Volunteer animal rescuer under police investigation

Take note – story published 1 year and 4 months ago

On social networks, another animal welfare violation has caused a major storm. A property was found in Talsi municipality, where a voluntary animal rescuer kept a variety of animals but then disappeared and the animals were left to fend for themselves, Latvian Television reported on February 20.

A goat, an ox, a rooster, and some dogs and cats were rescued from the rescuer last weekend. But not all the animals found there were so lucky. The property revealed horrific scenes – animals abandoned in squalor, hunger, cold, and even in water. Some were alive, some dead.

These animals were kept by the known animal savior Monta Mince, or by the real name Monta Juhņēviča. Gita Grantiņa, the head of the Society for the Protection of Animals "DzīvniekuSOS", was suspicious something might have happened. This association worked with Monta on a regular basis in the past. However, the association had stopped giving her animals because the origin and fate of many animals arriving to Monta Mince could not be traced.

Gita was the one who discovered what was happening and then shared an emotional entry on Facebook: “There are a lot of dogs and cats dead in agonizing death. I regret from the bottom of mt heart. […] I feel the misery of all these dead animals every minute."

Monta Mince was very active in various groups of on social networks – rescuing animals and looking for new houses, also actively collecting donations. Her fellow people pointed out that she had done enough good.

Monta had lost interest in animals about three months ago when her partnership collapsed. But the comments on Twitter suggest that there had been a suspicion of Monta's inability to take responsibility for animals in the past.

A day later, representatives of the Food and Veterinary Service (PVD) came to the property where the animals were found. No live or dead animals have been found, and their places of residence had been tried to clean up. But there is no shortage of evidence about what had been here just the day before.

"There you could see that the og had been kept there in  inappropriate conditions long-term, because the whole place was soaked with the smell of urine, and the fecal remains were lying there. We were also in the basement, where, as had been filmed, animal bodies might have been floating. The person told us that he had buried them at the edge of the woods. Of course, there will be work for the police to dig them out, carry out an expert examination and operate in the framework of criminal proceedings. You can't ignore this. The [penalty] must be received in full measure, "said Ivars Koloda, head of the Ziemeļkurzeme management of PVD.

Nothing is known about Monta's whereabouts. In the property where the animals were found, she did not live, but she rented it from an owner who, in turn, lived abroad with a former spouse who showed the property to the PVD and the State Police. The Society “Dzīvnieku SOS” states that this is not the first time Monta has disappeared. However, it has never happened with such consequences.

According to the Talsi municipal police, Monta had been in sight before, but not in relation to animal welfare violations. The State Police, which has just opened criminal proceedings, does not make more detailed comments at this time.

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