Updated 24 February: An Adeje Ayuntamiento Policía Local officer has been confirmed as being connected with the case. In an official statement, the council said that it was utterly repulsed by what it had heard, and that it had suspended the officer without pay while he is a subject of the investigation. The council confirmed that internal disciplinary procedures have also been initiated which could result in further measures parallel to the judicial ones now underway. Many of those arrested in the raids remain in custody while the National Police investigation proceeds, though a few have been released on bail.
The council’s statement reads:
With regard to the dog-fighting case which has come to light this week in Güímar municipality, this Ayuntamiento wants first to express its total and absolute condemnation of the events reported which involve both human dignity and animal cruelty. The council also wishes to show its unconditional support for whatever measures might be necessary to avoid events like this happening anywhere in Tenerife or the Canaries.
This council, once in possession of official information about the matter, as well as the court ruling ordering provisional detention in custody of an Adeje Policía Local officer, has taken the following steps in line with current legislation and the council’s disciplinary procedures with regard to security forces:
- to suspend the officer from all functions without pay, provisionally, while he remains in prison and is the subject of a judicial investigation,
- to open disciplinary proceedings following the relevant administrative procedures which could lead, in turn, to measures parallel to the judicial process.
This council, obviously, will act at all times with respect for current legislation, and for the principle of presumption of innocence, and without interference in judicial proceedings being undertaken by the Courts, which could also result in internal disciplinary measures.
Adeje Ayuntamiento would like to reiterate its strongest condemnation of these events, and stresses that it will put every resource at the disposal of the police and judicial authorities to prevent such abominable incidents having any place in a fair and dignified society which respects and protects the rights of all living things that form a part of it.
Updated 23 February: It transpires that the Güímar and Arona raids were part of a national operation in which over 200 dogs were rescued from conditions in which they were kept caged and drugged, and trained to fight to the death. Police say that one of those arrested in Tenerife was an Añaza man who was a major organizer of dog fights at a national level. Many of those arrested are now in prison awaiting trial – and anticipating lengthy sentences – because police are treating the case not as animal cruelty but as organized crime, since it is linked to drugs and money laundering. Police have released this video of the raids throughout Spain, including here in Tenerife.
— Policía Nacional (@policia) 23 February 2017
Original post 20 February: Arona Policía Local says that it is acting with the Guardia Civil over the grim discovery yesterday of tens of dead dogs and poultry in a ditch in a finca in the Los Toscales area between Valle San Lorenzo and Cabo Blanco. Police say that the sight that greeted them was appalling, and that some thirty dogs have been rescued from cages in the finca, along with many birds. They are alive but in a terrible condition, and the dogs have been sent to rescue centres. Meanwhile the council is sending teams out to remove the corpses and clean the area. Police say that their investigation is wide open at the moment, and that no further information will be forthcoming while it is ongoing, though local Canarian press is making possible connections with arrests also over the weekend in Güímar of a dog-fighting ring.