Madrid updates their animal welfare laws, including the ban of prong, choke and shock collars

The-greatness-of-a-nation-and-its-moral-progress-can-be-judged-by-the-way-its-animals-are-treated-Mahatma-GandhiOn Wednesday, 10th August, the Comunidad de Madrid released a newsletter with updated laws regarding the treatment of animals in the province.

Among the list of prohibitions is included a ban on using choke, prong, or electric collars that can cause harm to an animal. The usage of these collars is seen as an “infracción grave” (serious offence) and if prosecuted, the owner or handler of the animal can receive fines between €3,001 and €9,000. In extreme cases, the animals can be taken from the owners, and in the case of establishments breaking the law, they can be closed down for up to five years in the case of a minor offence, and between five and ten years for more serious offences.

What will be interesting to see is if establishments like pet-shops and online stores will be allowed to continue selling the tools even though they’ve been made illegal, and if trainers will continue to use them.

The new laws aim to take into consideration the protection and wellbeing of pets and company animals, irregardless of their situation. They also hope to:

a)educate responsible ownership

b)reduce abandonment

c) encourage adoption

d) encourage castration and reduce over-population and abandonment by encouraging responsible purchase, sale and breeding of animals

e) promote educational activities about animal welfare

f) promote volunteering and collaboration between animal rescues and the public

g) educate people about the beneficial role of animals in society

h) encourage animal training

i) create specific dog-friendly areas in all parts of the comunidad, urging all municipalities to provide said spaces

j) allow access to animals in establishments, facilities, transport, and other appropriate spaces, under the control of their handler

k) implement inspections to ensure the compliance with the afore-mentioned laws

l) promote castration and microchipping campaigns, establishing necessary contacts with veterinarians.

Unfortunately, the laws will not apply to animals used in bullfighting spectacles, wildlife, farm animals, zoo animals, or those used for experimentation under specific legislation.

Also prohibited are the following activities: 

  1. killing an animal
  2. abusing an animal
  3. abandoning an animal
    1. the breeding and sale of animals for commercial reasons, without proper permissions
  4. mutilating an animal for any reason other than a medical issue, or for castration, or for future benefits to the animal’s health. In all of the above cases, the procedure must be carried out by a veterinarian. These permitted procedures do not include mutilation for aesthetic purposes (ear cropping, tail docking…)
  5. putting an animal through aggressive or violent training, or preparing them for fighting
  6. Involving animals in fights or any type of aggression, including the organisation of fights or inciting them; allowing or not stopping an animal from attaching a person or another pet.
  7. not giving an animal the basic needs for its wellbeing; feeding them inappropriately, or an inadequate diet, or food that is not authorised for consumption; keeping them in unhygienic or unsanitary conditions where they are not protected from the elements, that don’t provide enough space, or due to the distance or characteristics of the space don’t allow for adequate attention, control and supervision of the animal, at least once a day.
  8. administering substances that can alter the state of health or behaviour of the animal, except in cases covered by current legislation or under veterinary supervision.
  9. keeping an animal permanently tied-up or enclosed or for a time or in conditions that can harm the animal or cause suffering, or keep them isolated from human or animal contact, in the case of them being gregarious species.
  10. possessing an animal without adequately identifying them according to law.
  11. exhibiting animals in leisure premises.
  12. begging with animals.
  13. giving animals as compensation, prizes, or raffling them.
  14. using animals in carousels at fairs.
  15. using animals in fairs, exhibitions, competitions, shows, filming, photo sessions, or cinematography with the intention of publicity or any other similar activity without permission of the City Council in the municipality where the action is taking place.
  16. using animals for filming non-simulated scenes for cinema, television or internet, artistic or publicity reasons, that carry out cruelty, mistreatment, death or animal suffering.
  17. keeping more than 5 animals in one residence when they are cats, dogs, or any other species determined by regulation unless the corresponding City Council authorises it.
  18. keeping animals in stationary vehicles without adequate ventilation and temperature.
  19. permanently keeping an animal in a car.
  20. transporting animals in the boot of a car that has not been specifically designed for the purpose.
  21. transporting animals tied to a moving car.
  22. shooting or attacking animals with any form of a gun or weapon that may put their life at risk. The only exceptions are outlined in the original document in artículo 9.
  23. using choke, prong or electric collars that can cause damage to animals.
  24. keeping animals outlined in the Anexo of the document, except in registered zoos, or in areas specifically authorised by the Comunidad de Madrid.
  25. moving bound animals as a precautionary measure.
  26. using company animals for human or animal consumption.

