Animal abuse on the front page of a Spanish newspaper on 12th March 2017. I've done an English translation down to the picture of Britani. (The black galgo on the left was saved by Fundacion Benjamin Mehnert)
THE reason, which each week in this paper will devote an exclusive space to the protection of animals, reinforces its campaign to denounce and attempt to curb attacks. Abandoned, malnourished, killed... Abuse does not cease to grow. Only the Seprona made in 2016 more than 12,400 performances. And, however, it is very difficult for someone to be sent to prison.
Abandoned, malnourished, with legs amputated, eyes torn, killed for kicks, bottles, burned... Daily reported similar savagery. To them must be added the sacrifices of animals that end up in the kennels, a practice forbidden only in Catalonia and since February in Madrid.
«Only this weekend they have entered 30 animals to the shelter», explains Carolina Corral, President of the Association for the Liberation and Animal Welfare (ALBA). Also go whenever they receive notice of the Civil Guard or police also accept other animal associations' help whenever they can. An example of abuse is Norta. "The police called us because both Norta and Marea lived on tied up in a kitchen. They could not see the street, because there was a wall, nor were taken for a walk. They lived on urine and stool and were afraid, all indications are that they were beaten. In fact, Norta bit Marea in stress».
Abuse and neglect are two offences punished with prison the first, and the second fine, penalty. Today, the Criminal Code establishes between six and 18 months in prison if as a result of the abuse is causing the death of the animal (art. 337.3, for being an aggravated abuse) and special disqualification for two to four years. And three months to a year in jail, when the abuse causes them injury that severely undermines their health, as well as disqualification of one to three years. I.e., nothing to do with article 632 of the Penal Code of 1995 that he considered it a mere missing punished only with fines. Before this year, not even that.
In Germany, the penalty is up to three years of prison, in the United Kingdom, six months, in Colombia, from 12 to 36 months, and in the U.S. depends on State. In Alabama, Nicholas Lynn Patterson was sentenced to 99 years in prison on 75 charges of cruelty. At the same time, abandonment leads in Spain to a penalty fine of one to six months, as it was collected in the article 337 after the the 1/2015, which creates first animal sexual exploitation or abuse in cock fighting and dog fighting.
However, it is very complicated for someone to enter prison for mistreating an animal. For example, Sergio f. A., neighbor of Santander killed by kicking his dog Blas, only he was sentenced to eight months, not enough to enter the jail penalty. Then less than two months for Eugenio Sánchez who hit to kill his horse Sorky das Pont, who he bought cheap: he was imprisoned in the middle of October 2015 and he was released at the beginning of December, when the ruling was revoked by the audience Provincial de Baleares to estimate the appeal of the convicted person, which previously justice penó eight months without the possibility of suspension of the penalty or replacement by work for the benefit of the community.
Nor has entered even in prison the President of Central Park Animal in Torremolinos, Carmen Marín, who was sentenced to three years and nine months for animal abuse and forgery, and which, according to the indictment, resulted in the cruel death of almost 2,200 animals. She and the other accused have resorted, explained from the Superior Court of Justice of Andalusia. Carmen could be the first woman to enter in prison for animal abuse, after the Service of Protection of Nature (Seprona) of the Civil Guard demonstrated that there was an indiscriminate slaughter of animals for economic reasons knowing full well of the suffering inflicted.
«Roberto González Gálvez, Villa del Prado realero, was accused of mistreating 55 dogs, for which El Refugio took out a private prosecution, asking 40 years in prison, allowing one of the latest reforms of the Penal Code, which came into force in December 2010, to accuse him of an alleged crime of abuse for each of the dogs. This year the trial will take place", said Nacho Paunero, President of El Refugio.
«Every time there are more complaints, because society is more aware. But justice penalties are inferior to how the law considers the crime,» explains Matilde Cubillo, President of Justice Animal.
However, the atrocities did not cease, they are increasing. Seprona made in 2016 more than 12,400 proceedings against animal abuse, which gave rise to 490 detained or investigated, as well as 11.729 administrative offences. The victims, in most cases, were dogs. A relevant operation was 'Chira', which ended with 182 seized dogs, the discovery of 46 bodies of puppies and five subjects detained and investigated in Huesca. In 2015, between offences and crimes detected should outline 450 dogs that were abandoned; 23 hanged; 44 victims of shocks and beatings of which 23 died; 47 wounded with firearms of which 27 died and 115 poisoned dogs. To these figures should be added the 97 found in a state of malnutrition and 353 victims of abductions. With respect to previous years, it should be noted that there has been an increase in cases of crimes of abuse or abandonment of pets (294 cases in 2014).
Congress has recently voted on forbidding in all of Spain the cutting of pets' tails (docking), the last obstacle remaining for ratification of the European Convention for the protection of companion animals signed 30 years ago that seeks to ensure the health and well-being of pets. Although all parties were in favor except the PP, this party got the support of ERC and the PNV. «Veterinary reports leave no doubt, since they conclude that it is a brutal practice», explains Chesús Yuste, Coordinator of the Parliamentary Association for defense of animals (Apdda).
Also, abandonment at a filling station - 104,501 dogs were collected in 2015 in public, according to the Affinity Foundation. Only 24% had a microchip. And every 4 minutes in Spain a pet is abandoned, whilst people still buy from breeders...yet many of these dogs end up in a shelter.