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Is Your City A “No Kill” City? Madrid Is Now

With the Ebola scare earlier this year, not all casualties were human. The city of Madrid was forced to euthanize a family dog named Excalibur after the owners were quarantined in the city for possible infection. Today, that could have been different, as Madrid has officially become a no-kill city as of March 12th. This law forbids the euthanizing of stray dogs, and makes Madrid a more humanitarian city for pets and people alike.

The group known as El Refugio is largely to thank for the new change in policy. El Refugio is an advocacy group for the humane treatment and rescue of animals. Their efforts are a testament to the strength and persistence of the group – El Refugio has been wearing down Madrid’s lawmakers for the past 19 years in an effort to get this legislation passed. But with increasing support over the years, including over 62,000 signatures in a petition for a change last year alone, the group was finally able to end the city’s kill laws.

The news of the change came as a great celebration, and supporters and volunteers from El Refugio gathered in the city’s square known as Puerta Del Sol to mark the occasion with brightly colored signs in Spanish that read “Death is Dead.” The president of El Refugio, Nacho Paunero, was ecstatic about their victory, saying that he had been fighting without stopping for 19 years to make the Madrid area a no-kill zone.

Madrid’s former policy was to euthanize any animals who weren’t adopted or claimed 10 days after being brought to a shelter. This policy had been in effect since 1990, and El Refugio claims that between the years of 2006 and 2012 alone the city put down 130,000 dogs and cats. With their victory and celebration, many homeless animals will live another day to hopefully find shelter, care, and a loving human companion.