Prison is where animal abusers belong to, and this is where the 77 year old murdered is going. Yesterday the court found him guilty as charged, and he will be paying the price for all 16 cats he poisoned that night.
It all happened a year ago, in Giannoudi, a small village near Rethymnon, Crete. A popular touristic destination and notorious for its animal cruelty practices, Crete is where no Geek animal lover would want to spend its vacation.
The 77 year old was caught on camera, as he spread poisonous food for the cats, all around the perimeter of his neighbor’s house. Sixteen of them died, and the woman pressed charges against him, with the help of the president of the local animal charity.
Once a coward always a coward – the guy never showed up in court, but was represented by his lawyer. He was sentenced to two years in prison and was fined € 480.000 for what he did (€30.000 for EACH cat).
The recent law in Greece is very strict, and, as opposed to other things in Greece, quite good actually. For years, charities and animal welfare organizations have been trying to make it happen, and in 2012 the first law about animal well being and animal cruelty was completed.
For every death of an animal, caused deliberately, the fine is €30.000. Breeding for profit is illegal, microchipping and registering the pets is obligatory, and various regulations about the pets’ well being are set.
I always get asked why isn’t the Greek law protecting the innocent, and the answer is never easy. Because it is hard to explain to people who can’t grasp the ridiculousness of the Greek reality, how progressive the law actually is and how it is rarely applied by anyone – the neighbors who never report, because “they don’t want to get involved”, the police, who makes up excuses every time they are called for an animal abuse case, and sometimes the justice, who lets abusers go free, with nothing but a “warning” .
I hope the 77 year old serves as an example to the rest of the senior residents of this schizophrenic country, who are following the tradition of controlling the animal population by poisoning them and disposing of the newborns wrapped up in plastic bags and into the garbage.