Mass Graves Found Near Dog “Shelter”

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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.”

VIDEO:


PHOTOGRAPHS:

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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.

doginbagConstruction 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.

21304_299538886843643_1802303669_nMunicipalities 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?)

60560_299540783510120_858622576_nAs 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.

Praca grobnica 2013 12
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
e-mail: inspekcija@bpkg.gov.ba

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.

Related posts:
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia

Praca grobnica 2013 02

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DONATIONS
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: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

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.

 

Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend – PART TWO

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In March I made a post about the dog “shelter” called ‘Prihvatilište KS Prača’, commonly known as ‘Praca’. Please read the post: Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend.

The following is a translation of an article published yesterday on Protest.ba:
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A, GDJE JE AMELA? So, Where is Amela

bin2A group of animal welfare activists visited Praca dog shelter today. They visited the shelter after they had been asked to do so by locals and by Mrs. Elmedina Devlic, the wife of one of three co-owners of shelter. Both locals and the co-owners have had claims of their own about the bad management of the shelter, headed by the Director Amela Turalic. The locals claim that they are exposed to potential danger of dogs while the co-owners claim that dogs suffer because of the bad shelter management.

markedasspayedbutpregnantThe Situation in Praca shelter culminated four days ago when the shelter Director Amela Turalic wanted to spay a pregnant dog just two days before the dog gave birth, also only few days ago she allowed a three month old puppy to be neutered. As per her order the dogs were fed rotten innards and baby cookies. Despite many conversations and warnings, Amela never stopped doing things she saw fit,” explained Mrs. Elmedina Devlic.

foodonfloor

During today’s visit to Praca shelter, we found cold storage room where slaughterhouse leftovers are kept as well as baby cookies. Mrs. Devlic claims this is the only food that dogs are fed.

foodmess2Stench from the cold storage room can be smelt a mile away! Turalic was obviously thinking that rotten meat and biscuits with chocolate are “the best” food for dogs. Praca workers have claimed for many months that dog food collected at charity events mysteriously vanishes from the shelter. Fortunately, dogs are not hungry because of the efforts of a few of us good people make. However, it does not mean that someone’s arbitrariness should not end,” explained Devlic. 

563762_10201071314127803_1137708868_nWhile approaching the shelter, it is evident that many dogs are outside of the shelter confines. Locals, people who live in surrounding villages, complain that dogs are deliberately released from shelter. Such dogs scare children, slaughter sheep and then in the end are “dealt with” by hunters. A school van that provides transportation of children to school is located in front of the shelter. Parents are concerned about safety of their children.

525231_10201071343088527_1235264373_nIt’s no secret that Amela and her Italian volunteer Mara, deliberately set dogs free from the shelter. Municipal authorities get on average five to six reports about it from concerned locals every day. Had she done her job responsibly, all this would have never happened! Nobody hates dogs here, but they should stay at the shelter and not in settlement!

I fired Amela Turalic today and have banned her from ever entering the shelter again. I have the right to do so. According to the signed agreement,
Murai Komerc was authorized to take care of the shelter and its employees until March 13, this year. The date has expired. Whatever will happen further, I 150422_10152759298505445_1202561891_nstand firm that the former practice is obsolete
,” Mrs. Devlic categorically claimed.

Municipal authorities are outraged by the presence of stray dogs that roam freely in the nearby countryside, it is a problem and authorities appeal for a solution.


We tried to contact Amela Turalic but she did not answer our calls.

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Related News Articles (in Serbo-Croatian)
Director of Prača dog shelter fired, the dogs found in catastrophic conditions
Administrator Amela Turalić banned from entering the asylum Prača

Related posts:
Dog Shelters in Bosnia: A Complex Situation
Horror Camps for Animals in Bosnia

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DONATIONS
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: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

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. 

 

Concentration Camp for Man’s Best Friend

deaddogs2013

This photograph was taken just a few days ago in Sarajevo, at the dog “shelter” called ‘Prihvatilište KS Prača’, commonly known as ‘Praca’. Praca is a private shelter owned and built by Murai Komerc (a construction company) with contracts with Sarajevo municipalities to take in dogs from the street (on a per dog basis) and to provide them with appropriate care.

Below is a photograph of some of the dog pens – in midday.

pensindarkness

Taking photos in the “shelter” is forbidden. These photographs were taken secretly. In order to visit you have to say which dog you want to visit. You cannot just go and walk in or walk around. Praca is about 45 km away from Sarajevo, and difficult to get to by public transport, thus making it difficult for anyone to visit to check on activities there.

Praca in 2012
Two months after Praca was built (March 2012, it opened on 30th March 2012) reports said there was no electricity or running water in the “shelter”, that there was no fence around the compound, nobody there during the night, not enough food for dogs, no veterinarian. There were 15 workers and 500 dogs.

The following photographs were taken late last year:

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blackdeaddog

deaddog

deadpuppy

blackdeaddogmain

An attempt to publicise the situation (with these photographs) last year did not have any results. After that, we did not know what exactly the conditions were in Praca other than most animal friendly citizens in Sarajevo described it as ‘a concentration camp for dogs’.

Praca in 2013
‘”The picture is scary with creepy sounds and incessant barking. Everything is terribly dirty, unfinished buildings, leaking from all sides…. Stench spreads all around. There are many cages facing each other, divided by a narrow corridor. Almost no light enters most of the cages, cages are in pitch dark during the day.  Many cages are floating in water, mud, urine and faeces. Small/young dogs are barking, terrified of bigger dogs that are facing them in opposite cages. Blankets or rugs donated are not used. Workers say: “Don’t you see how much water there is, as soon as we put blankets in or over the cages for cover, they become wet and we have to throw them away … we do not have possibility to wash or dry them …“‘

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HOW TO HELP
Please sign and share the following petition:

Demand Investigation into Concentration Camp for Dogs in Sarajevo

Please note, March 7, 2013 – This post has been modified from its original version in order to ensure the safety of anyone who might be connected to the photographs.
Update: March 14, 2014 – Praca is closed until Sunday 17th of March for ‘renovations’

_____________________________________________

DONATIONS
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: donations@awabosnia.org as a ‘gift’. Click on the image below to be taken to PayPal’s home page.

paypal_banner

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.