More Than 1700 Cats And Dogs Have Been Illegally Killed In An SPA Shelter


On Wednesday, May 10, a former veterinarian from the SPA (equivalent of the RSPCA in the UK) shelter in Pau, France testified in front of the French equivalent of the National Board of Veterinary Medical Examiners in Bordeaux, during an inquiry concerning the huge number of animals slaughtered in the shelter between 2010 and 2013.The verdict will be deliberated on May 17.


 Source: Animal Cross

The inquiry was opened following a complaint from the animal protection organization, Animal Cross. Benoît Thomé, president of the association, explained to the French newspaperLe Monde:

Between 2010 and 2013, more than 1700 adult animals were killed by the SPA in Pau. In 2012 and 2013, the years for which we have the most data, half of these animals were put down before the mandated ten-day waiting period. The SPA, which should have been giving animals a second chance in life, instead did the exact oposite.

Tipped off by employees at the shelter, Animal Cross immediately intervened armed with a bailiff and three police officers in March 2014 to take photos and collect documents for evidence. Sadly, during their visit, they also discovered the bodies of fifteen animals in plastic bags piled on top of each other in a refrigerator.


Source: Animal Cross

Unfortunately, this first complaint didn't gain much traction until June 2016, when one of the healthcare specialists at the shelter was reprimanded for his actions. This time around, the association was able to recover new documents, including the entry and exit dates of animals held by the SPA.In only one year, more than 400 cats and dogs were killed, around 30% of the 1350 admitted. However, during this period the shelter was only at 'partial capacity' meaning that there were many empty kennels, says a state report. Moreover, nearly 56% of these animals were put down before the required ten-day period as required by countryside legislation:


Source: Animal Cross

Not only have the healthcare professionals at the shelter been accused of killing numerous animals over the course of three years, they have also been charged with the use of the 'ether' to euthanize kittens and puppies, a substance which is strictly forbidden. Several former employees have testified:

When there were no veterinarians on site, animals would be placed in bin bags to be asphyxiated with ether. 

However, this method, in addition to being cruel, is not at all foolproof. In their report, the association explains:

[...] If the animals didn't die from asphyxiation, they would wake up in refrigerators where they would then die of cold. These measures were used by carers and are reprehensible as illegal veterinary impractice. 

Source: Animal Cross

The charter for the national confederation of SPA shelters in France(CNSPA) only authorizes euthanasia in the case of incurable disease or injury. However, the events that occurred at SPA Pau are not an isolated incident.In 2013, two other shelters inLot-et-Garonne andHaute-Garonne, France, were both accused by Animal Cross for having euthanized a shocking number of animals.Animal Cross has launched an online petition calling for justice for the animals killed in the SPA Pau shelter. To add your voice to the cause, click here.Watch the Animal Cross video below (in French):[embed][/embed]

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