Spanish police have arrested two men after finding 22 horses and four dogs “undernourished, sick and in a state of abandonment” on their property in Vélez-Malaga, in the southern Spanish region of Andalusia.
The suspects, aged 44 and 75, are being charged with animal abuse.
Some of the animals required “urgent veterinary care because of the seriousness of their condition,” according to a police release issued on Sunday.
There were rusty metal parts and sections of discarded barbed wire where the horses were kept
Animal rights associations and local shelters have taken charge of the abused animals.
The investigation was launched when an animal welfare group alerted the police about the state of several horses and dogs on a rural estate in El Trapiche, within the city limits of Vélez-Málaga. Subsequent veterinary reports confirmed that the animals were in a state of “defenselessness.”
A pony was put down after a vet certified that he was suffering from “an incurable wound on one of its legs that was causing continuous suffering and could not be alleviated.”
Two mares were “in critical condition,” with emaciated bodies and infected wounds on backs and legs.
All four dogs on the property were also undernourished. One bitch displayed “great difficulty walking on all four legs.” Two more were tied up and surrounded by rubbish.
No vaccines or microchips
None of the dogs on the property had been vaccinated or fitted with a microchip, as the law says owners must do within the first three months of the animal’s life. Some of the horses also lacked the mandatory microchip.
The facilities that they were kept in were “dangerous for the animals and in violation of animal welfare regulations,” according to the veterinarians. There were rusty metal parts and sections of discarded barbed wire in the part of the estate where the horses were kept, and the owners lacked the necessary license to keep the animals.
Two other dogs were recovered from the estate in January by an animal welfare group. One of them had a bleeding cut on its neck as a result of being tied up 24 hours a day, and required 30 stitches. The second dog had had both ears amputated and one of its legs was broken.
English version by Susana Urra.