Death of police dogs sparks complaints

THE death of two police dogs from the Barcelona Urban Guard’s canine unit has led unions to report that the animals are not well cared for.

Union SAPOL reported in a statement that the two dogs, named Vic and Tom, died from a twisted stomach, a serious condition which, if not treated by a vet within minutes, can cause death.

They say that this is because of the lack of staff at the facilities where the dogs are kept.

Union CCOO agrees with this, complaining also of the lack of information from the canine unit regarding the dogs’ physical and psychological health, meaning that Vic and Tom did not get the farewell that they deserved, nor were they publicly recognised for their years of service.

Both unions are demanding that there be a sufficient number of officers at the facilities both day and night, so that they can be walked, exercised, cleaned or cured of any injuries or illnesses. They complain that at the moment this is not happening.

They suggest that four more officers cover the morning and afternoon shifts and that a cleaning service be hired to take care of the area in which the dogs are kept. Dogs should be fed when staff are on the premises and the food and drink bowls should be placed inside the dogs’ quarters to avoid it overheating in summer and freezing in winter.

Another demand is for the vet to be closer, as the one currently used is 40km away, and for there to be courses on canine handling for new officers joining the force.

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Written by

Jennifer Leighfield

Jennifer Leighfield, born in Salisbury, UK; resident in Malaga, Spain since 1989. Degree in Translation and Interpreting in Spanish, French and English from Malaga University (2005), specialising in Crime, Forensic Medicine and Genetics. Published translations include three books by Richard Handscombe. Worked with Euro Weekly News since November 2006. Well-travelled throughout Spain and the rest of the world, fan of Harry Potter and most things ‘geek’.


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