PAWS, the Mojacar-based animal charity, has been forced to go on the offensive to deal with an epidemic of organised clandestine dumping of dogs near its shelter.
So far this year more than 200 dogs have been dumped in this way.
In July the position got so bad the charity had to reluctantly shut its doors to new arrivals as it could not cope with the amount of new arrivals.
In June alone it has six adult dogs and 37 puppies dumped in its vicinity. Some of the incoming dogs had the Parvo virus which was very difficult to contain as they had to be put into isolation, leading to an emergency lock-down.
“We have been sure for some time that a lot of this is the work of either a single individual or a handful of people working together,” said shelter manager Yvonne Tromp. “The dogs are fastened into similar crates using the same binding to secure them and sometimes with identical handwriting on the notes left with them,” she added.
PAWS has now been given information which points to a single identity – but there is no evidence or proof which PAWS can take to Seprona, the branch of the Guardia Civil which deals with environmental or animal welfare violations. Abandoning dogs in this fashion is illegal in Spanish law, and the Guardia will prosecute if they have proper evidence.
Now PAWS is preparing to install several small infrared cameras which could be available on loan for a few months. They are the kind normally used for filming animal life in the wild at night, and would be triggered by motion sensors. Well-camouflaged, they would not be visible during daylight to casual passers-by. Combined with a volunteer group of watchers keeping an eye out within the shelter, the organisation hopes they can finally quell the onslaught of dumped animals.
“We don’t like having to resort to these kinds of tactics,” said PAWS spokesperson Mike Dornan, “but we’ve been forced into them. We have been operating for most of the year under emergency conditions. We have been unable to serve members of the public who are trying to help animals in need. The people who behave responsibly and openly and ask us for help are being shunted to the back of the queue by unscrupulous people who hide away in the darkness. It has to stop.” He added that while the charity was no longer in emergency shut down it was often full up due to the dumping, making it very difficult to deal with people coming to its doors with animals to take in
Photo Caption: This litter of puppies, nicknamed “the Bisto kids” was among 16 dogs dumped on PAWS last week.