9.12.2004. Protest of Animal Friends Croatia because of the monstrous murder of the dog
WE DEMAND PUNISHMENTS FOR CRIMES AGAINST ANIMALS!
On Saturday, around 11 AM, a 19-year-old called the police and reported his neighbor who was beating up a dog in his front yard. When police arrived at the scene they confirmed that Ostoja Babic (66 years old) simultaneously beat and stabbed his own dog at his head and body with half-meter long iron bar, pitchfork and axe for over an hour. One of the policemen mercifully shot deadly injured dog, which, according to neighbors, screamed of pain. After that, the dog owner buried his dog in his meadow behind the house.
We feel bitter and shock over monstrous torture and murder of poor dog, so Animal Friends Croatia will protest in front of Ostoja Babić's house, Črnkovečka Street No 3, on Thursday, 9 December 2004. Activists will hold banners, chant slogans and raise voices against cruelty towards animals and will condemn this barbaric deed.
Whilst our neighboring country Italy enforces financial fines of 10.000 and a year in prison for abandonment of pets, and Italy and Germany have included animal rights in their constitutions, in Croatia crimes against animals are rarely prosecuted. Small number of animal abuse cases with strong evidences is considered to be less important in comparison with 'more important' problems of our society. Unfortunately, so far in Croatia practically nobody is punished for cruelty to animals.
On the occasion of horrifying case of beaten up dog, we sent a report to Veterinary inspection and demanded strict imposition of punishment according to the existing Animal Welfare Act. We also call public to condemn this evil deed and ask for not only maximum punishment for criminal charge (up to 150 daily wages or six months in prison) and for violating Animal Welfare Act, but also to ban Ostoja Babic own any animal for the rest of his life. We also ask for urgent changes in catastrophic Animal Welfare Act, where cases of animal abuse would be punished appropriately, and not with ridiculously low fines.
Ostoja Babic showed no regret or remorse for crime he committed, and a reason he gave for brutal beating up of innocent mutt was 'She didn't guard my home well enough', meaning she didn't bark at passers-by but happily wagged her tail when someone entered his front yard: 'I realized she's of no use to me so I beat her up to death. I don't need such dog.'
There are many studies that show connection between violence against animals and violence against people. All mass killers tortured animals in their childhood. Children who grow up in normal environment and are appropriately raised never hurt animals or people. Violence to animals shows severe psychopathic problems and serious mental disorder. People who are violent to animals rarely stop merely at that.
Because of deficiencies in the existing Animal Welfare Act and financial fines for perpetrators which are merely symbolic, Animal Friends Croatia created Animal Welfare Bill which didn't pass in the Parliament and was evaluated as 'too futuristic'. In this Bill, Animal Friends Croatia asked for better monitoring over animal abuse, much higher fines and possibility of criminal charges against perpetrators. Now we wonder is horrid murder of poor dog also something 'futuristic'? Are crimes such as killing of dog by spinning him around with crane until he died, case of molestation of hen by school graduates two years ago, stabbing of tied up dog with knives in Split or abuse of kittens and mother cat by high school kids in Krk, also futuristic? We are aware that for abused, tortured and killed animal every punishment comes too late, but high financial fines and prosecution of crimes against animals would warn sick and unstable individuals that they won't get away easily.