British couple arrested in Spain after trying to rescue abused donkey

© The Dog You Need charity
Recuperating at The Dog You Need charity.

A BRITISH couple, who run a small dedicated charity devoted to rescuing abused animals across Europe, have been arrested and charged in Pinoso, Alicante after trying to save a severely injured and neglected donkey. 

Peter Singh was alerted to the plight of a donkey standing in a field with two others by his wife Jean and her friend in nearby Fortuna. She was blind in one eye, had a hoof like a tennis ball, was severely malnourished, described as ‘skin and bones’ by Peter, and was also pregnant. 

He told the Euro Weekly News that, although his modus operandi perhaps could have been different, sometimes a man has to think on his feet and go for it. 


The following day he returned to the site with his wife and, with no lock on the gate, boldly went inside to rescue the distressed animal with the intention of driving back towards Pinoso to provide her with urgent medical attention. 

As they returned, however, they were flagged down by a Local Police car, seemingly alerted to their strategy and a bitter argument ensued. 

Peter, who does speak Spanish but not quite to the extent of understanding rapid aggressive shouting, told the EWN that he was subjected to a racist tirade from the officer, who had actually stopped him without cause several months ago as he transported a family of dogs. 

The policeman reportedly told Peter to go back to England and rescue animals there, while behaving in a highly aggressive and unprofessional manner. 

Along with his wife, Peter was then detained for three hours while charges were drawn up for stealing the donkey. The two are now awaiting a court date.

The pregnant donkey meanwhile was taken to a local stable, which was in terrible condition and overflowing with horse excrement. Peter fully expects that she will soon be returned to the owner, where it can only be assumed her neglectful treatment will continue.

The story is evidently troubling for many involved in caring for animals across both Spain and the UK, and will be of huge concern for the millions who support such causes worldwide. 

You can find out more about the situation by visiting Peter and Jean’s charity online, which is named The Dog You Need and can be found at while Peter’s Facebook page on  has all the latest updates. 


  1. i live in France and see a lot of cruelty to animals. I believe a law has been passed where animals are now classed as Sentinent beings, in ither words, not like a piece of furniture that you can do what you like with. Peter Singh and his wife do an amazing job with limited resources, and how on earth this poor animal could have been left in such a pitiful state, only then to be out into a stinking cage, whilst injured, neglected and pregnant is beyond me. One can only hope the local Mayor has some humanity in him, and drop this ridiculous charge, and never return this donkey to his so called owner, who, I understand, has two others in similar pitiful conditiions.

  2. Shocking treatment of this wonderful couple who run their charity single-handedly helping animals abused by Spanish people!
    We are disgusted at the treatment of them and also the treatment of the abused donkey!
    The owners are the criminals here- I hope the donkey gets urgent medical attention and owners brought to justice! Probably not as you lot don’t give a shit about your animals!

  3. This is awful, Peter and Jean are working tirelessly looking after severely abused animals, they are a asset to their community. It is disgraceful that a police officer should treat them in such an aggressive manner.
    These charges should be dropped immediately, the local authorities should be working with this charity for the good of all concerned not against them.

  4. It is a clear case of abuse and neglect of this donkey and the poor animal should be brought to a veterinary practice immediately for treatment, which is what Peter Singh was in the middle of doing. And then to be insulted by local police and the donkey put in a place that is filthy with horse manure is unbelievable.The charges against Peter should be dropped immediately. The donkey needs help and care. Remember the world will see what is going on. Not a good advertisement for Spain I’m sorry to say.

  5. Absolutely ridiculous, the police man should be sacked and put out to graze. Peter and Jean are the most amazing people, the love, care, dedication and commitment that they give to each and every animal they rescue is commendable, shame on you!

  6. Absolutely outrageous treatment of Peter and inhumane treatment of the animals on that land. We have to keep challenging their ways to make a difference.

  7. This is just disgraceful. Peter & his wife were just trying to rescue a neglected animal and take it to the vet for medical attention. Sounds to me like the policeman in question should be arrested for harrassment. I have NEVER heard anything so disgraceful in my life. All I have to say is WELL DONE PETER – KEEP UP THE GREAT WORK YOU ARE DOING. YOU HAVE THE BACKING OF LOADS OF PEOPLE. Spain…… should be totally ashamed of yourself!

  8. I have shared this story far and wide on social media, British News papers and ITV/BBC news sites and more. This is despicable treatment by the Spanish police and the owner who reported the couple. They only had the best interests of this poor animal at heart. This is bad publicity for Spain and the authorities – shame on you!

  9. I have worked with several Spanish charities while I lived in Spain, and yes, there are some terrible prejudices towards the english, often in the smaller hamlets, who don’t want us there! However, all the charities have a very hard time doing what they do, and Peter and Jean are truly amazing in what they do, but there are some very sad, sadistic people out there, police included, who like to push people around, using their position to intimidate and wear down those that only have the best interests of the animals in their hearts!