The article outlines a lot more laws regarding identification, control of breeding and sale of animals, usage of animals etc… It’s definitely worth a look if you speak Spanish. You can find it here.

If the laws are actually implemented, this will be a huge step forward for Spain, a country which up until now has had a questionable past regarding animal rights. For now, let’s keep changing the world, one pawprint at a time.

Online finds

Pet-ccesories you never knew you needed (until now!)

At the Doctor Loulittle zoo, we’re constantly tripping over harnesses, collars, multi-function leashes, poop bags and fancy dispensers, hands-free running kits, cani-x gear, multi-purpose bowls, and a whole other range of *must-have* gadgets for the dogs and cats… Seriously, my bank balance hates me.

While browsing Etsy for a new collar for Cailín today (because she totally needs ANOTHER one), I came across some pet-ccessories that I never knew I needed, but now I totally do.

Here’s my top 10:

  1. Dog Harness with 6 Pack Holder: The essential accessory for man’s best friend. 


2. Smiling Dog Muzzle: The muzzle that says, “I’m a nice guy, really!”


3. Werewolf muzzle: The muzzle that says, “Come any closer and I’ll eat your soul. And your lunch”


4. Weiner cat toy: For the cat-owner who’s not so fond of men. Ouch, kitty’s got claws!


5. Dog frame: Every dog-house needs one of these. 


6. Painted pet portrait on a stone: These are actually awesome, I bought one for my sister a few years ago. 


7. Cremated pet jewellery: As creepy as this might seem at first, they’re oddly beautiful. I think I’m coming around to the idea- big time!


8. Upcycled computer monitor cat bed: Perfect for any tech geeks!


9. Oh f*ck, I’m lost! Dog tag: Bad Tags have an amazing selection of funny tags. Cailín wears her “I has toots in my butt” with pride.


10: Couture dog dress with Swarovski Crystals: As we’re planning a wedding, and the dogs are going to be our flower-girls, I find myself searching for dog-themed wedding supplies quite a bit. Sorry girls, I’m not spending €5,533 on your dresses, as much as I love you. 


What’s the craziest pet purchase you’ve ever made??


Doggy-date at Cinesa cinema!

To celebrate the release of “The Secret Life of Pets” or (“Mascotas” in Spanish) Cinesa cinemas, along with Fundación Affinity are holding a special pet-friendly screening of the film!

For the first time, dogs-owners will be allowed to attend the movie with their furry friends.  The screeningwill take place on Friday 5th August at 5:30 in the Sale Cinesa Proyecciones de Madrid, on Calle de Fuencarral, 136.

If the event is a success, Cinesa will consider allowing dogs in other screenings across the country too.

Will your four-legged friend be joining you?


Sleep tight, Sr Perro

This morning while scrolling through my newsfeed, I saw the heartbreaking news that Colega, the smiling schnauzer-cross whose little face and bow-tie grace the doors of so many establishments in Spain, went to sleep for the last time this morning.

After nine years with the loyal canine, Micaela said goodbye to him this morning. Most people know him as Sr Perro, but he was more than that to Micaela. In her heartfelt blog post, she describes him as “mi sombra y mi corazón” (my shadow and my heart). I’ve been lucky enough to meet Micaela and Colega a few times, and when we lived around Lavapiés, whenever you saw Micaela, Colega was sure to be following a few steps behind.

perrosbuenosFor anyone who wasn’t lucky enough to meet this handsome gent, you’d surely recognise his smiling face. His moniker became the symbol of dog-friendly establishments all over Spain, particularly in Madrid. In some spots, your pooch might even be lucky enough to get a refreshing bowl of water with his face on it.

The Sr Perro duo have truly changed the doggy world in Spain for the better, through educating the public and promoting dog-friendly establishments. As dog owners, we owe a lot of thanks to them. Whenever anyone in Madrid Pet Lovers has asked for recommendations on bars, restaurants, hotels, or even things to do in Madrid, we’ve always sent them straight to Sr Perro.

From Doctor Loulittle, and all my furry companions, we want to let Micaela know that we’re thinking of you, and Colega too. Run free over the rainbow bridge, little one.

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Mango’s always been Sr Perro’s #1 fan
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There’s something special about a schnauzer cross