Shocking cases of cruel dog fighting in Canaries due before courts
Eight people are facing court and possible lengthy prison sentences following a police raid on dog fighting in Tenerife which caused widespread shock in February of 2017.
The Prosecutor’s office is said to be asking for a total of 38 years in prison although groups involved in combating animal cruelty, the Association Saving Angels Without Wings and Podemos, demand penal-ties of between 217 and 123 years, according to information from Mírame Televisión.
The eight defendants will be answering charges of continu-ed animal abuse and member-ship of a criminal organisation.
The police investigation began in February 2017 when officers raided a finca in the Tenerife municipality of Güímar where a dog fight had been organised. Following the operation, 226 animals were rescued throughout Spain, most of them in poor health, of which 42 died. In these competitions, large amounts of money were posted and the organisers were also dedicated to the breeding of dogs of potentially dangerous breeds, which they trained to be more aggressive and increase their muscles through “very harmful” substances.
The Public Ministry asserts that the situation of “cruel mistreatment” occurred since the birth of the dogs. They were then raised with strict punishment, received inade-quate food and were subjected to hard physical training in which animals were taken “until their exhaustion”. Many died during fights or when they were no longer useful, accord-ing to the investigations.
The members of the band came to develop their own jargon and only allowed other people linked to the network or sponsored by them to attend the fights.
In the prosecution’s state-ment, it is reported that the network has been operating in Spain since at least 2016. In addition to the Canary Islands, they were active in Madrid, Alicante, Murcia, Almeria and Malaga. The tentacles of the plot also extended to international territory, as there are indi-cations of its activity in Fran-ce, Mexico, Thailand and the United Arab Emirates.
The man alleged to be behind the gang in Canary Islands was located in the Tenerife region of Añaza where police found 32 dogs “in an unfortunate state, surrounded by dirt and excrement, tied to chains with no space to move and no structures to shelter from inclement weather, many of them presenting open wounds and poorly healed infections caused by their participation in the fights”, says the indict-ment.
His right hand in the Canary Islands is alleged to have been a police officer who also raised dogs and was responsible for supplying the group with anabolic sub-stances and a vet is also said to have supplied steroids for the dogs.