This petition has been organised by SOS Perrera Badajoz which is the team of volunteers saving dogs in the perrera and trying to improve conditions there. Please sign and share it.
Here is an English translation of the petition.
Badajoz, 15 May 2014
Excmo. Sr. D. Fco. Javier Fragosa Martinez
Alcalde Presidente del Ayuntamiento de Badajoz
Plaza de España
Honourable Senor Alcalde (Mayor):
I am writing to you as President of, and on behalf of, the Association SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ to condemn openly before you, the person in charge of the management of the perrera of Badajoz, irregularities and offences which have been committed there over a period of years. These irregularities and offences are to the detriment of the welfare and decent life of the animals which are in the charge of the Town Hall of Badajoz, and which entity should be the primary guarantor of the current animal protection legislation in force and which should, of course, lead by example and be the first to comply with this legislation.
SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ was founded in September 2011 with the aim of improving the operation of the perrera and to promote the pets that were abandoned and killed if they were not claimed or adopted within the legally stipulated period.
SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ is organized by:
> a network of volunteers
> sharing across social networks
> contact with other Spanish and European animal protection organisations
> foster homes and adoptive homes throughout Spain and Europe
This Association is firmly established and comprises of a governing body, more than 80 partners throughout Spain and 50 volunteers in Badajoz and the surrounding areas, all with different duties (taking photos of the dogs and circulating their details, taking care of the dogs, drying them, taking them food, cleaning their kennels, taking them when they leave the perrera or need to go to the vet, seeking out emergency shelters in Badajoz for dogs in a poor state of health or for puppies which are extremely urgent cases to leave the perrera as soon as possible etc.)
The Facebook page of SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ has today 21,676 followers throughout the world who read, network and publicise the dogs in the perrera of Badajoz.
SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ work in collaboration with, and are supported by, more than 30 animal protection associations throughout Spain and abroad, which help the dogs of the perrera of Badajoz find adoptive families and thus have the opportunity of a decent life. Some of these include German, Dutch, Swiss, French and Italian associations with a long track record and a highly regarded reputation in the European animal rights world.
Last year, this Association conducted a statistical study that was presented to the Town Hall of Badajoz together with our requests. The most striking of the data submitted is the fact that since the creation of SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ, the Association have managed to minimise the number of sacrifices through responsible adoption which has gone from 90% sacrifices in 2010 to 2% sacrifices in 2013. It is clear, in light of the data provided, that the support work delivered by SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ is effective and is getting better over the years at achieving the goals originally proposed.
Also evident is the fact that with no animal sacrifices and instead with the animals being adopted out, a significant revenue stream to the municipal financial reserves is being generated. Each animal adopted out involves a payment of a 50€ fee which is payable to the Town Hall. As an example of this revenue stream, the figures of recent years are:
In the year 2012, a total of 415 dogs adopted x 50€ = 20.750 €
In the year 2013, a total of 545 dogs adopted x 50€ = 27.250 €
In the year 2014, January to the end of April, a total of 257 dogs adopted x 50€ =12.850 €
These adoption revenues have not been used at any time to improve the conditions of the perrera facilities, the perrera food or medical or hygienic care of the dogs.
On November 6, 2012, we formally requested a meeting with the Senora Councillor for Health of the Town Hall of Badajoz in order to present our complaints about the operation of the perrera, to submit requests for specific improvements and to request that investment be made to resolve serious problems, all as detailed below:
1. Revision, replacement, repair and periodic maintenance of facilities (troughs, gates, repair of leaks, drains).
2. Renovate the outside courtyards and use them so that the dogs can go outside.
3. Ensure that perrera hours conform to animal protection legislation (the dogs cannot be left unattended for 48 hours).
4. Ensure that veterinary care conforms to animal protection legislation.
5. Conduct a rigorous protocol of disinfection and decontamination of the kennels regularly.
6. When cleaning the kennels, take the dogs to the recreation area so as to avoid them living in a continuously wet condition and getting sick or dying from hypothermia (there have been cases).
7. Use non-slip surfaces on the floors of the kennels to avoid injury to the dogs.
8. Introduce into each kennel at least one pallet with blankets or plastic dog beds to insulate the dogs from the cold and wet.
