A man has been sentenced to three months in prison and one year of disqualification from working with animals for abandoning and failing to give vet care to his donkey, thus causing its death.
In June 2015, El Refugio del Burrito (ERDB) investigated the case and reported the donkey’s owner after being informed of its situation.
The donkey was abandoned on some grassland at the Dehesa Municipal de Facinas (Tarifa) with no veterinary assistance. He was found in critical health conditions, malnourished, suffering from dehydration and seriously ill. He had chronic pneumonia, as well as major difficulties in oxygenating blood. Due to his irreversible health condition, the animal had to be put to sleep humanely to stop his suffering.
The Criminal Court of Algeciras has recognized the case as a “crime against the flora and fauna”. Hence, it has sentenced the accused to three-month imprisonment and one year of disqualification from working with animals. Additionally, the RDB has requested full compensation for expenses incurred in assisting the donkey.
“We believe this sentence will have a positive impact on our society in order to prevent future cases of animal mistreatment”, says Verónica Sánchez, Director of ERDB.
ERDB emphasizes the importance of reporting any case of animal cruelty as the only legal way to protect animals. Each year, thousands of animals are mistreated and abandoned in Spain, sadly being one of the highest figures in the European Union.
For ERDB, to report and to initiate legal proceedings means a great effort, not only economically speaking, but also personally, since it takes such a long time until getting a trial. However, we strongly believe that this is an important part of improving animal welfare in Spain. To rescue them is not enough. Our next goal is to involve local governments, compelling them to comply with the legislation. We need support from the government and the population. The situation is not sustainable”, affirms Verónica Sánchez, Director of ERDB.