“We start from the observation that police officers are not trained to combat animal abuse and treat violations.“. Céline Gardel, police captain, president of the association” Les 4 pattounes “, so decided to fix what he considered a deficiency. A year and a half later, he decided to put himself in training to raise the awareness of police, gendarmes, as well as firefighters and magistrates, on the cause of the animal and, in particular, to identify cases of ill-treatment.
Often witnesses are the ones to call to report a stray animal, or a dog barking a beetle. Céline Gardel immediately invited her colleagues to examine the animal’s behavior, if it was frightened, there were physical signs of ill -treatment. But also the necessary paperwork, if the animal can benefit from suitable living conditions, and… ”if the owner has croquettes in the house, that is not always the case“.
“Along with domestic violence”
It adds ethical advice, in the presence of a dog: “Don’t put yourself between the dog and the master because the animal can no longer see its owner and, because it is there to protect it, may be surrounded. Don’t stare him in the eye but, at the same time, he needs to see us, so avoid sunglasses. The fact is also, of course, not to go there shouting, simply ask the person the first name of the shitnot “.
This training was rather well received, according to the policewoman, who explained to her most reluctant colleagues that fighting the crime of animal abuse is also part of their missions. Especially since, in the background, can hide other facts : “It always coincides with domestic violence. Violence, unfortunately, is a particular way of acting and communicating. If the children or the woman take, the animal is always taken first. It is also often in conjunction with narcotics: category dogs, Malinois, are sometimes on the lookout for narcotics. We are therefore also interested in cross-referencing these violations“.
But that doesn’t have to come to get justice: since December 2021, the law punishes and up to three years in prison and a fine of 45,000 euros for committing acts of ill -treatment of an animal, including once abandoned.
It is often the neighbors who report the dog’s relentless barking. Because the idea of the animal being abandoned on a motorway restroom is a stereotype. “Recently, we were involved in an apartment where there were two dogs, each left in a wire cage with a padlock. The elements of abandonment were quickly identified: we did a neighborhood survey, people moved in for seven days. So the animals were neglected and no one provided for their basic needs.“.
“We have ways, within the framework of seven of these transgressions, to open the doors to save animals from certain death.“, specifies Céline Gardel. But before any intervention, reminds the female police officer, it should be checked that the animal has been left alone for a long time:”If someone passes by to feed and drink the animal, abandonment is impossible.“
The association “Les 4 pattounes” will broadcast, this Sunday, June 26, a new online training. This knowledge will also be offered to the schools of peacekeepers at the beginning of the school year. Céline Gardel hopes to reach, through this 8-hour module, 5,000 future police officers each year.. Interventions he led were the Saint-Gaudens prosecutor, a lawyer, a veterinarian, a gendarme, and a fellow police officer.
“I say that with a little humor, but when you see a firefighter rescuing a kitten, it makes headlines. On social networks, it’s been around for three weeks, as I tell myself that sometimes we have violent interventions that aren’t very rewarding in the eyes of the population.“, Said the police captain.