From Mo Swatek, founder of Pro-galgo International
PLEASE SHARE: HOW TO MAKE AN OFFICIAL COMPLAINT FOR ANIMAL ABUSE OR ABANDONMENT IN SPAIN
Due to the complete denial by the authorities (politicians of all levels) of the massive existence of animal abuse in Spain, our only possibility to make a difference is to report ALL and each of the cases that we see.
Unfortunately, the vast majority of cases are reported exclusively on the internet/social media but not to the authorities like the Spanish animal welfare police SEPRONA or directly to court, and the result is obvious. As nobody reports, the official statistics don't include any of the severe cases all of us find nearly daily. Neither are all the dogs that shelters without subsidies and private people collect daily in the Spanish streets considered in official statistics.
The result of this lack of complaints is today's situation. The politicians rely on figures in statistics of complaints that do not reflect at all the sad reality in Spain. Therefore, I encourage you to report absolutely EVERYTHING you see, anything you see that is against the animal protection law. No matter if it is a hunting dog in poor condition, a dog abandoned on a roundabout in the middle of a village, a neighbor who has a husky locked in a balcony of 1m2 or some kids who train their pitbull to attack or fight.
It is necessary to register reports, as many as possible, so that the problem is recorded in the statistics. If we denounce everything that we see each day, we could almost paralyze the courts of all Spain and the politicians could not deny the severe problem anymore.
WHEN YOU GO TO FILE A REPORT:
- DO NOT ACCEPT THAT THE POLICE, SEPRONA OR THE MOSSOS D'ESQUADRA SAY THAT THEY CAN NOT TAKE YOUR REPORT BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW WHO ARE THE AUTHORS OF THE CRIME! IF THEY SAY THAT, ANSWER: "IF I HAVE BEEN ROBBED AT HOME, I ALSO DO NOT KNOW WHO WAS THE THIEF AND I CAN FILE A REPORT! IT IS YOU (THE POLICE) THAT HAVE TO INVESTIGATE INFRACTIONS AGAINST LAW! IF THEY STILL REJECT TO TAKE YOUR REPORT, ASK FOR THE LICENSE PLATE OF THE POLICEMAN REFUSING TO TAKE YOUR REPORT AND REPORT HIM AT COURT FOR NOT FULLFILLING HIS DUTY. ANIMAL MISTREATMENT IS AGAINST THE LAW AND CONSIDERED A CRIME THAT COULD CREATE FINES UP TO SEVERAL THOUSAND EUROS AND EVEN JAIL SENTENCES.
IF THE POLICE STILL REFUSE TO TAKE YOUR CASE, GO TO THE FOLLOWING LINK, https://www.gdt.guardiacivil.es/webgdt/denuncia.php DOWNLOAD THE FORM FOR DENUNCIAS AND FILL IT IN WITH ALL THE PROOF YOU HAVE, INCLUDING PICTURES, POSITION IN GOOGLE MAPS ETC, PRINT IT OUT TWICE AND TAKE IT TO COURT. THEY WILL SIGN AND STAMP IT, YOU GET THE SECOND ONE BACK STAMPED AS A PROOF. IT HAS TO BE IN SPANISH!
If there is a serious risk for you or your animals because it is a neighbour etc, go to Animal Protection Associations and ask them to make the corresponding complaint.
Don't report cases like a person having his dog in the garden because you think it will be better on the sofa. You also have to aware that if the animal in question is fed, has shelter and enough water and is reasonably clean, there is not much chance that a complaint will proceed.
Important also is that private individuals denounce so that it is seen that normal citizens reject the abuse and neglect of animals. If they are really severe cases, you may always ask for support from a big shelter/association.
Do not worry about having expenses. You can go to a trial without lawyers. I have won several trials and I have always gone without a lawyer but with a well documented case and without exaggerations. If you are asked to bring a lawyer, and the case is really important, we can help by fundraising for the expenses.
Here is how to act in a case of severe neglect against one or more animals:
If the animal is not accessible because of a fence, cage or private property, you should not enter, take pictures from outside as good as you can.
Make photos of the site and environment to be able to explain to SEPRONA where exactly they have to look.
To compile all the possible data about the place (finca, flat, house, etc) include a good description with map (google) of the site.
Get in touch with SEPRONA by phone (SEPRONA Civil Protection Nature Protection Section) and ask for information where the nearest SEPRONA office is in order to be able to go with the all the collected information and file the complaint. A PHONE CALL IS NOT A "DENUNCIA" AND ONLY WRITTEN AND SIGNED COMPLAINTS ARE INCLUDED IN THE STATISTICS AND OBLIGE THEM TO ACT.
Keep calling SEPRONA to know the evolution of your complaint and also continue to monitor the animal in trouble in order to re-report if necessary. (IF THE ANIMAL IS WITHOUT FOOD AND WATER, FEED IT BUT DON'T STEAL IT, BECAUSE YOU CONVERT THE MISTREATER INTO THE VICTIM OF A THEFT AND HE FOR SURE WILL REPLACE THE STOLEN DOG!!!
If you find an animal injured by possible mistreatment:
Take pictures of the place where the animal was found
Take the animal to the next veterinarian to look at the microchip and for the necessary veterinary treatment and then ask for a health report of the state of the animal and also an invoice in case the the culprit is found, he will have to pay the expenses.
Make photos of the animal at the veterinarian before and after the veterinary treatment.
Take the veterinarian's report, the chip number, the photos and all the information you have to SEPRONA and proceed with the complaint.
If you witness a mistreatment in front of you, whether it is a hunter who shoots a dog or a person who mistreats any animal (his dogs etc), a man kicking his dog or a woman beating a puppy, you must call the police directly with the number 112 asking to be connected with SEPRONA or Guardia Civil.
It is not advisable to deal with either the local police or the Mossos (Catalan police) because they are not interested at all in animals the vast majority of cases.
If you see an abandoned dog on a road with a lot of traffic (it works best if it's a motorway, highway, national highway etc) also call 112 but not as an animal lover asking for help for the poor puppy. You have to call as a frightened driver that you have almost had a serious accident because a dog crossed the road in front of you. Say out loud in hysterical tone that this dog is a safety hazard and that you have to react quickly, insisting that if they do nothing they will be guilty if possible accidents happen due to the animal on the highway/street/motorway.
I always do it like that, otherwise they wont come, and what a miracle, even the Mossos move when I call as the hysterical driver :-)
DO NOT LET THEM REJECT YOUR REPORT!
If so-and-so can denounce the neighbor for loud music, a famous his ex for alleged insults and slander and a muselman for a teacher talking about pigs at school, WE CAN ALSO DENOUNCE THE INFRACTIONS AGAINST THE ANIMAL PROTECTION LAW !!!
In German there is a saying: WHERE NO NO ONE REPORTS, THERE WILL BE NO JUSTICE! And this is exactly what happens IN Spain, there are not enough complaints although we have more than enough cases.
WE WILL MAKE THE DIFFERENCE BY REPORTING ANIMAL MISTREATMENT AND ABANDONING!
PS: if you need help because your Spanish is not fluent enough to go alone to the police, feel free to contact us and we try to find a person who can go to the police with you.