A court of Chantada (Lugo) has opened proceedings for the case of Alma, the battered dog in this municipality that is raising a wave of indignation. In a video that has gone viral a neighbor of the town appeared, later identified by the Civil Guard, that after hitting him shot her brutally. The dog, who just became a mother, died last Tuesday in a veterinary hospital in Lugo. Their puppies are in perfect condition and are already being taken care of by a host family.
Chantada’s neighbor, who is a hunter, faces multiple complaints. The Superior Prosecutor’s Office of Galicia has appeared as a public prosecution in the case. The shelter El Refugio, in Madrid, has also done so. Other entities such as Mundo Vivo or the animalist party Pacma have announced their decision to appear, as well as the College of Veterinarians of Lugo.
Through a statement, the shelter El Refugio explained that the hunter acknowledged before the Civil Guard to be the author of the shots. According to the report of the Civil Guard to which they have had access, about 12.15 hours on November 30, a patrol went to the national road 540, in that municipality of Lucía, after receiving a warning. Upon arrival, he identified the alleged perpetrator of the events, « a local neighbor » and two witnesses to what happened that day. According to the report, the man «admits in the presence of the agents that he shot the animal with a shotgun since appeared about fifteen days ago in the area and that, in addition, in a nearby shed of his property was a litter of puppies ».
Based on what has been collected in these proceedings, he maintains that the Civil Guard intervened the man «a Benelli brand shotgun from the trunk of his car», at the time that he was transferred to be investigated as alleged author of a crime of animal abuse. Regarding the witnesses of the events, he states that they told the Civil Guard that the man told them «I am a hunter» and «the dog is abandoned» as justification for having made the shot.
The Public Ministry has assured Ep that as long as the instruction is not completed, the writing will not be made with the possible penalties that the hunter may request. Against the author of the shots could also take legal action the Spanish Hunting Federation since what happened «threatens the principles of hunting and animal welfare». « We don’t want these images to relate to us, » they said.
From the Xunta they have explained that the veterinary clinic of Chantada to which they were transferred on Saturday confirmed that Alma’s puppies “did not present injuries” and that they “did not suffer abuse.” After what happened, they have recalled that the competence to act in cases of abandoned animals « correspond to the municipalities ». However, at the request of the City Council of Chantada, the Xunta on Tuesday supervised the transfer of the puppies « to an authorized animal shelter » where they were registered and registered. The dogs are already being cared for by a host family that collaborates with the center. « When they are older, they can be given up for adoption to different families as is usually done in cases of abandoned animals, » they added.
In relation to this case, the Animalist Association Libera has advanced that it will transfer to the different political groups with institutional representation in the City Council of Chantada, the Diputación de Lugo and the Parliament of Galicia a motion «With the aim of showing public revulsion for the terrible case of animal abuse resulting in death» in Chantada.
Animalists denounce that in Galicia there are « hundreds of cases of cruelty and abandonment that do not produce any sanction or conviction. » On the motion, they point out that the goal is for administrations to « be aware that it is a public problem, not just people concerned with animal welfare and NGOs. » In line with this, they ask, in addition to social awareness campaigns, that the Xunta de Galicia “be involved, as an accusation, in cases of abuse and neglect that reach the courts or that this initiative is ex officio whenever possible” . This entity also emphasizes that the Lugo Veterinary College announces its intention to also appear in relation to this case.