Marie-France Le Bagousse-Baus had been in police custody since Tuesday for “breach of trust” and “complicity in willful attack on the life of an animal”, said prosecutor Jacques-Edouard Andrault.
Two missing dogs
The case dates back to early April, when an owner of two dogs reported their disappearance in Eauze, in the north-east of the department, on March 24.
“They had been recovered by the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) but the president refused to hand them over to her,” said the prosecutor. In the meantime, the owner of the two dogs, a Beauceronne and a Sharpeï cross, who has posted posters and published his research on social networks, manages to find the person who had picked up his dogs.
She tells him that they were “in good health” but that the veterinarian was unable to read their chip. The Ordan-Larroque SPA, which acts as a pound, is alerted and recovers the two animals. Despite many steps, the owner does not manage to get his female dogs back and ends up filing a complaint.
The youngest was adopted by a third person “outside the file” and has since been handed over to her owner. “Today the president of the SPA is criticized for having kept the two dogs in her possession, and for not having returned them to the owner”, explains the Auch prosecutor. This for breach of trust.
Shot down with a gunshot
But she is also suspected of complicity in attacking the life of an animal. This woman had also “asked a third person to kill one of the two dogs with a firearm”, specified the prosecutor, pointing to the hypothesis that she had “probably judged that the owner was not legitimate to keep them. The owner had been told that the Beauceronne had to be euthanized.
An exceptional board of directors was to take place on Friday at the headquarters of the SPA du Gers, located in Ordan-Larroque, to decide on the follow-up to the presidency.
“We suspected something, we had talked about it with her, but the decisions belonged to her,” said an employee of the structure, preferring to remain anonymous.
As part of her judicial review, the president of the SPA du Gers was banned from going there, as well as from exercising any professional or social activity related to animals.
Investigators are now investigating whether similar cases may have occurred in the past.