Yes, the authorities only granted 24 hours to rescue all the dogs in Bullas (Murcia) and out of the hell where they are. Removing the remaining 70 dogs in that situation in 24 hours ... Mission Impossible?
Well this is not the first bureaucratic difficulty with which foundationn Pro-Setter (The association that is coordinatating the rescue of these animals) and volunteers from other organizations that work with them are encountering.
If solving this problem wasn’t complicated enough, the associations involved in the rescue found a thousand and one obstacles and blunders by the authorities (both SEPRONA, as the town hall) as well as loopholes or lack of interest. But let's start at the beginning, for those who do not know yet the details of the operation called "Rehala".
About a week ago (although not revealed to the media until Tuesday or Wednesday) the police (guardia civil) in the Region of Murcia, in collaboration with staff from the Animal Health Service of the Directorate General of Livestock of the Autonomous Region Murcia, dismantled an illegal dog shelter in the municipality of Bullas (Murcia). In an area surrounded by a little over 1,000 square meters a man (If we can call him that) had piled about 120 dogs. These dogs had no water and had no food except potato chips (crisps!, yeah ... no comment) and, of course, lacked any kind of hygiene and health care. Obviously, this man did not have the necessary licenses and permits to have that kind of "shelter" for animals.
When the case goes on the media and Pro-Setter finds out, they get in touch with the relevant authorities for further information and to volunteer to coordinate the rescue. The dogs are now under the responsibility of the municipality of Bullas who has to determine what to do with them, so Pro-Setter is offers to coordinate their rescue. Last Thursday, Pro-Setter went on the premises where the dogs were piled with the Guardia Civil, the SEPRONA and deputy mayor of Bullas.
Obviously, these dogs also were without any form of identification or microchip. Pro-Setter asked the council to take over the cost of the chips for all dogs since the association, in turn, will take care of the costs of feeding the dogs, water, veterinary care required and transport to the respective associations or shelters who offered to make room for some of the dogs.
And we start with the obstacles: the council refuses claiming that "do not have money to even pay for their own electricity bills”. Finally, Pro-setter also has to bear the cost of the chips for dogs, since they can not continue without identification.
In addition, the SEPRONA, responsible for a census of the dogs, does not do it!, and so passes this responsibility also to Pro-Setter and other associations who quickly joined the cause as Galgos del Sol, Galhos 112, Europa de los lebreles, and La Fortaleza.
That same Thursday, the Deputy calls Mayor Pro-Setter and says that the city eventually will cover the cost of food and water for dogs. From Thursday until Monday no officers of the council showed up with food or water, so once again the above mentioned associations are responsible for feeding the dogs and give them water. Finally city officials appeared on Monday with food (they must think that from Thursday until Monday the dogs, which were already too well fed, uh, would survive with the air) and to cap it all, the amount of food and water they brought could be at most, for one day needs.
The owner of this dog hell was charged with animal abuse, was arrested overnight and is now free pending trial. In addition, the judge did not seal the enclosure so this precint is still considered a private property. What does that mean? None of the volunteers who flocked to it to help dogs and pulling them out of there could enter unless the defendant and owner of the premises voluntarily opened it and let them pass. On Friday, this “man” let everyone in (not without being at all times on the volunteers "advising" which dogs take and which not, since according to him " they were taking only the most beautiful"). This man even suggested to the volunteers, pointing to a group of dogs in particular, "why don’t you take those ones that are completely fucked up."
On Saturday, the defendant did not want to open the property, but finally the volunteers got him to. The volunteers followed the above associations taking care of the animals and began to take some of them to different shelters.
On Monday, as expected, the owner of the premises did not let anyone enter. Pro-Setter spoke to the judge and requested access to the site. The answer is astounding: She would authorize access to the private property only for a period of 24 hours. This means that if the volunteers of these organizations want access to the site to take the dogs, they have to do everything in one day ... There are still about 70 dogs do not even allocated to any association to help them, how they they expect that this can be done in one day on top of getting them out in only one day?
Charged with animal abuse
The maximum penalty that can fall to this man is one year in prison and three of disqualification. Therefore, the attorney for the popular accusation (made by Pro-Setter, Galgos 112 and several associations) want to try to charge the accused for every dog, as in every case of abuse is a different offense and not one for all dogs.
The private prosecution is saving veterinary reports of all dogs, photos and all that can be used to show the state in which this “man” had the dogs though, another obstacle again, the police took the corpses of the dead animals without allowing time for these associations to count them!.
Urgent appeal to all shelters of Spain
As I said before, there are still about 70 dogs to rescue and there's nowhere to take them. The associations are coordinating the rescue are making an urgent appeal to all other associations and shelters of Spain to take at least one dog each. If each one picks up at least one, of all them can be saved!. Please do not let all the work being done by these volunteers in Murcia be worthless and stop more dogs from dying in that hell!. Also, as I said, we must take them all in just 24 hours or we won’t be given access to the site again. Please if you can foster, even only one dog, write an email to Pro-Setter to the following email address: firstname.lastname@example.org.