Two hunters have been sentenced to 18 months in jail for ill-treating 29 dogs at what the Galgos del Sur animal protection association has described as a “house of horrors”.
When police and Guardia Civil officers entered the premises in Cabra, in Cordoba province, on 30 October 2020 they found the dogs tied to trees with chains, with no water, surrounded by filth and the bones of other dogs who had died and with nowhere to shelter. They were in “an area with no suitable hygiene conditions, containing only barrels and containers with sharp edges,” as the judge described it when issuing the sentences.
Apart from the prison terms, the men have been banned for four years from having animals or taking part in any profession, trade or business involving them. They must also pay over 3,000 euros in vets’ fees and another 3,000 euros in moral damages to the Galgos del Sur association which brought the legal action. No appeal can be made against the sentence.
The court also agreed that one dog had died as a result of ill-treatment; it was found by the police in a fenced area near the entrance to the site. But that was not the only one. Galgos del Sur said another, a black Belgian Shepherd, had to be put down after being taken to the Veterinary Hospital in Cordoba because nothing could be done to save it. The vets said that apart from its injuries, the dog was dehydrated, malnourished and had double pneumonia and leishmaniasis, among other conditions.
The government is currently preparing new legislation to protect animals, but Galgos del Sur believes this is not going to be strict enough in cases of ill-treatment, especially as the PSOE has proposed excluding dogs which are used for hunting from the law. It said that thousands of dogs are subjected to degrading, humiliating and cruel treatment by hunters every year.