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Woman suspected of animal cruelty as 105 dogs taken to shelter

One of the rescued dogs is checked for a microchip.
One of the rescued dogs is checked for a microchip. / E. Cabezas
  • Local Police officers intervened last Friday following a court order which came about as the result of a town hall report into the case

More than 100 dogs were removed from land near the Granadillas stream near Rincón de la Victoria last Friday.

Seprona, the environmental protection unit of the Guardia Civil, obtained a court order from a judge in Malaga to intervene to rescue the 105 dogs that were crammed in to an area of land less than 100 square metres.

Police officers said that they found the dogs of differing breeds, sizes and ages, from puppies to older animals, in bad condition and suffering from a number of diseases including Leishmaniasis, scabies, fleas and parasites. However, officers confirmed that the dogs were not malnourished.

Officers were ordered to take the animals to the Don Animal shelter in the town.

The case reached the authorities after neighbours reported the situation to Rincón de la Victoria town hall. The report handed to the court concluded that the property did not comply with basic hygiene regulations.

The owner of the dogs, Esmerelda Moreno, has been accused of suspected animal cruelty.

Speaking to SURon Friday, Moreno said that the operation was “ridiculous” adding that she had “all the paperwork in order”. The dog owner said, “We are a legal animal shelter but there are a lot of different interests involved here and they don’t want us to continue rescuing dogs that are ill-treated and abandoned.” Moreno lives in a caravan situated on the land along with her three children.

No help from authorities

“Since October last year all of the paperwork has been correct according to the Junta de Andalucía regulations and we have asked the town hall to help on a number of occasions, but they have just ignored us,” Moreno said, adding, “They are my life, my children. Ineed help, I need them to let me go back to helping them, because if not they are going to put them down.”

José Antonio Villodres, who is responsible for Don Animal, said that the organisation would look after the animals, “caring for them, feeding them and giving them the medication that they need”.He said that they were “waiting for whatever decision the judge makes”.

Villodres criticised this type of police operation, saying that the authorities assume no financial responsibility for the welfare of the animals taken to animal shelters like Don Animal while the courts decide what to do with them.