27 Nov, 2014 @ 09:00
1 min read

Expat arrested for freeing abused dog near Alora

EXCLUSIVE: By Tom Powell

AN Irish expat has been arrested for stealing a dog that had been ‘chained up’ and ‘living off stale bread’ for two years.

Animal-lover Pat Waterhouse, 65, cut the heavy chain around the boxer in order to take it to her home near Alora, where she looks after more than 50 dogs.

However, CCTV footage gave her away to the dog’s owner and no less than FIVE Guardia Civil officers were soon on her doorstep.

Despite protests, the following day she was hauled into the police station for a five-hour grilling.

She is now facing trial for ‘violent robbery’, which will likely result in a fine according to the lawyer.

“I broke the law – the fact that I think the law is wrong is irrelevant – so I will accept whatever punishment is dished out,” she told the Olive Press this week.

“But the dog was guarding an empty house and living off steal bread if and when the owner decided to visit. It needed to be freed.

“As it was such a ‘major’ crime it took three Guardia officers and two representing the Guardia’s environmental arm Seprona to interrogate me – talk about using a sledgehammer to crack a nut.”

Waterhouse has also been issued orders from Seprona to reduce the number of animals at her home and get necessary licences.

She has used the incident to promote the work of Actin-Spain, an organisation fighting to get laws concerning animal welfare changed.

“The best thing to do is take pictures, record incidents and keep reporting to Seprona and local police,” added Waterhouse.

Guardia Civil confirmed to the Olive Press that Waterhouse was arrested for the theft of a dog, and faces criminal trial.

Tom Powell

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  1. The Guardia Civil are a pathetic. Five men to arrest one 65 year old woman? And on top of this she had taken the dog to protect it from its brainless, sadistic owners who are treating it like s£1t…

    Spain is not worth any non-Spanish persons time anymore. If you are not Spanish you will be fined and taxed till you have nothing left. I’m leaving, and I will tell everyone I meet in the future to not touch this god-forsaken country with a bargepole.

  2. You have to be good at turning a blind eye to animal abuse in Spain. There are lots of dogs left in weekend homes in the countryside and they come to feed them when they feel like it. Disgraceful. Sadly I bet the poor boxer dog has been returned to the cruel owner.

  3. Pat Waterhouse, you have my respect…..if all would act like that. maeby somethings would change…but i am afraid here in Spain, most people don t give a sh*** about animals, as they don T give a sh** about fellow humans…

  4. Pat Waterhouse, total respect to you for what you did as a human act of kindness, please make sure you also denounce the dog’s Owner for mal treatment of the dog and please make sure your case gets to as many Reporters, TV as can be as believe it or not there is actually a fast growing concern from Spanish Citizens too on this cruelty to animals still apparent in Spain, Viva Pat Waterhouse!

  5. Disgusting. That woman was acting out of kindness towards that poor dog who was not being looked after properly so what do they do, they send five Guardia Civil officers to arrest her and question her for five hours. When the house next door to our place in Spain was burgled, my partner had to virtually beg the police to come and inspect the house so that our neighbours could get a crime number for their insurance. Nothing they do makes any sense.

    In the UK, the RSPCA would have prosecuted this owner and banned him from having another dog and quite right too.

    Yet another thing that is horribly wrong with Spain and Tim, I know how you feel, the way they behave is completely alien and it drives people away.

  6. Well done Pat . What a country , you buy a property in good faith only to find out its illegal after using a crooked abogado , every official involved always get off scott free . Show a bit of humanity towards an animal and you end up in a criminal court .

  7. Instead of arresting the ‘owner’ of the dog, for animal abuse, they arrest a woman wanting to help the dog. Disgusting, I live in Alora, have 6 dogs, all of them spanish ‘throwaway’ dogs. The problem is huge, Seprona and the other uniformed pricks should act against their countrymen for neglect of animals.

    Shame on the uniformed protectors of animal abusers, they lost my respect completely!!

  8. Well done Pat. This is absolutely unbelievable. I am back in the UK now, but when I lived in Spain two men tried to steal my neighbour’s car and held a knife to her throat. She phoned the Guardia Civil immediately and they told her to go into the police station in Fuengirola the next day to make a denuncia. They were not in the least interested. This case shows everything that is wrong with Spain. Many of my spanish friends are true animal lovers, and they need to make their voices heard. I just hope the authorities see sense and drop the case against this lovely lady, who does so much for the animals.

  9. Come on Spaniards stop being cowards when it comes to animal welfare it’s not macho to abuse or abandon dogs , get out of this 16th century attitude you have to so many things.l have lots of Spanish friends who are pissed of with this attitude but won’t speak up why , and as for the guardia what a bunch of w….kers .