9. Utilise areas of isolation to prevent puppies susceptible to getting sick from being in contact with other dogs.
10. Provide food appropriate for puppies, adult dogs and cats.
11. Allow the opportunity, under the responsible control of this Association, for the dogs to be taken for walks in the surroundings.
12. During the implantation of the micro-chip and the rabies vaccine procedure by the perrera vet, allow the adopter or the person responsible for the adoption to be present.
13. Create a file containing the details of those persons who hand a dog into the perrera in order to control future adoptions.
14. Impose a fee on all those owners who hand a dog into the perrera to help towards the cost of the dog’s maintenance, and which in turn may help reduce the number of abandonments.
15. Impose a higher fee on all those owners who hand a dog into the perrera where it appears that the animal is in a poor state of health to help compensate for the extra costs of special care and veterinary care which we want the perrera to agree to do immediately.
16. Revise the fee rates for adoption of an animal.
17. Allow all adoptions to be managed by the Association SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ.
The Senora Councillor met us, but the reality is that none of these requests have been met, the perrera and the animals are kept in the same or in worse conditions, which we cannot allow, but it doesn’t appear to concern the Town Hall and certainly they haven’t done anything about it. Therefore, if the Town Hall continue to claim the adoption fees and substantial revenue through the work of SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ who perform all of the work – looking for adoptions, taking the dogs from the perrera, including paying for veterinary care and emergency care - we think that these things should be covered by the public fund for the perrera of Badajoz or, alternatively, that a proportion of adoption fees should revert directly to the perrera to improve the accommodation, food and veterinary care of the dogs.
The dogs in the perrera are badly maintained, without any veterinary care, in appalling health and hygiene conditions, with infections, parasite infestations, without any isolation zone to prevent spread of infection, puppies and adults mixed together, females on heat alongside male dogs, poorly fed, dogs handed in to the perrera in a wounded or beaten condition or simply their serious health conditions ignored, even to the point that they die.
In terms of working schedules, weekends, holidays and long weekends, when the previous worker was there, there was no problem, as that person was very professional and conscientious and the perrera was almost never left unattended during weekends and holiday periods. The current worker takes many days off and the animals are left alone without any care or supervision and with no-one to take over if there is a serious problem or an emergency. We do not doubt that the worker is within his rights to take holiday time off, but the dogs cannot be left for more than 24 hours without attention and it makes good sense that at these times, a substitute member of staff is engaged.
The volunteers of this Association go to the perrera regularly to try to help and improve the quality of life of the animals and, if possible, meet all these shortcomings, selflessly giving their time and money (buying food, deworming treatments and other material things) to try and compensate for the lack of professionals.
In recent months, given the sorry state of the dogs and the lack of hygiene, the volunteers of SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ go to the perrera in the evenings to clean the kennels and treat the needy dogs, and to dry off the dogs so they are not soaking wet 24/7 as the workers hose down the kennels with the dogs inside, give flea treatment to the dogs and to their environment; the perrera is now a nest of infection, fleas and ticks. The volunteers do not always find it easy to help the dogs; they are questioned and hindered in their work.
The perrera workers are the ones who have the obligation first and foremost to ensure the welfare of the dogs and to carry out these duties every day, since they receive a salary, but in general, and with a few exceptions, they lack professionalism, responsibility and respect for the animals and perform their job poorly.
We believe that it is unacceptable that the dogs are not able to have a modicum of dignity and living conditions in the perrera and that it has to be the volunteers who do the work for which others get paid and for which the administration take the glory and do not take into account the work of SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ.
We want to remind the Town Hall, and we feel embarrassed in having to do so, that the perrera workers are municipal employees and that their salaries are paid with our taxes. In a time of economic crisis and with so many people out of work in this Autonomous Community, that workers are paid a fixed salary from the public budget and cannot carry out their work with, at the very least, professionalism and responsibility, seems outrageous.
But, it seems even more outrageous and a travesty to society, that the Town Hall, which is the highest governing body of the town of Badajoz and which owes everything to the citizens, does not do anything, stands back and covers up what is happening in the perrera. To us, that makes the Town Hall an accomplice in everything that has happened. The Town Hall has the administrative and political responsibility of managing the perrera, of monitoring and supervising the workers, to ensure that they do their work, to look after the animals within their charge, correcting any shortcomings and to comply with and enforce the existing legislation of animal protection.
