Animal rescue centers across different Spanish provinces are being alerted that organized criminal groups have been stealing dogs and using them in dog fights near La Ribera and l’Horta Nord regions.
According to local rescue group Sociedad Protectora de Animales de La Ribera (Ribercan), for the past two months, citizens have been calling daily to report stolen dogs. The stolen pets are usually large dog breeds such as Pit Bulls. Residents have also informed authorities of dog fights taking place in the area.
The problem that local rescue groups are facing is that dogs are taken at night time when the shelters are closed an unsupervised. The shelters are equipped with alarm systems, but these do not stop criminals from breaking in.
“Even though we have alarm systems, these go off and by the time we make it to the shelter the dogs have been stolen,” said an unnamed source who wishes to remain anonymous in order to prevent future break-ins to the same animal rescue facility.
In some cases, dogs have been stolen and then returned to the shelters weeks later. The dogs come back with visible dog fight wounds.
Alzira’s Animal Human Society has collected 7,000 signatures that will be presented at the next Town Hall meeting. These signatures are necessary to pressure local politicians to do something to end animal cruelty practices in the area. So far, there has been an increase in police presence across the region, but this has not been enough to deter local criminal groups from taking animals and using them in dog fights.