The manager of the association "Au secours des 4 pattes" in Lunel, Marc Sanchez, was sentenced to a two-year suspended prison sentence for charges of abuse, cruelty, deprivation of food and water and abandonment of animals. He was also banned for life from owning an animal, working or volunteering in an animal-related place. He was also ordered to pay financial compensation to volunteers and Claire Starozinski of the Anti-Corrida Alliance who had filed a civil suit.
The facts date back to November 2021, when volunteers discovered a mass grave in a shed. The volunteers discovered bones, the bodies of animals tied up, probably dead from hunger and thirst, and others still alive but emaciated, sometimes seriously injured.
Claire Starozinski of the Alliance Anticorrida, civil party in this case, declared that it was "acts of torture and cruelty" and described the shelter as "absolutely unworthy". She added that it was "the double punishment for the animals, already mistreated in the past. They were supposed to be protected and instead, some of them were found emaciated, abandoned to the extreme, presumably dead of hunger and thirst. One can imagine their slow agony. At this level, it's no longer abuse, it's sadism."
Volunteers and elected officials were shocked by the situation. Annabelle Dalle, city councillor in charge of animal protection, said that she had already visited the shelter without suspecting anything and does not understand how this could happen. The manager, Marc Sanchez, explained that he was "overwhelmed" by the influx of animals. However, the association had received material aid from the town hall of Lunel of 4,000 euros to allow volunteers to build shelters and Marc Sanchez had also launched a fund on the website HelloAsso to "continue to carry out his fight and offer a good life to animals. Annabelle Dalle experienced this case as a betrayal, saying "a man who loved animals so much ... How could he by behind mistreat them? It is intolerable."