  10. I’ll chip in to bail her out. Some ‘crimes’ are worth the punishment. Here in the States, we have laws protecting dogs and other animals in such circumstances. They obviously could use one there, as well. Go Pat!

  11. I think it is disgraceful that the owner can get away with abuse to animal. I would have done the same as that lady need more poeple who care so much for these animals. I bet the poor dog has gone back to the owner

  12. How sad that the dog was saved & that it wasn’t forever. Why aren’t there laws protecting animals? Obviously, they don’t care. A dog living on bread & chained. That is animal abuse big time!

  13. I would of done the same thing and would of taken the dog to my house to get some love and get fed and etc and talk to the dog owner about releasing the dog to me pat you did the right thing helping the dog. What is needed a petition to change the laws ok good luck pat and we are all behind you on this ok love, pam anyone in the area where it wasz contact the animal society and talk to them about getting the laws change to protect the animals from abuse ok

  14. spanish laws do not protect animals they are curl & inhumane. Pat did the right thing you are an angel. Thank you for saving the starving neglected dog. Please keep it with you & do not return it as it will continue to suffer. Please expose this to the world especially to pro animals activists/rights groups…animals are treated brutally inhumanely in Spain it is disgusting & criminal the extent to suffering dogs & other animals must endure. God Bless You Pat keep on fighting for innocent suffering dogs they need you.

  15. I lived and worked in Spain from 2002 to 2012. I left because I could no longer tolerate the dreadful animal abuse, both institutionalised and just appalling neglect. The added corruption and inept government were the final straw.

    I empathise with Pat and wish her well. It’s a truly ridiculous situation in a European country.

    I just hope common sense prevails but…this is doubtful….this is Spain.

  16. So clearly we know what the owners were doing… Now to help…….. Repost, share to activists all over the world! This shit is still going on all over the USA as well!! Google activists, news papers, tv anything you can think of and send the story. Also start a petition with the story for this woman! A few hundred thousand signatures just may help put them on the map!!!!

  17. to Jane in the Uk you can do whatever floats your boat , if you re residing here , and dont like it here , once again i repeat , get yourself a plane ticket and fly off
    by the way do you hold a NIE numero de identificacion de extranjero or do you want me to probe into this ?
    you must have one and pay a tax , the fact fact that you come from a EU country dont exempt you from it

  18. to Cristopher Alexander yes there in the states you have still the death penalty in force , talk about human rights , you moron, by the way what are the sheduled executions for 2015?

  19. bert, you clearly have one hell of a chip on your shoulder and I have very obviously struck a raw nerve. Probe away to your heart’s desire, I have nothing to hide. Methinks thou protesteth too much, I wonder what you have to hide?

  20. Spain is hopeless economically because of wanton injustice and flagrantly committing evil. The cruelty meted out on the innocent creatures is appalling. The law in Spain does not protect the welfare of the country’s voiceless and defenceless. The law just want to punish those who wants to stand up for those who can’t defend themselves.
    Spainis so full of pickpocketer who steals from tourist that pickpocketing is the main industry there. They will not arrest these real criminals because they are too lazy and too coward. They rather bully the weaker gender. Shame!
    Seriously Spain, do you need to send five cops to arrest one woman who wants to help abused, tortured and neglected dogs? Are you that blind? Spain’s image continues to go down the drain. Gone are the days of glory. You are just churning up more and more bad publicity that just proves you are becoming a 3rd world nation and one of the poorest in EU.
    By arresting Ms.Pat Waterhouse and slapping a fine on her for doing the right thing shows you are as low down as you will get. Your country’s national debt will spiral upward as your image plunge further and further into the sewage.

  21. Bert abusing animals and the death penalty have nothing in common. The death penalty applies to a criminal who has been convicted in a Court of Law for a terrible crime. Animal abuse is against and innocent animal who has done nothing wrong.

  22. This world is terrible to animals anymore to bad it wouldn’t turn on the human race…..get a taste of what people abuse them….. but there are beautiful people out there to help ….and here is a fine example of a person’s love for them….there should be laws about an animal being left to die when there’s help..

  23. @ bert – I’m residing here in Spain and I definitely don’t like it. I would love to be able to leave but unfortunately my house, like so many others, is now virtually worthless. I cannot afford to leave so, again like so many others, I am trapped here. And yes, I do have an NIE number and yes, I do pay all my taxes – and bills (unlike many of my Spanish neighbours!). Pat Waterhouse has my utmost respect and admiration. Pity I cannot say the same for the Spanish scum who think it’s ok to mistreat defenceless animals. But then cowards always attack those weaker than themselves.

  24. A typical example of Spanish racism. If it had been a Spaniard feeling sorry for a dog being ill-treated by its English owner, guess who the five Guardia Civil ‘officers’ would have arrested?

