Broken toys

He never deserved to be end up as another statistic of the cruel abandonment, locked in a cage at the Sociedad Protectora de Animales de Málaga (Animal Protection Society Malaga). You left without looking back, with a clean conscience because at least you left him in the best possible place. "It would have been worse if I'd left him at the municipal pound- you told yourself, indolent and self-satisfied - because there they put them down."

The animal protection associations, which are there for the extreme cases, are at saturation point: irresponsible owners like you have spread like a plague and there is no physical way to look after one more animal. Another animal, waiting day after day, huddled in a corner of his kennel, waiting for someone to take pity on him and give him a new home.

As usual, as soon as he stopped being an adorable furry toy he was pushed to one side. He began to hate being relegated to the role of hindrance, with no-one showing him the slightest affection, condemned to living locked in the laundry room. Taken begrudgingly for a walk a couple of times a day; being beaten without knowing why. The vent of your multiple personal frustrations and your inability to raise that child with the minimum values that are needed to be a good person.

He didn't understand why you dragged him by the leash into the car that fateful day. You then let him out at a petrol station and wouldn't let him get back in the car. Unable to fend for himself he ate rotting food he found in the rubbish and drank from dirty puddles, until fever and malnutrition made him weak and unable to react when he wandered into the road just as a car was passing.

It could have been even worse. When those lads tempted him with a sausage and carried him off laughing, he thought he had found a new home. The dream was shattered with the agony of the first bite on the neck from the fighting dog which had been put in with him for a 'sparring' match.

If, at any time when you are reading this you think I am exaggerating, why not ask one of the volunteers or members of the protection society: the stories they will tell you will be even harder to bear.

No, that pet did not deserve to become another of the Kings' broken toys, thrown out with the rubbish without remorse. He just wanted to be part of your family, but you will never understand that.