Animal associations in Malaga and Torremolinos on Spain’s Costa del Sol have called a demonstration for this Saturday January 18 to demand the removal of the concession for the town’s animal shelter from the jailed ‘animal protector.’
The concession for the Torremolinos premises is still held by Parque Animal even though its president, Carmen Marín, has been in prison since late 2017 for the crimes of false documentation and animal abuse. In addition, a booth that also belongs to the company continues to operate throughout the year as a bar at the fairgrounds.
The protest will start at noon at the Town Hall Square in Torremolinos, where representatives of the platform Recuperemos Parque Animal, which was founded a year ago by Resistencia Animal, Patitas en Acción and Málaga Felina will read a statement. From there, the march will continue along calle Rafael Quintana to the Plaza Costa del Sol and the central calle San Miguel to the Plaza de La Nogalera, where the document will be read again.
The idea, according to Gloria Sánchez, from Patitas en acción, is to urge the Town Hall to recover the concessions and to put the exploitation of the plot out to public tender again so that Torremolinos “has a reference animal shelter at last.”
“”We want the council to manage it and the associations would continue to do our volunteer work. We want life in Parque Animal, there have already been many deaths there,” stressed Sanchez, who added that “we are a little tired of this situation. In Torremolinos cat colonies are multiplying while Parque Animal Park an operating room that is not being used right now. Imagine what we could do if we had an operating room and a veterinarian there.”
The Town Hall says it is already working on the recovery of the land and that it respects any type of demonstration, although it will not be until this week that they announce an official position on the matter.
The municipality ceded the facilities in 1998 to Parque Animal for a period of 50 years. Then in November 2010 the director of the entity and two employees were arrested during the course of a Guardia Civil operation. They were investigating the mass slaughter of more than 2,200 animals.
A judge found the director guilty of animal abuse after hearing that the shelter administered euthanasia drugs without veterinary supervision. They also used insufficient doses, meaning many of the animals died a slow, painful death.
The company then handed over the management of the shelter to another company called Canes for eight years, a decision that was ratified by the council’s plenary session. This period will expire next year, so that the management of the shelter will revert to Animal Park, as things stand.
The Local Council for the Environment, Health and Animal Protection of Torremolinos last November agreed to start work on the future Animal Health Park in the municipality. Thus, several options are being considered for the collection, guardianship and veterinary care of stray and abandoned animals, such as direct management from the Town Council, through an external company or a mixed management.