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Animal Abuse/Neglect

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I live in Mayenne (53) and have been trying for several months to get our local Mayor to take appropriate action in relation to cases of serious neglect of animals by a former village inhabitant. All attempts to involve outside agencies has been fruitless, as they all state that it is for the Mayor to take action. The person in question moved to Mayenne before Christmas 2013 and returned infrequently to feed/water his chickens, ducks, geese, pygmy goats etc. and I ultimately managed to persuade him to sell the animals to me. I subsequently discovered that between Easter 2013 and Christmas 2013, at least 20 chickens and a pygmy mother goat and her kid were found dead in the garden of this person and that he had been known to lock all the animals in a garage without food and water for days/weeks on end. Having "adopted" 3 pygmy goats, 2 geese, 3 ducks and 9 chickens, I felt that I was at least giving these animals a chance of a better life. The person refused to include numerous other animals, however, stating that he had "found homes" for them. This turned out not to be true and numerous of them subsequently died. This person, around 2 weeks later obtained over 20 chickens and a number of ducks and ducklings. When I remonstrated with him for this, he began to lock the gate into his property which meant I could not get access to give the birds water, and was forced to throw food over the gate & wall. While the chickens were "free range", the ducks & ducklings were locked in cages. He did not return to the property for some 10 days by which time, all the ducks & ducklings were dead, as were 12 or so caged collared doves. I and another neighbour rescued several chickens from feral cats and took them home to tend their injuries. I took photographs of the scene and attended at the Mayor's office to demand that something be done. A letter was eventually written to the person in question and he shovelled the duck & duckling corpses, with their filthy "bedding" into clear plastic bags, which he left, intied, in his garden. At this time, rats were being seen in the daytime in his garden. The smell was horrendous. The bags containing the bodies were heaving with maggots. The chickens which had survived disappeared, however I subsequently discovered he had locked them in a dark, airless and windowless cellar without food or water. I visited the local Church where this person attends and asked the Priest to intervene. I assume something was said as the imprisoned chickens then appeared inside the property itself however within a day or so, the bodies of dead chickens were visible through the windows.

I have told the Mayor that I have trespassed on the property - using a ladder to scale the 6ft wall - in order to give food and water to the caged animals. I have been warned about the illegality of my behaviour however the Mayor himself had scaled the wall on one occasion (after the discovery of the dead ducks) so that rather shot his warning down in flames.

I have emailed a Mayenne newspaper details of this story together with photographs. I have also emailed two authorities - one relating to veterinarian matters and one a health department, and also the Police.

Surely what is happening to these animals is against the law?

A French neighbour is also involved in the reporting of this matter so my poor French cannot be the cause of lack of action.

Several animals which I "rescued" subsequently died despite receiving treatment from vets. Three are permanently "disabled" due to rough handling or malnutrition.

Can anyone, please, suggest what additional action I can take? Thanks.
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  • 2 weeks later...
Jackie, what an awful story!!! I can't offer any advice except what you've been given by the other posters is good. And well done to you ... really, it's so good to know there are responsible caring people out there who are prepared to get involved like you are and not turn a blind eye. This guy sounds like a monster and should be prosecuted!
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  • 3 months later...
Was there any further news about this appalling situation?

There has been a change in the law in January...


30 Millions d'Amis also advise on how to proceed in a case of maltraitance...


BB Fondation...




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