The animal rescue company Sloboda Zvierat (Freedom of Animals) saved more than 20 dogs from a house in Veľké Zálužie in southern Slovakia on November 16. Although not being directly ill-treated by their owner, they lived in terrible conditions without any care. The pack of dogs were reported to be surviving despite having hardly any food, with emaciated older dogs cannibalising weaker ones and pups.
Sloboda Zvierat was notified by a neighbour but the animals could not be helped immediately, as the animal rescue centre was overcrowded. “As the rescue centre was full, this situation has been prolonged for two months. We brought them granules [i.e. food] until they could be placed in the centre. Then the neighbour sent an SMS that the adult dogs had killed and eaten about six pups, three months old, and their mother. I tried to contact the owner and to arrange for him to feed them with our granules,” the Sloboda Zvierat inspector for southern Slovakia, Jaroslava Karsli, said.
She proposed to the owner that she would help him to have the dogs sterilised so that they would at least stop reproducing. Fearing for the lives of the remaining dogs, Sloboda Zvierat finally decided to bring them to the rescue centre.
“Two weeks ago, I agreed with the owner that we would seize the animals and take them away, when the vice-chairman of Sloboda Zvierat gave me her consent,” Karsli explained. It took a whole morning to catch and load the extremely shy and terrified animals. They were lured with food mixed with sedatives.
“They have been transported to Bratislava, where all of them will be castrated and sterilised. We have already managed to find some new owners or provisional carers. But we are still looking for more, as the rescue centre is full,” Karsli said. According to her, the owner probably won’t face prosecution for ill-treatment or abuse of the dogs.
“He did not violate the law on protection of animals – he can have as many dogs as he likes. He did not intend them to kill each other, he just did not feed them. We could have contacted the local veterinary administration to determine that the dogs did not have proper care, but then [the owner] might have done something to them, even killed them. When he agreed for them to be taken away, I found this a better solution. Why send the police to him?,” the inspector concluded.