EXCLUSIVE By Jon Clarke
A SPONTANEOUS protest against appalling animal cruelty in Sevilla has had a positive affect.
As well as enforcing a huge clean up of the shelter in Mairena del Aljarafe, thousands of people around the world have offered their support and some homes for the beleaguered animals.
Read the original Olive Press story… Fury over ‘atrocious’ dog treatment at shelter in Spain
“Its shows the power of the internet and media pressure,” said one Olive Press reader.
It comes after activists launched a protest outside the shelter this weekend after horrific scenes of cruelty were broadcast online.
A petition has now been set up to demand action against those responsible for leaving hundreds of dogs in pitiful conditions at the official ‘perrera’ shelter in Mairena del Aljarafe, near Sevilla.
During a short You Tube video some animals are seen close to death at the pound, next to the dead bodies of other dogs.
Meanwhile faeces is strewn across the floor and scant food is scattered around it.
The pens, each containing dozens of dogs, had clearly not been cleaned for days, if not weeks.
Some of the animals had serious open wounds, while there were signs of malnutrition and serious illness.
Dozens of angry protesters gathered outside the Protectora de Animales in Mairena del Aljarafe – described by activists as ‘the Spanish Auschwitz for animals’ – on Saturday afternoon demanding action.
Later that night activists broke into the shelter, which is funded by an estimated 11 nearby towns, and set around 200 dogs free.
The centre, which has been denounced on ‘numerous’ occasions by local animal rights groups, is run by a businessman – and reportedly a vet – Pedro Luis Fernández Castillo, who has a private kennels next door.
According to sources, the president is paid an estimated €100,000 or more each year by the different town halls for his ‘animal sanctuary’.
In 2012, Bormujos and Mairena actually withdrew their arrangement with the pound, after a string of denuncias against it for mistreatment.
However the president sued them for defamation, as he did with a former member of staff who filmed alleged mistreatment last year.
Last night, a newspaper eldiario.es reported that he was well connected with links to both the police, politicians and Sevilla’s ruling classes.
He is also said to have close links with Sevilla’s bullring.
Last night, however he agreed to allow local charities and activists to find homes for the hundreds of dogs in the shelter.
It is said to receive up to 250 dogs a month, many of them hunting dogs, with the numbers increasing as the recession has deepened.
One Olive Press reader Rena Dunne said she had adopted her dog, a Slainte, from the centre seven years ago.
“Back then it was clean with all the animals being in good condition,” she said. “I’m appalled at the deterioration since, has this to do with the crisis?
“Can a team of volunteers not be found to at least keep the place clean so that further infection is stopped?”
Another expat Michelle Rolfe, an English teacher, added: “These animals are living in horrendous and atrocious conditions and society has to be made aware of it. Something must be done to prosecute Castillo and make him pay for this.”
Activists have asked for donations from the public and anyone who can offer homes to come forward.
Further protests are being planned for the centre, as well as other ‘perreras’ including one in Olivenza, near Badajoz.
Sign the petition here: www.stopmairena.pacma.es