Animal rights activists found 60 corpses of dogs with gouged out eyes, cut off noses, paws and genitals at a cattle cemetery near Astrakhan. Assuming that the local “Ekopriyut” had taken the dead dogs out, the activists went there – and also found corpses and emaciated dogs there.

Volunteers took away two dogs in serious condition, later one of them died. Three hundred dogs remain at the shelter. The Ministry of Internal Affairs, the Prosecutor General’s Office and Rosselkhoznadzor joined the investigation. The mayor’s office of Astrakhan stated that they did not have the authority to check Ecoshelter, since it is private.

Ecopriyut was built on the initiative of Andrey Nevlyudov, ex-deputy of the Astrakhan City Duma from United Russia, and opened in the summer of 2021. The car on which the corpses of the dogs were taken out belongs to Nevlyudov’s wife, Oleg Shein, a member of the City Duma from A Just Russia, said. The zoo complex is owned by the spouses, but they claim that the object and the car were rented to the shelter and “have nothing to do with what is happening.”

The administration of Astrakhan and other municipalities signed a number of contracts with Ecopriyut worth, according to Shein, about 80 million rubles. With budget money, the shelter was supposed to catch dogs, sterilize, vaccinate and return them to their habitat. According to Shein’s calculations, almost 14 thousand rubles per dog came out.

“By the way, 60 dog corpses taken to the cattle cemetery, according to the papers, are alive, healthy, sterilized and are free again,” he added.

Animal rights activists intend to achieve the closure of “Ekopriyut”