Sylvie* lives in Chaumont and has been an investigator for the investigation center of the SPA for the past year. Her specialty: the facts of abuse that she checks one by one before reaching a conclusion. This animal lover confides in this activity which is sometimes scary.
The facts of mistreatment are more and more numerous, or in any case more and more reported. Sylvie, an investigator from the investigation center of the SPA for about a year, can testify to this. She specializes in child abuse investigations and regularly conducts investigations on this subject. In reality, the SPA calls on it each time a report is made to it. Anyone can take care of it by going to the website www.la-spa.fr/maltraitement/signaler-une-maltraitement. “Any fact can be reported, on any animal and those who warn us have the right to request anonymity, especially if the case is to go to court”, specifies Sylvie.
From the moment of the report, the SPA triggers an investigation and deploys one of its investigators to the case. Sylvie is entered randomly, sometimes not for several days and sometimes three times a week. “Before throwing myself headlong into the adventure, I do my pre-survey on social networks. I also inquire after the mayor of the municipality concerned and the police and gendarmerie services. My goal is to know if they are aware of something, if they know the people involved, if they are dangerous or not, if they have already had complaints concerning the case in question…”
False Reports of Abuse
The majority of the cases entrusted to him are false reports. “Neighborhood disputes, people who want revenge, separated spouses…” By going there, Sylvie is however not fooled. Very quickly, she realizes that the animal in question is healthy, cared for and happy. The case is then closed.
After her pre-investigation, Sylvie goes to the reported places, either alone or accompanied by the police or the gendarmes, “depending on the people concerned.” Residents are not required to open it, but many do. “Some don’t want to see me or answer the phone because they’re scared. But, in fact, animals are only very rarely removed from their owners,” says Sylvie. Most of the time, a solution is found. “Often they are not aware of the life they are putting their animal through. It is a lack of knowledge and rather negligence.” So, by talking, the owners realize what they are doing.
“For example, I advised a woman to consult a behaviorist. His dog was bored in his absence and destroyed everything. She had found no other solution than to lock him up. As a result, he barked all day. Another left her dog all day in her garage. It was open but the animal was still there, alone. She thought she didn’t have enough time to deal with it. Now she takes him to her apartment and often takes him out, even when she’s just taking her kids somewhere. By thinking, she found the time.”
However, stories don’t always end so well. Sometimes cases of abuse are so difficult and intractable that animals are taken from the family. “It’s never happy. I remember a woman, in distress, who had 28 cats and a dog. It was no longer tolerable in terms of smell and hygiene. Her social landlord, she and I, we found the solution. So she got rid of 25 cats and the dog. She acknowledged that it was more manageable. Today they have all been adopted!” Another day, she intervened for a dog, left alone on her balcony for several days. The SPA filed a complaint for the offense of abandonment.
*Name has been changed.
This dog, abandoned, dehydrated and beaten, was taken away from his master following a report to the SPA.