The perrera has had (and will continue to have, given these conditions) deaths through parvovirus, coronavirus, dogs apparently healthy that have died of hypothermia, others by lack of immediate veterinary care, many dogs have giardia, kennel cough, ehrlchia, skin infections because they spend all day soaking wet and lying on damp floors full of excrement, others with unhealed wounds, infected wounds with maggots, full of parasites, otitis, etc. and all of them without receiving veterinary care.
There are cases of dogs leaving the perrera after 1 month in a state of such malnutrition, including cachexia, that they couldn’t even walk, and others, given the extreme conditions in which they were handed in and without veterinary care with urgent pathological conditions; infections, tremendous wounds, tumours, vaginal and anal prolapses, pyometra, etc. They were taken by this Association to the vet to prevent them from suffering and dying inside the perrera and with SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ taking over all the expenses (we have many veterinary reports to corroborate this).
In a public facility, such is the perrera at Badajoz, dogs “mysteriously” disappear all too often; galgos, podencos, other dogs of the hunt, PPP breeds, puppies, etc. and none of the perrera workers have been able to give any explanation for this. The perrera workers are the primary guarantors of the dogs they collect, of the dogs they are custodians of and in the end the ultimate responsibility lies with the Town Hall of Badajoz. In a public building, it is not possible for the public to just enter and for the dogs to vanish if the facility is closed and no one does anything to clarify this.
It cannot happen again. It cannot be allowed that this seems normal or merely “anecdotal”. We believe that if dogs disappear or if there is a suspicion of misappropriation of a dog in a municipal facility that it should be reported and investigated to see if any crime has been committed and to take appropriate legal action to punish anyone responsible and, of course, to take steps to ensure that it cannot happen again. The dogs are living beings and they cannot be treated with such contempt as if they were worthless merchandise and that it doesn’t matter if they disappear. The Town Hall should take issue with these matters and not allow the perrera to operate as a “private farm” with all their tricks and wherein the law of secrecy and fear of asking questions prevails, because it is a public institution paid for by all of us and its management must be transparent and open.
Another habitual practice of the perrera is to hand over young dogs and puppies to anyone who happens to pass by, offering them to hunters, to friends, to guard country houses, etc. These dogs are handed over without any form of question or gathering of information of the “adoptive family” and without even knowing where they are going or how they will be kept. The result of many of these “direct adoptions” is that when the puppy grows up and no longer suits the requirements of the person who took it, they end up back in the perrera and many of them have not been cared for or treated well.
It has been drawn to our attention that when people call by at the perrera or at the Town Hall that they are always told the same thing “in this perrera there are no killings”. Gentlemen, let’s be serious and consistent and let’s tell the truth, you haven’t killed any dogs for 2 years because the Association SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ looks for families to adopt them or for associations to take them into their care, that is to say, thanks to SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ emptying the perrera for them. It is not that you have changed your policy regarding killings, it is because others are doing the work and you are thus looking great to your citizens and moreover increasingly conscientious in this regard, repudiating abandonment, animal neglect and indiscriminate killings of animals.
We have presented all these irregularities repeatedly to different administrative managers and so far nothing has changed. We want to tell you that we are not just saying these things, these are facts for which we have documented evidence – photos, videos, veterinary reports, reports of allegations of mistreatment of dogs, reports of allegations of disappearance of dogs, testimonials from people, emails, etc.
This situation is not new, it has been happening for years. Other Badajoz associations and individuals have already tried in their day to do work similar to ours and have given up for the same reasons that we are telling you about here. Nothing has changed and there has been no collaboration of the Town Hall. All those who have wanted to improve the conditions for the dogs in the perrera have been met with a brick wall, with apathy and disinterest on the part of the municipal administration, by those who are responsible for what happens in the perrera.
