this type of scum on this earth…..
Thank you for the work you are doing on our behaves. It can’t be easy to see their suffering and this abhorrent treatment to such beautiful creatures who are more intelligent than the people who are mistreating them. I am pleased they are not suffering any more but I bet they weren’t sent to heaven with kindness and compassion, far from it. I hope they are now running around in the sunshine being looked after by angels.
Give donations to Sandra and Jelena….:) That’s the point, not to dogs…. 🙂
All donations and expenses are accounted for and made public: http://awabosnia.org/adopt/how-you-can-help/
Very importannt thing is that NGO Iskra is NGO for people who take drugs …don’t have anything to do with animals, just want the donation …for buy new drugs ….
No donations will be going to ISKRA from our group.
I have tried to mail the inspector through 2 of my mail accounts, as you say it does not seem to work but I will post a signed letter to the inspector over the weekend. I am so sickened and appalled by this report, that a human being could be so cruel callous and greedy, that they would allow dogs to go without food and then make false claims in regard to how they run the shelter. In future I believe the co-owners should stay more intouch and take over the care of the shelter personally and not employ someone else.
Thanks so very much Rachel, much appreciated.