How to report an animal cruelty/neglect case in Spain

There are increasing numbers of animal cruelty cases and people who come across badly treated animals often don’t know how to make an official complaint (denuncia) to the police. Seprona, […]

There are increasing numbers of animal cruelty cases and people who come across badly treated animals often don’t know how to make an official complaint (denuncia) to the police. Seprona, the environmental arm of the Guardia Civil, has given us this set of guidelines on what to do.

There are laws to protect animals from cruelty but they are different in different regions. For information on animal cruelty laws in your area contact your local Town Hall.  ( Actin is working on providing information of the laws in the different regions).

Animals cannot complain when they have no food or water, no shade from the sun or protection from the rain, or have been tied up on a short chain and then forgotten.

But we can speak for them. Please help. On our downloads page we have various leaflets that you can hand to the owner to tell them about their obligation to the animals they own and the basic laws. Please try this if it is appropriate, as we have had success with owners improving the welfare of their animals with the information. Download page

If it is urgent : – contact a local animal welfare group and ask them if they can help you with the following

1. Go to your local Civil Guard base (Guardia Civil cuartel) as neither the Local Police nor the National Police handle complaints of this kind. Or if it is really urgent call 112. What is an urgent case? Where an animal’s life is in imminent danger.

2. Take as much written information with you as you can. Names, addresses and a map showing where the animal is as this will help the officers to investigate your complaint. Take photos, with proof of date, i.e a newspaper. Camera dates are not sufficient.

3. If you don’t speak Spanish, get someone who does to go with you or contact your local animal welfare society for help or information.

4. The Guardia Civil will give you a copy of the denuncia, and their copy will be given to Seprona for investigation.

5. Only Seprona will investigate.

6. Keep hold of your copy of the denuncia, so that it can be followed up later.

If you are worried because it is your neighbour for example, then please contact someone else, preferably an Association that can act on your behalf. Many people are concerned that the animals will be removed and sent to the pound, this is a possibility, so if you can make provision for the animal to go to a welfare group, or get a sponsor, you may be able to get the Police to release into your care.

*Please remember to make sure when reporting to Seprona that the case is warranted. Seprona get called out to many cases that really could be dealt with by talking to the owners and advising them of their obligations, we don’t want to push this resource, as until there is a welfare organisation solely for animals, it is the only one we have. Seprona has around three officers in each wide area to deal with many things, including the environment, plants, protection of birds, the oceans, fires and many other things. So, it is quite clear the resource is nowhere near enough to even touch the service of what is needed here for animal welfare.*