The 500 corpses of the ‘vampire’ of dogs

One day, the employee of the incinerator in the Toledo town of Yuncos got tired of seeing so many dead dogs in garbage bags. And he spoke. Where did the same man get such a number of animals to burn every 15 days? The alarms went off and eyes fell on what Luis Miguel VF had masterfully hidden for almost 20 years. He ran an animal blood bank without having a degree and allegedly draining the specimens until they were killed. The Prosecutor’s Office and the Seprona they maintain that These “cruel” deaths occurred on his farm in Humanes (Madrid), the one from which the bags with four-legged corpses regularly came out and from which the agents rescued 257 dogs and cats 15 days ago.

The market for animal blood is small and apparently lucrative. In the case of dogs and cats, there are no public banks like those for humans, so a handful of private companies are in charge of collecting the fluids and selling them to veterinary clinics. The researcher took advantage of this to build his small blood empire, in which over the years he accumulated dozens of national and international clients. The Civil Guard believes that at least 500 specimens could have died in the facilities of the alleged fraud who ran the Veterinary Transfusion Center, as his company was called.

The agents calculate the economic benefit of the person under investigation at no less than one million euros since he began this activity in 2006. “There are still many open questions. It is investigating whether he extracted blood from sick animals and the exact number of specimens that could have died in this way”, indicate sources from the armed institute. The investigation has managed to prove that, between April and May, some 60 animals died drained, especially dogs and cats. Greyhounds were the most coveted booty because of the usefulness of their blood and because it is common for some owners to get rid of them at the end of the hunting season.

Many of the animals that came to this farm were delivered by these owners who no longer wanted or could have them, and by associations that were looking for a place to leave them temporarily. “He was well known in the world and for some he was a kind of protector,” they say from the Civil Guard. The investigations will also have to determine if there are more people involved in the crimes of which he is accused and how he obtained the necessary medicines for the process. It also remains to be determined what regulatory or control gaps he took advantage of to practice this profession for almost 20 years and achieve such fame in the sector.

On his website, Luis Miguel specified that he had been in business since 2006 and that he had dozens of national and international clients. “Currently we permanently have in stock of DOG, CAT and RABBIT blood components and if necessary we have the possibility of HORSE donors (sic)”, read his presentation. In one of the tabs there were numerous links to papers and talks that he had supposedly given at specialized conferences, as well as scientific studies on animal fluids. In another of the sections, the endless list of clinics to which he had supplied products appeared. That website was emptied of content minutes after this medium called the businessman to collect his version of the story. “I’m not going to say anything, it’s an open process,” he said, before hanging up. In his statement before the judge, he accepted his right not to testify. The farm employee was also arrested in the operation, a Moroccan citizen who investigators suspect helped him in his activities.

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After the alert from the crematorium employee, the Civil Guard investigators gathered several corpses for a little over a month to corroborate the suspicions that something was wrong. Frozen, the bodies of the animals traveled to a specialized center in Madrid where they performed necropsies. The opinion was clear in all of them: they had died of shock hypovolemic (due to excessive blood loss). The investigations indicated that on this farm they inserted the needle directly into the hearts of the animals to extract a greater volume of blood and in the shortest possible time, according to sources of the instruction “If that was true, it is outrageous. The normal thing is to use the jugular or the legs, and take out small amounts every two or three months,” says Cristina Fragio, head of the Veterinary Clinical Hospital of the Complutense University. “As there are generally few donors, we always use this type of bank. I myself have used blood from this company and I have never detected anything unusual ”, she indicates.

alarmed vets

The news of the arrest of Luis Miguel has circulated at heart-stopping speed in the world. His arrest has sparked enormous concern in the sector, in which he moved for years and in which he had built relationships. In fact, the Madrid College of Veterinarians made a move immediately after learning of the arrest and radically distanced itself. As explained by Esther Tortuero, president of its ethics commission, this institution has never had any relationship with the person being investigated and, in addition, an order has already been given to the legal services to appear in the case opened in court against him.

The school, which had not received any complaint against the suspect and did not have him under the radar as it did not belong to this institution, appreciates two possible irregularities. He accuses him of “intrusiveness”, since he was not a veterinarian and the practices he carried out could only be done by accredited professionals and graduates in this field, according to Tortuero. In turn, the institution also wants to investigate if the rule on animal welfare was violated. Fragio, from the Complutense, fears that a case like this will call into question veterinary techniques that have “allowed many lives to be saved.” Within this empire, the researcher had also founded the Animal Hematology and Hemotherapy Association, with the precise aim of certifying laboratories such as his.

Several protectors and associations took charge of the rescued animals on the Humanes farm. Some have survived, but for many others, liberation came too late and they have died or are in critical condition. They escaped from vampirebut not the mistreatment to which they were subjected.

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The 500 corpses of the ‘vampire’ of dogs