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French animal charity rescues 152 cocker spaniels from "the kennel of shame"

By Johnny Summerton
Posted Dec 27, 2010 in Crime
They call it "the kennel of shame" in their report outlining what animal inspectors discovered when they arrived at the home of a dog breeder in the village of Peyrat-le-Château in the west-central département of Haute-Vienne shortly before Christmas.
And surely the charity Fondation 30 millions d'amis used exactly the right term in describing the deplorable conditions in which they found 152 English cockers spaniels living.
Rather than the active, good-natured and merry bundles of fun that characterise the breed, inspectors encountered undernourished and often sick dogs locked in cars and caravans or crammed into a 12 square metre chalet.
Many of the dogs were starving and had no access to fresh water.
"One bitch had a severed leg" reported the Fondation. "Some of the dogs even had their eyes gouged out".
After the rescue the dogs were taken to nearby animal shelters where, according to one volunteer Martine Attali, it could take many of them at least a month to be brought back to a condition in which they can be found new homes.
"They are weak and dehydrated and require emergency care," she said.
Although undoubtedly a "success" for the Fondation in its efforts to campaign against "all forms of animal suffering", the rescue of the cockers will hardly leave it rejoicing as a brief look at its site reveals that, even though the numbers of dogs involved was perhaps unusually high, this is far from being an isolated case.
And the maximum penalty it can expect as a result of the breeder being prosecuted?
"A fine of €30,000 and two years imprisonment (under article 521-1 of the penal code)," reports the Fondation.
"And maybe a lifelong ban from keeping animals."
A pitiful story made all the more unpalatable by the comparatively paltry maximum sentence that can be handed down in such a case.
The Fondation is a charity created in 1995 and is a spin-off from a hugely successful television programme of the same name.

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