For all these reasons, we are informing you in this letter that because of the treatment of the animals in the perrera by the municipal administration, the little respect they have shown to this Association and its volunteers, and the little interest they have shown in any change of attitude or to work together to bring about animal protection in the town of Badajoz, the Association SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ at a meeting of a few days ago, has agreed to the following actions:
• This Association will no longer take any dogs out that are handed in to the perrera at Badajoz after 17 May, that is, we will cease to broadcast and publish them and find them adoptive homes. We imagine that you will not care about this to any extent. You have already demonstrated what you think and your hand will not tremble when it comes to the time to sacrifice them again. What we envisage is that what will be far more important is the amount of money we will cease to be collecting for you if there are no more adoptions. We know that as soon as we stop working for the animals in the perrera that the perrera will fill up and they will return to killing the animals, the facts of which we will make publicly known, to the mass media and to social networks, explaining the reasons and making a call to social mobilisation.
• This letter will be posted today on the wall of our Facebook page and we are going to ask the 21,676 followers of our Facebook page to broadcast and network it as widely as possible to animal rights associations in all countries, PACMA, ANONIMUS, to network it far and wide to committed associations, lawyers, persons who are interested and who hold a position of influence in the media. We want everyone to know what is happening in the perrera of Badajoz. You have not left us with any other option.
• A copy of this letter will be sent to all municipal political groups, so that they know another version of the reality of the perrera of Badajoz. The same copy will be sent, together with statistics, documents and photos to the Ministry of the Environment of Extremadura.
• Copies of this letter together with documents will be sent to various local, regional and national media, and to a television channel that supports animal rights causes, asking for maximum publicity.
• As we have already indicated, SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ is an association with some weight within the world of animal rights and is supported by international associations. Several of these associations in France, Holland, Switzerland, Italy and Germany know the reality of dogs in this perrera and in collaboration with them, a document is being drafted and a dossier prepared to be sent to the Commissioner of the Environment of the European Commission in Brussels.
• And finally, we have consulted with a specialist lawyer to whom we will give all the documentation and testimonials that we hold. SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ reserve the right to file legal action if any indications are found which constitute a crime.
We have always tried to avoid confrontation both with the workers at the perrera and with the Town Hall, instead offering dialogue and collaboration, trying to work together for the good of the animals. But everyone has a limit, and ours has been reached. We get the impression that we are not taken seriously, that we are thought of as “a few youngsters” who like to “play at saving dogs in their spare time”. Nothing could be farther from the reality for SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ. This is not a game, the life and dignity of the animals is the reason for the existence of this Association and is our work ethic.
SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ is not going to disappear or to stop fighting for the dogs in the perrera, but we are going to do it with other means, in much more forceful ways, since the dialogue and collaboration that we have always offered and with which we have always been ready, has not served any purpose. It has been a unilateral offer which has been ignored by the Town Hall, obviated, avoided and sometimes ridiculed.
We re-iterate that our only interest and ultimate goal is the well-being of the animals in the perrera at Badajoz and that we have always been open to dialogue, to work together within the means of available resources to try to improve the quality of life of the animals until they find an adoptive family. SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ is not trying to manage the perrera or to take any work from anyone who works there. SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ want only that the dogs have a few decent conditions of life and health whilst they are at the facility, and therefore we ask:
• That the perrera workers perform their duties with professionalism, responsibility and respect towards the animals and are regularly monitored, supervised and if necessary, punished, by the managing body (as happens in any job)
• That the reforms and improvements, that have been requested for so long and which are detailed in the first page of this letter, are carried out without delay
• That ALL the adoptions of the dogs in the perrera are managed by SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ – WITHOUT ANY EXCEPTION AND ALWAYS FOLLOWING OUR ADOPTION PROTOCOL. This guarantees, as far as possible, that the dogs have a responsible adoption and that they do not return again to abandonment or mistreatment. This will prevent to a great extent the dogs from returning to the perrera for a second and even a third time from failed direct adoptions.
If you are willing to consider our requests and establish a dialogue based on the will of understanding, to lay the foundations of a future collaboration with seriousness and responsibility, address our petitions and undertake to comply with them, the Association SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ is ready to keep on collaborating with you. We believe that teamwork with harmony and dialogue and by optimising the resources of both our entities, will always give better results and this will revert to the improved welfare of the animals, which is our goal.
We remain at your disposal. If you wish to do so, you can write to us at our registered Association address on our letterhead or by email.
Signed: President of SOS PERRERA BADAJOZ