  25. A prime example of what is wrong with our society. Law enforcement officials ignore animal cruelty and accept it as okay behavior, and yet when someone tries to help an animal, they are oh so quick to punish THAT person. This is a real problem, and the only way we are going to fix it is to force our lawmakers to pass harsher laws to punish animal cruelty, and to force law enforcement to do their job and punish ALL criminals, not just ones they think deserve it. Leave this woman alone and go after the real monster here – the owner who neglected their dog – now THAT is a crime!

  26. btw, Antonio. your comment is nonsense. Every day there is some story about how Spain tolerates substandard treatment toward animals. I mean, come on, you guys believe bullfighting is entertainment, for crying out loud! You’re as bad as China, and while yes, animals are mistreated worldwide, this was NOT the way to handle this situation.

  27. Bert i agree with you why doesnt the britts go home to there iland and take the beasts with them. Because that would mean that I can sitt in my garden in pease and that one can sleep in the night without being disturbed in the nights of these lice bags howling.

  28. I agree with the above comments. I myself, would have done the same thing to free the dogs. I am an animal lover and it saddens me with the people who do not care for animals as they would their own child. These animals didn’t have a choice to be with the demons who took them in. People like pat and myself will do what we can to give these furbabiea a chance in life like they deserve. I prey for this to turn out well and the law sees what truly is the offense which is simply the ‘owners’ that kept them chained up in steal bread for 2 yrs. If someone did that to and child that would be child endangerment. Same thing here, animal endangerment.

  29. Diana, somehow you misread my comment, it seems straightforward to me, but I intended it to read that the Guardia would have arrested the English (sorry, Irish) woman anyway, whoever had removed the dog.

  30. PAT, you say ‘Pity I cannot say the same for the Spanish scum who think it’s ok to mistreat defenceless animals.’

    What about if there was a similar blog in the uk and you said ‘English scum’

    Choose your words better and stop being so disrespectful.

  31. @ Derek – I said “Spanish scum” because in this case it WAS Spanish scum. There have also been numerous other cases publicised involving Spanish scum. Had a similar incident occurred in the UK I would have said “English/Scottish/Welsh/Irish scum” but I will not say “English (or the appropriate nationality) scum” when the subject in this case is Spanish. Perhaps you should choose your words better, since not everyone in the UK is English. Accordingly I have chosen my words correctly. If I am being disrespectful to the Spanish scum involved, then I do NOT apologise.

    Incidentally, nobody except me seems to have mentioned anything about microchip, rabies jabs, etc., which I believe are mandatory in Spain for all dogs, cats and ferrets. Did the dog in question have these? And if it wasn’t chipped how can the “owner” prove ownership? Admittedly the animal was on the “owner’s” land, but if he can’t prove ownership then surely this woman can’t have robbed him of the animal, violently or otherwise! If he can prove ownership by some other means, but failed to ensure the dog had the mandatory chip, etc., then surely he himself is guilty of at least more than one offence? Or perhaps the law – as so often seems the case – doesn’t apply to the Spanish!

  32. It’s the oldest one in the book, if all else fails and you are losing the argument, cry “racist” or “moaner” in an effort to divert attention away from the real issues. Interesting that no mention was made of the disgusting way the dog was treated.

    Pat, well said and good point, was the dog microchipped? I hope Pat Waterhouse’s lawyer is on to this because if the dog did not have all the right paperwork and up to date vacinations, it could make a big difference to the outcome of this case.

  33. TO GRACE TANG , now the spanish economy is growing faster than france.,s italy,s or germany,s even it this rankles with you and yours BUT YOUR ANTISPANISHNESS blinds you

  34. to JANE simply I dont like foreigners poking their noses into bussiness that dont concern them at all
    Firstly all these british historian recommending to convert the valley of the fallen , secondly all thses residents that complain about evrything because what they see doesnt fit into their frame of mind, DO WE TELL YOU WHAT TO DO WITH THAT DWARFISH BIG BENG aka little beng ? no we dont
    then what right have tese british hispanist to recommend¿

    AND I REITERATE THAT calling members of the security forces names like pricks ( nol van saik) can be consider calumny or defamation with publicity . articulo 505 del codigo pena ley organica 1995 ( PENAL CODE ) translated for those residednt that havent even taken the trouble to learn some SpanOn the other hand , we will see, if it is tru that 5 civil guards put her under logical arrest or this is an overstatemen , then it is possible to add defamation to calumny contemplated in the penal code

  35. yes , brits are always in the right , they have a monopoly on reason and always know best
    and if they see something they dislike , they will start grumbling about it as if they were in their own yard

    ONE PIECE OF ADVICE , do no mess with the guardia civil , , you know what happend to that guy from gibraltar last year , ? he got busted for calumny
    you are just like the the hunchbacked thatnever sees his own hump but his neighbor,s

  36. do one Stefanjo & Fred – pathetic replies.

