A BRITISH expat accused of mistreating animals has opened another refuge after dodging a court date over animal abuse, it can be revealed.
Kim Halliwell, who was the subject of a police investigation in Mijas in 2016, has now taken over Pepi’s Refugio, in Pedrera, Sevilla.
It is her third animal rescue centre in five years, and supporters claim she took it over in October.
Her arrival came after supporters of Pepi’s discovered dogs were increasingly malnourished and ‘starving’.
One source claims that dogs who had been rehomed to the UK arrived ‘looking like skeletons’, before Kim had even taken over.
“They were seriously malnourished and some had severe diarrhoea,” the source, who asked to remain anonymous, told the Olive Press.
“One puppy and its mother were covered in dozens of tics, it’s just awful.
“On one occasion the driver who was transporting the dogs to the UK was reluctant to take them.
“He only did it as a favour.”
But Jane Brian, who founded Pepi’s refuge 14 years ago and now rents it to Halliwell, insisted the claims are untrue and that Kim is doing a ‘fantastic job’.
“No one understands the struggles of running a rescue shelter,” she said. “Kim is doing a fantastic job.”
She claimed that police from SEPRONA visited last week and checked all her papers and everything was fine. SEPRONA have yet to comment.
“I had heard the rumours about Kim but that is just a group of people who have made it their life’s ambition to stop her having a dog shelter,” she added.
One of these, expat Jacqui Ross, claims she was ordered to appear in court last year to face charges of animal abuse following denuncias against her Almeria refuge.
The Brit, from Birmingham, who runs the One Last Chance sanctuary in Malaga, confirmed she had tried to shut down her Almeria and Mijas centres for five years.
“I’ve given up, nothing seems to get done,” she said, “I saw first hand how dogs were starving, living in squalor and cramped conditions, it’s a real shame.”
Fellow refuge boss, expat Mary Page, 72, who runs respected ADANA dog sanctuary in Estepona, was stunned by the news.
“She is not to be trusted and gives all of us who are actually dedicated to rehoming and caring for abandoned animals a bad name,” she said.
Halliwell did not get back to the Olive Press before going to print.