DENIA’S councillor for public safety has responded to claims the new municipal dog shelter will become a ‘kill station’.
Javier Scotto today told the Olive Press the claims were ‘not true’.
It comes after a Change.org petition to stop Denia dogs being ‘put to sleep after two months’ has hit more than 17,000 signatures.
The petition is based on a legal tender shown to the Olive Press, which clearly states that ‘unadopted dogs’ may be put down after ‘two months’.
“It’s not true that dogs will be freely killed after two months,” Scotto said.
“The clause allowing it exists, but there are four stages that must be cleared before any dog can be put down.
“Stages three and four are that it’s not been possible to cure a dog from an illness and that the dog cannot be cared for.
“Furthermore, a veterinary expert must approve the procedure, and I must personally sign off any documents allowing this to happen.
“In the four years I have been councillor, the possibility has been there, and I have not signed off one dog to be put down.
“What people need to understand is that putting down sick dogs is the law in the Valencian Community.
“The law applies to every single municipality.
“We have strict protocols, and nothing will happen without a very good reason.”
The controversy comes as APAD, which has been the municipal dog pound since 2012, lost out in the initial stages of a tender to Serproanimal SL when applying for a two-year contract with Denia Town Hall.
The charity’s secretary told the Olive Press the volunteer team behind the bid ‘misunderstood’ financial rules of the proposal as they were ‘not clearly specified’.
The volunteers and team of seven workers – who have a strict no-kill policy – are now set to lose €137,000 due to the mistake.
Scotto said the Town Hall was ‘greatly indebted’ to APAD’s work, as the strict protocols in the new tender ‘have never before existed’.
“Before this tender document, there were no rules to determine how rescues should work, or what vans should have inside them – there was nothing.
“APAD have helped us establish all these rules, because they created them.”
He said Serproanimal SL have until August 7 to send their final proposal to the Town Hall.
If the for-profit business, which operates in 59 municipalities in the Valencian Community, completes their proposal the Town Hall will have ‘around 15 days’ to approve or reject it.
Scotto added that he owns a cat, and once had to put down a previous old dog after it fell ill with ‘cancer’ and ‘blindness’ and would have suffered a ‘painful’ demise.
The original article ‘Dogs for Slaughter’ appeared in Olive Press Costa Blanca issue 10, published Thursday August 1.