    Pat, if this happened and you said English scum in England, do you really think that sounds ok?

    Join the ‘right’ gang anyhow on here.

    Sorry if any Spanish people are reading this.

  37. There’s definitely an underlying feeling of bitterness/hatred towards Spain on this blog.

    and why on earth would you post predominantly negative comments often on here, whilst living PERMANENTLY in the uk? (or is it back in the uk)

    Is this to TRY and make people enjoying Spanish life feel bad in some way? Pointing out problems only. Not hard to do with any country. Especially the UKIP!

    Real twisted stuff.


    HAVE COURAGE! CONTINUE YOUR WORK! Those, whether in Spain or outside of Spain, who are rational and compassionate will understand your work! The world needs more people like you! THANK YOU! WE LOVE YOU! WE SUPPORT YOU!


  39. to DEREK I completely agree with you . Thre is a kind of animadversion or hostility toward everything that smacks of Spain here , and this is quite clear to anyone who have read a few posts, Tht is why I try to throw darts too.

    this antispanishness on this chat is more than self evident and what is really funny is that some of those posting these mssage have the cheek to live here and an slam into evrything , for xample the guy called tim states that if you are not spanish you are fined and taxes , as if spaniards were not fined when they break the law and didn,t pay any tax, THIS IS A LIE IN A DISGUISE OF HATRED AND ANIMADVERSION, IF THIS tim AND others came over to a country that they strongly dislike . then what the heck decided tthem to do so?
    Is it that they were invited , no they were not , what is the point of living in a place that you dont like with people that dont probably like you , are then into BDSM?

  40. I am from Gibraltar, and have to put up with the results of Spanish ‘neighbourly’ actions every day. My Grandmother was actually Spanish, and I am totally ashamed of this fact. No, I don’t live in Spain, but I am one of many unfortunate foreigners to have bought a house in this excrement of a country.

  41. The Spanish along with many other Countries view dogs as a bark alarm, some let them roam free of a night for any intruders. A higher percentage of dogs in Spain are not treated as they would be in the UK. Having said that, if you do not like to see animals in general not being treated well them do not move to Spain as you will see it every day in most places.

    One more thing, more than 50 dogs at your home, NEIGHBOUR FROM HELL, sorry but sort your life out and stop stealing dogs.

  42. to REAP you dont see dogs an other pets mistreated in the big cities , do nnot lie betwen your teeth
    and that lady should report that situation to the proper authority

  43. Spain is not the only nation well-known for animal cruelty, I have seen similar treatment in France. It appears to be an endemic cultural problem which no doubt will evaporate with time and mixing of nationalities. I have seen young boys kicking dogs for absolutely no reason, proof that it is a learned behavior from their parents, etc.
    The saddest story I was told a few years ago was a close neighbour who asked his Spanish neighbour repeatedly to feed his dog and stop beating it. They awoke one morning to find that dog hanging by its neck on their gates.
    I have a theory that severe cruelty to defenceless animals might extend to humans in the right circumstances. I would personally not trust an animal-beater with my kids. Unfortunately, the reverse is not necessarily true, Hitler had a dog!!

  44. “La crueldad hacia los animales es uno de los vicious mas notorios de los pueblos bajos e incultos.
    Donde quiera que se encuentra,constituye un signo de ignorancia y brutalidad que no puede ser ocultado por toda la evidencia de riqueza o lujo.” Alexander Von Humboldt.
    I hope this ridiculous case will show the rest of the World what is happening in 3rd World Spain, in some of the villages the cruelty is horrendous and many people, including the Spanish nationals are too scared to speak out.
    Please keep sharing this and supporting Pat, is anyone able
    to start a FB page in Support of Pat, or/& a petition. Animal welfare is now an important part of life for many Spanish nationals. I did contact PACMA but I do not think they have helped, I will try Podemos Animalistas.

  45. I hate the way this article makes Pat out to be some kind of hero. I worked there for a very short period of time and the woman takes perfectly happy, healthy dogs off the street and keeps them in, what is essentially a prison. She has far too many dogs, more than she can cope with but continues to take more. She is being investigated but the SPAP (the Spanish equivalent of the RSPCA) and they are trying to shut her down and all the local residence are fed up with her. Yes, there is a problem with dogs being mistreated in Spain but the Spanish dog culture is very different. Most people have a dog, they are free to roam the streets and then they return home when they’re ready. Not all of them are being abused. You can’t just take peoples dogs!!!

  46. “Free to roam the streets” And free to crap freely too. The dogs might not be abused, but the eyesight of children is. Of course they should be taken away, but by dog wardens and if their doting owners want them back, then they should pay a penalty, plus the cost of chipping.
    The claim of “Spanish culture” is a hoary old chestnut that needs debunking.

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