Dog cruelty case: Hope of breakthrough

Escrito por Nuria Querol i Viñas. Publicado en News in English.

Animal welfare officers were last night hoping they had secured a breakthrough in the hunt for the person, or persons, responsible for hurling a dog to its death from a 50ft sea cliff. A man has come forward who believes the young pit bull that perished in the sea near Admiralty House Park in Pembroke earlier this week was his pet.
Dog cruelty case: Hope of breakthrough


By Scott Neil


Animal welfare officers were last night hoping they had secured a breakthrough in the hunt for the person, or persons, responsible for hurling a dog to its death from a 50ft sea cliff. A man has come forward who believes the young pit bull that perished in the sea near Admiralty House Park in Pembroke earlier this week was his pet.
The man was due to meet with animal welfare officers yesterday evening to see the body of the dog and confirm whether or not it is his missing pet.
If so, it will give investigators a lead in the hunt for the individual or persons responsible for sending the dog to its death after chaining it to two heavy breeze blocks and throwing it off the cliff near Spanish Point.
Bermuda Police Service animal protection officer Yvonne Ricca, who hopes to reveal more details today, said: “Someone has come forward and said that, from looking at the photos, they think it is their dog.”
P.c. Ricca said that, should the individual confirm it is their dog, they will be able to identify the location from where the dog was taken and hopefully discover useful information from neighbours that could identify the culprit who carried out the cruel act against the red-tan coloured pit bull.
It was help from the public that alerted the authorities to a previous case of two pit bulls that had been buried alive .
“A member of the public who knew the person had these dogs, then saw them digging a hole and then noticed the dogs missing the next day, informed us - otherwise we would have never known,” said P.c. Ricca.
In that instance in 2003, Pembroke man Steven Phipps was jailed for nine months after confessing to the crime.
When asked if current penalties and punishments for animal cruelty were tough enough to be a deterrent to others, P.c. Ricca said: “If someone is found guilty of cruelty and it is a bad case they can go to prison for one year. “We have started to write up amendments to change legislation with higher fines and punishments, which will eventually go to Cabinet.”
The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals has restated that it is determined to prevent cruelty to animals and to prosecute wherever possible.
Heather Kromer, President of the SPCA, said: “The SPCA is currently considering ways to prevent the barbaric elimination of unwanted animals by owners by encouraging owners to anonymously drop off these animals to us, even if it means doing so during off hours.”
Theresa Ince, SPCA shelter manager, would also like to see greater education of the public and awareness that they can seek help if they have a pet they no longer want or a dog that is overly aggressive. Anyone who wishes to report the mistreatment of an animal can do so by calling anonymously the SPCA at 236-7333, Crimestoppers on 1-800-623-8477 or the Police animal protection officer on 515-0390.