Sota, the dog that died after a shot by the Barcelona City Police, and her owner Tauri, a homeless boy, were being evaluated by FAADA within their "best friends" program to provide them with the best possible help, according to notes the Foundation for Advice and Action in Defense of Animals, in a statement.
The program "best friends" that the animal organization develops in collaboration with the Social Services of the City of Barcelona, has the objective of facilitating the accommodation of homeless people with their animals in shelters and social housing or inclusion of Barcelona .
In this regard, it had already been agreed with Tauri to begin the first interventions with the dog next week, which focused on taking her to the veterinarian to deworm her and give her the relevant vaccines. The second step, once all the documentation in order, would be to find a shelter where they could stay together.
After knowing the altercation with the Guàrdia Urbana and Sota ended up dead, FAADA issued a statement in which deeply regretted as an organization "the action taken by agents of the Urban Guard that ended the life of Sota, Tauri's partner a boy in a homeless situation. Through our Best Friends project and with the help of volunteers, we were in the process of evaluating their link to provide them with the necessary help. "
According to FAADA, "this tragic end, which has led to the death of an animal for defending and protecting its companion, highlights the lack of training and management of the police forces in general and, in this case, the Barcelona Urban Guard. It is also noted that adequate protocols are lacking to manage actions with animals on public roads, something that must be urgently resolved. "
FAADA concludes that as an animal protection entity "we will request official information on the action taken; At the same time, we are already investigating the facts, contacting the witnesses who witnessed the action in order to carry out the corresponding actions. "
The incident took place on Tuesday afternoon, when at the confluence of the Plaza de España with the Gran Vía agents of the Guardia Urbana approached the owner of the dog, a homeless person, to ask him to take it tied. From here the versions are very contradictory. While the officer of the agents is that the dog, without a muzzle and loose, threw herself on one of them and bit her in the arm, so she took out her regulation weapon and reduced it to a shot in the head to defend herself from the attack, eyewitnesses insist that the dog only barked to see that they were rebuking their owner for being selling illegally and that the police fired without attack. The versions of both agree that the owner threw a scooter at one of the five policemen present and wounded him in the head. Eyewitnesses say it was when he saw that they had killed his dog, and the version of the Guàrdia Urbana is that he attacked them when they wanted to identify him.
The fact has raised a great indignation by social networks, for which runs the video in which the dog is seen agonizing on the ground without receiving attention and four policemen reducing their owner on the ground. The animalists have called for a demonstration in memory of Sota for Saturday and to demand that an investigation be opened to clarify the facts.
For its part, the Guardia Urbana said in a statement that it has conducted an investigation to learn the facts that concludes that the agent involved had no "option" and that he acted "in defense of his physical integrity." According to the letter, the police intervention was not initiated as a result of a previous call for an action, as was originally stated, but a patrol that was in the area stopped to see a "dog untied, without muzzle and with "Potentially dangerous race appearance" wandering alone and proceeded to identify the owner.
Also the mayor was forced to intervene and in a tweet Ada Colau noted that "Yesterday there were some very sad events in Barcelona. I am very sorry for the death of the bitch Sota. We have seen images that break the heart and I understand the great wave of solidarity that they have generated. I ask for prudence before making judgments and also confidence in the investigation that we have opened. According to the witnesses and the information we have at the moment, the agent acted in self-defense and fearing for his physical integrity. Right now he's on the low side and recovering from several injuries. Barcelona is a city that loves animals and we do not want events like this to happen again. Therefore, when the research is completed, we will review the intervention protocols with animals to find the room for improvement, because it can always be improved, "says Colau.