Wednesday, 23 November 2016

Spanish animal shelter head faces charges for killing 2,000 healthy animals

The head of an animal shelter in Torremolinos is on trial for the inhumane killing thousands of dogs and cats.

Photo courtesy Guardia Civil

Prosecutors said on Tuesday that the head of the Parque Animal de Torremolinos animal shelter in southern Spain had put the animals down in a way that caused a "slow and painful agony."

According to prosecutors, the woman who ran the shelter, together with a janitor, injected euthanizing drugs directly into the animals’ muscle tissue, without previous sedation, and instead of intravenously as is recommended. The pair are also accused of having used a smaller dose than is recommended, in order to save money.

Prosecutors wrote in the charges: "The animals were submitted to a slow and painful agony, which was totally unjustified and which the accused were aware of since the animals contorted in pain in front of them for hours."

The owner and janitor have been accused of killing 2,183 animals in the period between January 2009 and October 2010, when the methods of slaughter were first discovered during an inspection of the animal shelter.

It has been alleged by prosecutors that the pair would disconnect the security cameras on the premises while they carried out the “mass extinctions,” all the while playing loud music to cover the sounds made by the animals in their agony.

Prosecutors also stated that the majority of the dogs and cats were young and in good health and in certain cases were put down mere days after being dropped at the shelter. In one case, they say a man dropped off two puppies at the shelter back in June 2010 and those animals were killed later that same day, despite the fact that the man paid them €60 to accept the dogs.

While both defendants deny the allegations, prosecutors believe they killed the animals to “reduce costs” and to make room for the animal shelter’s for-profit activities, including a grooming service and private animal clinic.

The director, Carmen Marin Aguilar, had no veterinary diploma, but told the court in Malaga at the start of the trial that she “loves animals.” Aguilar told the Europa Press news agency that she doesn’t even dare to cut their nails, but added that she could not have injected the animals, as she has a “phobia” for needles.

Prosecutors hope to wrap up the trial on December 9 and they have asked that Aguilar be given a four-year jail term for animal abuse, falsification of documents and the illegal exercise of the veterinary profession. 

Warning: the video included below might distress sensitive viewers:

Source: The Local