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.


  1. 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.

  2. 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!


  4. 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?

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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!!

  8. “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.

  9. 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!!!

  10. “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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