Prosecutors, the police, experts and representatives of two organizations dealing with animal protection entered the shelter in the Bystry settlement near Giżycko (Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship). More than 140 dogs were housed in conditions – as the prosecutor describes – “not meeting any standards”. The couple who ran the shelter were detained. The investigation in this case also concerns the failure to fulfill the obligations of the Provincial Veterinary Officer.
– What we saw there will stay with us for a long time. In the so-called “hospital” section, where there were a dozen or so animals after various procedures, we found a dog after eye surgery, which had no sockets secured in any way. The wound was still oozing. The dog was scratching her with uncut claws – says Katarzyna Śliwa-Łobacz, president of the Mondo CANE Foundation for Animal Rights Protection in an interview with tvn24.pl.
It is a shelter in the settlement of Bystry near Giżycko, where on Monday (November 8) searches and examinations were carried out with the participation of prosecutors from the Olsztyn-Północ District Prosecutor’s Office, police and certified veterinarians.
Prosecutor’s Office: 142 dogs in extremely difficult conditions
According to the press spokesman of the District Prosecutor’s Office in Olsztyn, Krzysztof Stodolny, the activities are related to the investigation initiated on October 14 in the case of “the abuse of animals in this shelter and the failure to fulfill obligations by the Warmia and Mazury Voivodship Veterinary Doctor through unreliable control”.
“According to the preliminary findings, 142 dogs were kept in the shelter during the activities undertaken in extremely difficult conditions, not meeting any standards necessary to maintain animal welfare and thus exposed to the possibility of a number of diseases” – reads the prosecutor’s office.
Social activists: outrageous conditions
The 51-year-old shelter owner Anna K. and her 62-year-old husband Jan K. have been arrested in the case. So far – according to the investigators – no one has heard the charges. “As for the detained persons, the prosecutor will make the appropriate decision after the inspection is completed and preliminary expert opinions are obtained” – stated in the statement.
– The conditions were scandalous not only in the “hospital” part. Everywhere it stank terribly, there was a huge disorder – says Katarzyna Śliwa-Łobacz, quoted at the beginning.
He adds that the shelter has been in operation for about twenty years. – The disturbing signals started appearing about two years ago. The local communities that had signed contracts with the shelter began to withdraw from them. Only the city of Giżycko is left – he emphasizes.
The mayor of Giżycko talks about the “hidden” part of the shelter
The mayor of Giżycko, Wojciech Iwaszkiewicz, in an interview with the Polish Press Agency said that “the part of the shelter where dogs from the city were kept was fine”. He also stated that the owners of the shelter also had another, hidden part with other dogs in it.
– I cannot talk about the second part, because it is not my business – said the mayor.
The president of OTOZ Animals (that is, the company that together with Mondo CANE took care of the case), Ewa Gebert calls the whole shelter in Bystry “dog Alcatraz”.
– The animals were fed the cheapest food. They did not come out of the small pens. The cages were their entire living space – he emphasizes.
They are looking for animal keepers
On Tuesday (November 9), the inspection continues. Animal organizations have already taken more than 60 dogs from the shelter. “We’ll do everything we can to make sure not a single one stays in this hell.” The animals go to shelters in Gdynia, Piła and Białystok, among others. Private individuals also apply. Of course, we invite everyone who would like to take care of these poor creatures to contact us – emphasizes our interlocutor.
And she would like to thank the Olsztyn investigators who, in her opinion, fulfill their task in an exemplary manner. – This is the same prosecutor’s office with which we acted in the case of the shelter in Radysy, where we managed to save over a thousand animals – emphasizes Gebert.
Osada Bystry is located next to Lake Niegocin, near Giżycko
Main photo source: TOZ Animals, Mondo CANE Foundation