• France's news in English

Dozens of dogs die in animal rescue truck

Joshua Melvin · 15 May 2014, 12:26

Published: 15 May 2014 12:26 GMT+02:00

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

According to reports the dogs left an animal shelter in the south-western town of Tarbes on April 23 in a Paris-bound truck, belonging to a transport company. The animals were being moved because they would have been put down if they had stayed at the overcrowded shelter.

While the truck wasn’t approved for animal transport, the driver assured the shelter he would stop regularly and give the dogs a breather.

But during the trip, the rear door, which covered the cargo area in which the caged animals were riding, was left open. It appears the truck exhaust may have then flowed into the animals’ compartment, killing 24 of them.

“We are beating ourselves up, we should have never let the truck leave,” Maud Starck, vice president of the Tarbes SPA chapter, told French daily Le Parisien.

For their part the Paris animal-rights group, Société Protectrice des Animaux (SPA), that was trying to save the dogs has expressed its condolences.

“I wish to present my sincerest apologies,” President Natacha Harry wrote on the group’s Facebook page. “We are overcome by the shock of this tragedy and will no doubt be for some time to come.”

Authorities have launched an investigation into what went wrong during the roughly eight-hour ride between Tarbes and Paris but the blame game over what went wrong has already started.

The locals in Tarbes said the Paris group was responsible for the travel arrangement, Le Parisien reported. And the Paris SPA says the blame lies with the transport company that provided the truck.

For its part the transport company, Sapca, has lashed out against the “tragic” malfunctioning of the shelter in Tarbes.

Prosecutors, who have been assigned to investigate the case, will be left to decide who is at fault.

However, for outraged animal lovers online there was little doubt who was responsible for the deaths. They were blaming the transport company.

Joshua Melvin (joshua.melvin@thelocal.com)

Facebook Twitter Google+ reddit

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
France to scrap special prison wings for dangerous jihadists
Photo: AFP

The experiment has been ditched.

Refugee crisis
What rights do Calais migrants have in France?
Photo: AFP

Can the migrants work or claim social benefits or travel freely inside Europe?

Myth busting: Half of French adults are now overweight
A model at the Pulp Fiction fashion show in Paris that represents society's diverse spectrum . Photo: AFP

Hold on, aren't the French all meant to be finely toned specimens with not an ounce of fat on them?

France poised to send bulldozers into Calais Jungle
Photo: AFP

As hundreds of migrants leave, the bulldozers are set to tear down the sprawling Calais shanty town on Tuesday.

UK to spend €40 million on securing Calais border
Photo: AFP

Britain spending big on security in Calais.

Millionaire Riviera hotel boss kidnapped in broad daylight
The city of Nice where the millionaire was bundled into a car infront of shocked onlookers. Photo: AFP

The millionaire head of a luxury hotel in the French Riviera resort of Cannes was kidnapped in Nice in front of shocked onlookers in the middle of the day on Monday.

Where exactly in France are Calais migrants being sent?
Photo: AFP

Here's where the 8,000 migrants in Calais are heading.

The annoying questions only a half French, half British person can answer
Photo: Beery/Flickr/AFP

Being half French, half British is means you get asked a lot of questions (and some of them can be a little annoying.)

Migrants bussed out of Calais Jungle to all corners of France
All photos: AFP

Hundreds of migrants are being bussed across France on Monday ahead of the demolition of the Jungle camp.

The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
A Prophet. Photo: YouTube Screengrab

Looking for something to watch?

The annoying questions only a half French, half Brit can answer
Sponsored Article
Last chance to vote absentee in the US elections
Forget Brangelina's chateau - here are nine others you've got to see
The must-see French films of the millennium - Part One
How life for expats in France has changed over the years
Why Toulouse is THE place to be in France right now
Video: New homage to Paris shows the 'real side' of city
The 'most dangerous' animals you can find in France
Swap London fogs for Paris frogs: France woos the Brits
Anger after presenter kisses woman's breasts on live TV
Is France finally set for a cold winter this year?
IN PICS: The story of the 'ghost Metro stations' of Paris
How to make France's 'most-loved' dish: Magret de Canard
Welcome to the flipside: 'I'm not living the dream in France'
Do the French really still eat frogs' legs?
French 'delicacies' foreigners really find hard to stomach
French are the 'world's most pessimistic' about the future
Why the French should not be gloomy about the future
This is the most useful French lesson you will ever have. How to get angry
Why is there a giant clitoris in a field in southern France?
French pastry wars: Pain au chocolat versus chocolatine
Countdown: The ten dishes the French love the most
Expats or immigrants in France: Is there a difference?
How the French reinvented dozens of English words
jobs available