  10. Who has done anything about setting up a petition to the Mayor or the Police or whoever, there are thousands that will sign. Racism has no place in the world. The Police Officer obviously has a grudge against foreigners and especially Peter. Time to act.
    I am elderly and do not know how to set one up there must be someone who can.

  11. Peter and Jean Singh are hard-working, honest, caring people who do all they can for abused and abandoned animals in Spain. Animal abuse is enormous in Spain, on a par with any 3rd world country and the fact that Spain is in Europe it is disgraceful. Peter and Jean try to allieviate that suffering with no thought to themselves. Shame on you Spain, shame on your authorities and Police Pinoso.

  12. I’m sharing this far & wide and call on the Mayor of Pinoso to step in and show his people that it is wrong to treat animals or charitable people this way. I am so ashamed of the Spanish police. This couple help animals abused by SPANISH people and they do it all in their own. To arrest them and not the owner is ridiculous. What an awful advertisement for Spain 🙁

  13. Awful advertisement for Spain. How can any Mayor allow his policemen to treat people this way? How can he stand by and agree with the abuse of defenceless animals? This is a British couple rescuing animals abused by the Spanish and now the whole world will know Spain’s lack of compassion and decency. I’m ashamed of this country. It needs to come out of the dark ages and set a good example or doesn’t belong as part Europe.

  14. Everything that has been said above is the truth. This lovely couple of people go to extreme efforts to save any animal in dire need.
    The police should be arresting the owners of the donkeys and not harassing this wonderful charity.
    Please throw these charges out there ridiculous

  15. Absolutely disgraceful, maybe they shouldn’t have just taken the donkey but knowing how long getting paperwork would take the poor thing would be in a worse state, you would think the owner would be pleased to get the animal looked at without cost to them, it doesn’t seem like they want it after all. What else annoys me about these places is how much would it cost them to deal with all these animals that charities like these do, how much money do they spend locally, how many jobs does it bring to locals too?! If they all decided to pull out then where would you be, if we all decided to bugger off back to england and everyone go on holiday elsewhere, then where would you be, you don’t want us there but quite happy to take our money. You should be grateful these people even bother, you benefit a hell of a lot. Shame on you.

  16. It is very difficult to find the words to express my anger at the way these 2 amazing people have been treated.
    They have dedicated more than 3 years of their lives to Rescuing and rehabilitating severely abused animals with no financial gain whatsoever. One example are two German shepherds who were sexually abused for years. Yes… sexually abused!!!. Two dogs that were the most pitiful sight you would ever have seen. The rehabilitation of these dogs is slow given their horrific experience but with the love and dedication of Peter and Jean there is light at the end of the tunnel for Bonnie and Clyde.
    The Spanish want them gone for their presence shows them up for the heartless people that they are, who neglect and throw away like rubbish animals they don’t want or have no use for anymore. I beg you all who have a heart to stand by and support in anyway you can this worthwhile animal charity

  17. If this isn’t discrimination I don’t know what is. Its a crime in Spain to cause harm or mistreated of animals why has this law not been implemented to the owner? I suggest re read the law in Spain and start doing what they have been paid for. This man deserves a medal for helping this poor donkey not being put in jail. Its a disgrace and he should be let off of the court proceedings. And the owner summoned.

  18. They have just suffered similar treatment to me. I had my hiome searched ( illegally I might add) and spent 5 hours in the Guardia Civil station for rescuing a neglected dog about a year and a half ago . I got fined and have a suspended jail sentence . There has been a lot of publicity lately about how much better animals will be treated in the future and how Seprona are stepping up to the plate — I have yet to witness this but one lives in hope! So sorry Peter and Jean that this has happened to you as well x

  19. These charges must be dropped immediately! This couple devote their life’s helping very badly abused animals, without people like these God knows what would happen to these poor defenceless animals, I am absolutely gob smacked at the police in this case,
    Please instead of arresting them HELP them carry on with the fabulous work they do
    Thank you
    Karen coupe UK

  20. Disturbing treatment towards Peter and Jean in their attempt to rescue this donkey. However, legally they’ve taken the animal without consent. Even the RSPCA are not legally allowed to enter private property and confiscate animals. Hopefully their good intentions will be made aware to local authorities and charges will be dropped. If there is an issue with the Local Police officer this has to be denounced. It is vital that the Singhs continue their marvelous work – but at all times in compliance to the law.

  21. Spain are just behind China with their disrespect towards animals. I fully support the help intended for this poor donkey and if there is any justice in this sad world Peter and his wife will be left alone to continue their good work at saving do many abused animals.

