fourteen dogs from a shelter evacuated after mobilizing associations

Twenty members of associations have mobilized against the presence of dogs in a shelter in Sainte-Menehould (Marne). In the absence of human presence, the heat created fear for their survival. If the animals were judged to be in good health, the president of the association L’Arche de Bouba was still forced to evacuate them.

It is a large isolated building in the middle of a meadow on the border between the Meuse and the Marne, in a locality attached to the municipality of Sainte-Menehould (Marne) next to the village of Islettes (Meuse). This is where, since 2016, the year of construction of the structure, the association L’Arche de Bouba welcomes dogs. As stated on the association’s website, the idea is to offer one nursing homes where dogs could spend their old days peacefully “ and bring For animals Ithe food, care and comfort they deserve ” as well as “Offer them as much as possible while they wait for their future family to adopt them”.

For only a few months, it appears that there is no more daily presence in the Marne structure. Former volunteers and members of the association L’Arche de Bouba, together with animal welfare associations, condemn the living conditions of the animals as well as the methods of the structure’s president, Jean-Claude Toppeta.

“I was a volunteer and I came to help, here in Sainte-Menehould, at L’Arche de Bouba from 2019 to February 2022. Together with my companion, we took the dogs out, we cleaned, says Brigitte Siegwarth, still officially assistant treasurer of the association. Then we started asking questions, the president spoke very badly to us, and we decided to stop. Other people have thrown in the towel or been denied access by Mr Toppeta. Since then, there is no longer a daily presence with the dogs and we are worried about them. He only goes there every 48 hours, the dogs can not go out, there is no hospital and lots of rats. “

The 70-year-old man is also in charge of an animal pound activity in Ranguevaux (Moselle). Or an hour and a half away. So he could not come every day. By February 2022, following an initial warning from volunteers, the management of Marne’s veterinary services had carried out an inspection and three dogs had been seized without questioning the refuge’s activity.

With the heat wave, about twenty members of five associations (Brigitte Bardot Foundation, Stéphane Lamart Association, Les Anges d’AEP, 4newlife and Association of the Animal Protection Brigade) mobilized again this Friday, June 17th. Faced with what they consider to be a danger to the animals, the latter being present in a structure exposed to the sun, without ventilation and without human presence, they asked for access to the building to ascertain the animals’ state of health and evacuate them.

“Through an opening, we slid a thermometer along the wall inside. The temperature reached almost 41 ° C degrees in a few minutes. How can animals be left under such conditions?”protests the representative of the association Les Anges d’AEP.

And the least we can say is that the afternoon was long. Contacted by the associations, the gendarmes from the Sainte-Menehould Brigade went to the site around 3:15 p.m. After long minutes of discussion, they were joined by the deputy mayor in charge of security, François Goulet, before deciding at around 5pm to contact the association’s chairman. He arrived at the scene around 6.30pm and brought Mayor Jonathan Da Mota, the deputy mayor, as well as Marne’s veterinary services, who had arrived in the meantime, into his premises. The press and members of associations for the defense of animal welfare are kept at a distance.

After an hour, the balance drops. “Compared to what I could see in February, the place is much cleaner, the dogs have clear water to drink, not cold but lukewarm, like when you pour it up at home after an hour, says police officer Jonathan Da Mota. Sir. Toppeta has agreed to bring the fourteen dogs back to the Moselle tomorrow (Saturday, June 18). At the request of the veterinary service, he will only be allowed to bring dogs back here to the shelter after presentation of documents and after providing evidence that a person will be present here on a daily basis. “

A decision that would also have been motivated by the arrival of the veterinary services several times in the previous days, confirming the association’s lack of presence on site.

“It is a great victory, even if Mr Toppeta for us should no longer be able to take care of animals”loose Bernadette Rohrer, investigator for Brigitte-Bardot Foundations. Same story on the side of Deputy Mayor, François Goulet. “Neighbors have been complaining for a while about hearing dogs bark, and some of our requests have not been met by Mr Toppeta in the past. I will come tomorrow to check that the dogs have been evacuated and to eliminate those rats. , which reproduces, the municipality will also give rat poison “, he indicates.

The dogs will therefore be taken to the Ranguevaux pound. A place that has also been talked about several times in recent years, including a seizure of animals in 2014 linked to too many animals present to the capacity of the place. Or in 2019, when the activity was suspended for several weeks due to administrative and health irregularities.

Contacted by telephone on Friday evening after the intervention of the associations and gendarmes, Jean-Claude Toppeta makes sure that this case is linked to a group of former volunteers who want to harm him. He also maintains “come every day”. “I want to produce all the papers. I also want to make an opening over the front doors so the air can circulate, and from Monday I go to Pôle emploi to find someone who can be present a few hours every day. Days. There are no a problem”he concludes.

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