Activists laud jail term over pet shelter exterminations

Pet shelter owner Carmen Marín (left) on trial with shelter employee Felipe Barco. Photo: Daniel Pérez / EFE via El País
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• More than 2,000 healthy dogs, cats died agonizing deaths to cut costs
• Jail sentence first of its kind under Spain’s laws against cruelty to animals

Animal rights activists in Spain have cheered the jail sentence given to the owner of an animal shelter in the Andalusian resort town of Torremolinos after a court found that more than 2,000 pets put to sleep by her shelter suffered cruel and lingering deaths because insufficiently strong levels of the chemical Dolethal used in the extermination process in order to minimize costs.

Carmen Marín, president of the Parque Animal shelter in Torremolinos was sentenced Friday to three years and nine months in jail on charges of animal abuse and false testimony related to charges of having sacrificed more than 2,000 healthy cats and dogs without the legally required supervision of a veterinarian and with full knowledge of the suffering being inflicted on the animals. Marin was also fined 24,200 euros to cover damages owed to associates of the shelter, as well as a veterinarian she fired in order to conceal the illegal extermination of the animals.

The sentence marks the first of its kind under Spain’s laws against animal cruelty and was applauded by activists of the Spanish animal-rights NGO El Refugio, which filed the complaint against Marín and Parque Animal after learning of the illegal and cruel animal extermination practices going on at the shelter.

According to court records, Marin ordered the deaths of the otherwise healthy animals for no other reason than that they had been held at the shelter for more than 10 years without being able to find them new owners. To save money in the extermination process, Marin was found to have used insufficient levels of chemicals in order to keep costs down, thereby causing cruel and inhumane suffering to the animals put to death.

► Read More in Spanish at La Opinion de Malaga, El Mundo and El País…

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