  22. Update: Peter has paid 2,000 euros to the owner of the Donkeys (there are three of them) for the owner to drop the charges and hand the Donkeys over to his charity. If anyone would like to donate to this small, but important charity, the details are (taken from Peter’s Facebook page): Charity registration number 1157175. Paypal account [email protected] or to their charity account Nat West, sort code 60 -16 – 03, account number 73754900. Anyone wanting to pay into their Spanish account, the details are Cajamurcia. IBAN account number 9007006467. – ES42 0487 0485 7290 0700 6467. BIC – GBMNESMMXXX. All money donated goes direct to the care of the animals (they take no wages). Thank you.

  23. Another update: even though the owner of the Donkeys has dropped the charges against Peter, apparently the judge could still decide to take him to court. Well bring it on, more bad publicity for Spain and the authorities. It just gets better!

  24. A very sad situation for the couple and for the donkey. Maybe for future cases like this, the couple would be wise to work in conjunction with one of the local Spanish animal charities, of which there are many these days. They could advise them of the best way of going about it without getting themselves into trouble. Hopefully, all of the publicity will bring an end to all of this. Has anyone, in the meantime, considered bringing a denuncia against the owner of the donkeys? If no one on here has or wants to, maybe getting a Spanish animal charity involved is the way to go. They will know the law and won’t be afraid to face up to the police. Sadly, animal cruelty is a worldwide problem. Here in the UK, right now,there ia a petition to increase the pathetic suspended sentence in the case of the two psychopath brothers that threw the young bulldog down the stairs repeatedly, then stomped & stood on it, kicked it & generally tortured the poor dog, (their own family pet) and filmed themselves doing it. Spain does not have a monopoly on animal cruelty, plenty of it happening daily here in the UK.

  25. This is utterly disgusting !!! This man who is devoted to animals was trying to get the donkey that was ABUSED and ILL TREATED and PREGNANT to a vet for treatment . This makes my blood boil that the major of ponosa can condone such cruelty to animals and treat a man is this way . SORT your policeman out and be thankful you have a caring guy like peter who’s taking these neglected animals in and giving them a start in life .DAM RIGHT DISGUSTING .

  26. Alexandre Dumas a very well educated and travelled man of the day said in 1840 quote; That he now believed that Africa started south of the Pyrenees.
    Question….So what has changed in the last 176 years??

  27. Have heard that to drop the charges Peter and his wife have had to pay €2000. Apparently €500 a donkey including €500 for the unborn donkey. This is totally rediculous!! Surely the abusive owner of the donkeys should be fined and the money go to the care of the three donkeys and the unborn donkey!!

  28. That’s one reason I don’t go on holiday to Southern Europe like Spain etc. I know the cruelty towards animals goes on but I can’t bear to witness it.

  29. [quote]I have been trying to find the address of the Mayor of Pinoso to write a comment direct to him…This is appalling and well done to the person who has spread this far and wide in England…Is there a petition anywhere to sign?[/quote]
    He is on facebook…..peter has him as a friend……i have written to him via fb…..please do all you can

  30. Clearly the police officer involved has a gridge against Peter, probably because Peter isn’t prepared to give the “officer” bribes to leave them alone. Why we have contries with such poor animal cruelty records into the EU never ceases to amaze me. I understand now that the cruel owner has insisrted that Peter pays several thousand euros for the 3 donkeys (some of which is probably going to the policeman) just so that the cruel owner will drop the charges. However, the judge may still procecute! What a horrid country with total disrespect for those who are trying to drag them out of the dark ages. I would strongly advise everyone to avoid spain as they surely don’t deserve our tourist money if they are going to treat thier animals and our citizens like this!!

  31. Unfortunately PETA only cares about really high profile cases in my experience. This is a sad case and I do hope some animal advocates will help. I recommend to setup a petition and take it from there. Although Spain is a great country for vacations — there is an awful lot of animal cruelty going on.

  32. This is an EU country in the 21st Century. Animal cru cruelty and neglect should not go unpunished. It just appears that the abuser goes unpunished while the carers of these poor neglected donkeys I turn are being abused by the authorities!! This would not happen in a civilised country!!!!!

  33. The old Donkey in this story is now 15 months later in the care of Murcia hospital expecting twins!… So this story of the poor unfortunate British couple is a joke…… They let her get pregnant in their care and the sad thing is she may not survive the birth. They only paid for the donkeys to avoid a denouncia in the first place.

  34. This donkey wasn’t pregnant. Her ailments were never treated although donations were asked and received. While in the ‘care’ of the Singhs did in fact get pregnant. She has now been signed over to responsible people and is at an equine hospital awaiting her twin foals and hopefully subsequent surgery on the hoof problem.


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