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Police and social services units are dedicated to animal abuse cases in the Netherlands and six MPs from the Party for the Animals sit in parliament. Witnesses of ill-treatment are invited to report them by calling 114… Excerpt from the magazine “We, the Europeans” broadcast on Sunday May 22, 2022 at 10:25 a.m. on France 3.
“If you see an animal in danger, call 144!” recommends a clip broadcast on television in the Netherlands, which has a police force specializing in animal protection. Yvonne de Graaf and her colleague Roxeanne are police officers specially trained to intervene in cases involving animals: “We’re animal cops!” says Yvonne to the magazine “We, the Europeans” (replay).
“When you call 144, if it’s criminal in nature, it’s for us, the animal police”, specifies the policewoman of a country where animal abuse can be an offense or a crime. That day, the two women go to the suburbs of Amsterdam after receiving a report of a dog that would be beaten. They knock on the door of the apartment without getting an answer. A neighbor tells them that sometimes people fight not only with the dogs but also with each other inside the house…
“Not only the animals were mistreated, but also the whole family”
Very often, violence against animals goes hand in hand with domestic violence: “If you hear something, said the policewoman to the neighbor, please give us a call, because we really want to make sure everything is okay. If there is abuse or violence inside, we want to know about it.” She remembers: “One of our successes was a young child who called 144 about dogs that were not being treated well. They were very thin. And inside, in the living room, we also found children. Not only the animals were mistreated, but also the whole family.”
Back at the police station, Yvonne and Roxeanne take stock of the ongoing investigations. Here, the murder of a dog is the subject of the same investigations as for a human: “We found a dog in a suitcase and our colleagues from the scientific police came. The owner was arrested and his version is that he killed the dog to defend himself with a breadboard, but that’s not possible because he’s a Pitbull. I’m very happy that the prosecutor put all these means of investigation into the death of a dog. It’s perfect. If society is good with animals, it is with humans too.”
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