In-depth investigation of the Brunete kennels (Albergue San Antón / Residencia Mister Can)

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For more than 20 years, the Albergue (shelter) San Anton has been operating as a boarding kennel in Brunete, Madrid. In 2007, it also began to serve as a centre for collection of dead, lost and abandoned animals for various municipalities in the Northwest of Madrid province.

  From its inception, the activity of this centre has given rise to numerous complaints and negative assessments due to the treatment received by the animals, mostly dogs and cats. It is a private centre which through public tenders is awarded contracts for caring for the most deprived animals of our society and also provides private boarding for the dogs and cats of people requesting their services.

 RESPETO ANIMAL NOROESTE, a group formed by individuals and associations, uneasy about the service that this centre provides and motivated by the testimonies received, has joined forces to request an in-depth investigation of the practices that take place there. Evidence of all these practices has been provided by various individuals and associations.

 To summarise these many accounts, we note that the animals do not receive basic veterinary treatment, they become infected with multiple diseases, they suffer from extremes of heat and cold, volunteers are not allowed to give them affection or walk them, there are cases of animals that disappear without being registered, puppies and kittens die, dogs live in tiny kennels with a high degree of stress, it is forbidden to photograph any animal in order to assist in its publication and adoption.

LACK OF VETERINARY CARE FOR DOGS:

- Animals only receive the rabies vaccine when they are adopted, otherwise they remain unvaccinated during the months or years they are living in the centre.

- No tests are performed to see if they suffer from leishmaniasis, meaning that sick animals do not receive treatment for the disease.

- They do not receive treatment for parasites, internal or external, while they remain there nor when they are adopted, hence they are infested with fleas, lice, ticks and internal parasites.

- They do not receive preventive treatment (in the form of drops or collars) against the sand fly that transmits the leishmaniasis, even though it is endemic in this area of Madrid province; hence many dogs become infected.

- Animals are only castrated when they are going to be adopted; this increases their levels of stress in the centre, as in the adjoining kennels there are females in heat.

LACK OF VETERINARY CARE FOR CATS:

-There are no health checks; they pick up stray cats indiscriminately, many of which have Feline Leukaemia Virus (FLV) and feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV), but they do not test them for it, mixing healthy and sick cats, thus spreading the illnesses between them as they use the same facilities and they fight.

- Cats also do not receive treatment for parasites, internal or external, and have high levels of parasitic infestation and diarrhoea.

- Cats also are only castrated when they are going to be adopted, resulting in stress and fights between cats; though separated by sexes, they are in adjoining kennels and the tomcats can smell females in heat. These fights cause the spread of disease through bites.

HYGIENE MEASURES:

- According to various witnesses, animals are not taken out when the kennels are cleaned; they are hosed down with the animals inside, soaking them, in winter and summer, and spattering them with their own faeces and urine. The animals are soaked at temperatures below zero, with the consequent suffering.

- Witnesses have seen the kennels fumigated with the animals inside.

- The cats' drinking troughs are made of cement and the dogs' are clay pots; these are porous materials which it is impossible to disinfect. In addition the troughs are fixed up high, seriously hampering access to the water for the smaller animals.

-The animals do not have bedding on which to rest; they have to lie on the cement, which is freezing cold in winter and very hot in summer. The dogs that have been there longest have their elbows and knees worn from rubbing against the cement.

 ENVIRONMENTAL MEASURES:

- Dogs are never walked, even though there is plenty of room for it. They do not allow volunteers to help with these tasks and the staff is clearly inadequate to do it, nor do they show willingness.

- The dogs are enclosed permanently in tiny kennels and in total isolation, as they are kept alone. All of this leads them to develop stereotyped behaviours and to suffer from stress and depression.

- The cats suffer continual respiratory diseases that cause deaths due to low temperatures in winter, as they are without shelter. The mortality rate in cats is very high, according to the director of the centre.

- The kittens born there die in a matter of days if they are not taken away.

 PUBLICITY:

- Though it is an animal protection centre where the ultimate goal is to find adoptive families for animals, it is forbidden to photograph the animals to publicise them; visitors are told that it is forbidden to take their mobile phones out of their pockets. The centre does not have a web page, Facebook profile or Instagram account where the animals could be shown and offered for adoption. The municipalities involved also make only limited efforts to advertise the animals; in some cases they have out-of-date photographs or only a small percentage of the animals lodged at the centre.

 VOLUNTEERS:

- Volunteers are not allowed into the centre to help with the socialisation of the cats and dogs, play with them or walk them, groom them, or give them affection.

 REGISTRATION:

- Some animals lack identification chips but are not registered when they enter the facility.

- When an animal is adopted, they are unable to tell the adopter on what date it arrived there, in which municipality it was picked up or what state it was in.

- They mix up animals, handing over the wrong animal for adoption because they do not keep a register, or at least not effectively.

 COLLECTION OF ANIMALS:

 - Those animals picked up in the street are transported in vans which usually lack security measures for the rescued animal; they are put in without a cage or any restraining measures. Witnesses also say the vans lack air conditioning when transported in summer, when they may spend prolonged periods inside the vehicle, depending on the route.

- The animals' owners have complained on many occasions that they are not advised that their animal has been picked up even though its Pet identification Register (RIAC) data is up to date, and even despite calling to ask if their animal is there, meaning that the animal is left there for several days, in some cases falling ill and dying after being collected, due to the contagion picked up there

 

Currently, this centre, by virtue of the contracts awarded to MS MARIA DOLORES ROJAS FOLLANA, ID no. 50530008C, provides service to the following town councils: Brunete, Pozuelo de Alarcón, Boadilla del Monte, Villaviciosa de Odon and Villanueva del Pardillo. For private customers, the centre uses the following names: Albergue San Antón, Mister Can, and Albergue San Martin.

 


Please sign this petition so that all the centre's activities are investigated and the necessary measures are taken



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