Translated by Jesús Ronquillo / Circuito Frontera
On social media, the conditions of the establishment “Animal Habitat Refuge” (Hábitat Refugio Animal) owned by Alejandro Mondragón, an inspector from the Municipal Animal Welfare Center (CBA by it’s acronym in spanish), were brought to light. The establishment was found to have deceased dogs, bones, as well as 102 dogs living amidst feces and in unsanitary conditions.
In response, César René Díaz Gutiérrez, the Municipality’s Director of Ecology, stated that the complaint was directly filed with the State Attorney General’s Office (FGE by it’s acronym in spanish)the friday before last, and they requested a search warrant.
However, following the discovery that the shelter belonged to Alejandro Mondragón, who worked as an inspector for the Municipality, they jointly conducted an inspection of the establishment.
The Ecology official mentioned that they visited the shelter last monday and closed it down due to the conditions in which the establishment was found.
They also rescued 102 dogs that were taken to the Municipality’s Pet Rescue and Adoption Center (RAMM by it’s acronym in spanish) at that time.
“It was a direct complaint filed with the Prosecutor’s Office last week, either on thursday or friday of that week. Through the Prosecutor’s Office, they requested a search warrant”.
However, it turned out that the shelter belonged to Alejandro Mondragón, indeed.
“We went there on monday, and on the same day, the warrant was executed, although it wasn’t necessary as he granted access to the authorities”.
He pointed out that the investigation into this case falls under the jurisdiction of the Prosecutor’s Office, which documented the incident.
Meanwhile, municipal authorities took care of what was necessary, including relocating the animals, taking an inventory, and providing each of them with a medical clinical assessment.
“The decision will now rest with the Prosecutor’s Office. We of course took the dogs with us because they couldn’t stay there, neither in the holding facility nor in any other way, as the conditions weren’t suitable”.
However, when they went to the site inspection, they found the conditions to be different from what had been reported to the Prosecutor’s Office a few days earlier.
“This person (Alejandro Mondragón) held a position at the Animal Welfare Center; he was an inspector there, and i do want to clarify that he did do his job, following his schedule and performing his duties. But he was in the inspection area. We were surprised, indeed”.
He explain that, in addition to the criminal process, the owner of the shelter must face an administrative process, as well as an immediate request for his removal from the position.
Alma Arredondo Salinas, councilor of the Ecology and Civil Protection Commission, mentioned that they will begin to conduct corresponding investigations to determine the penalty.
“What is proceeding here is in the hands of the Attorney General’s Office, it is a procedure they have initiated since monday. On our part, we did what was necessary, which is to safeguard the animals since the Prosecutor’s Office does not have space to keep them. They were then medically evaluated”.
She mentioned that some are being put up for adoption and others were handed over to a rescuer.
“But it is up to the Prosecutor’s Office to determine. He could possibly be detained for the animals, but a more specific investigation has to be carried out because there were bodies, but it is not determined whether he was involved or why they were dead”.
She stated that since it’s a shelter, they will seek to conduct investigations in this type of establishments to verify that they are in the conditions to care for the animals.
Also, Ana Félix, in charge of the shelter “Street Animal Protector Association A.C” (Asociación Protectora de Animales de la Calle A.C) and spokesperson for the collective “We Are Their Voice” (Somos Su Voz) pointed out that nonetheless, this is not the first occasion when the person in charge of that shelter is reported for animal abuse.
Previously, he was in charge of the shelter “Happy Tails” (Colitas Felices) but later formed another one now under the name “Animal Habitat Refuge” (Hábitat Refugio Animal)
“We shelters, or homes with animals should not have a cooler to store bodies. We must go through the process of obtaining a permit to have a refrigerator, but for a rescuer, the rates of deceased animals must be very low because they have to undergo a diagnosis by a veterinarian”.
They found blind dogs in poor conditions, and the complaint filed against the shelter was because the animals were fighting among themselves.