If you’re an animal lover and on Facebook you’ve surely heard about the dog that was rescued from a sure death yesterday. According to the person who reported the case, the dog was being kept in a squalid shaft, and for at least a week he had been tied and had a muzzle on all day. This prevented him from barking, eating and possibly even drinking.
The person who posted the story on Facebook claimed that two days before posting, she had called Animal Welfare’s rescue service (1717) and reported the case. She also claimed that Animal Welfare had sent their inspectors to check on the dog but when the owner did not answer the door, the inspectors left.
Just a few hours after posting on Facebook, Animal Welfare officers together with members of the police force entered the premises from the neighbour’s window and rescued the dog.
From here I would like to thank the brave neighbour for possibly putting her own safety at risk by going public with this. If it wasn’t for her selflessness this dog could be dead by now.
I also have it on good authority that AW’s Assistant Director Ms. Lucienne Cassar was crucial in this rescue and on behalf of animal lovers all over the country I would like to thank her wholeheartedly for her work on this case.
Whether AW took drastic action because the story was circulating on Facebook or not remains a mystery, but according to AW’s Director, they had taken this case seriously from the start and had not given up when the owner did not answer the door.
“Montebello qal li minkejja li sfortunatament xi kummenti jistgħu jagħtu l-impressjoni li d-Dipartiment jieqaf mal-ewwel intopp, f’dan il-każ għax is-sid baqa’ ma fetaħx, huma jibqgħu jippersistu sakemm jassigguraw li jkunu wettqu xogħolhom u li l-annimal irrapurtat ma jkunx qiegħed jiġi maħqur.” (inewsmalta)
What remains a mystery is why (oh! Why) did Animal Welfare wait so long to take the drastic action that was required?
Do they not know that according to criminal law (355E), when there is imminent danger and when a crime is still going on, the police can ‘Enter and Seize’ without a warrant? Or did they perhaps not think that the dog was in imminent danger?
I guess we will never know and it’s best to let bygones be bygones and focus on the future.
But focusing on the future means waiting, yet again. We wait for an update on the dog’s wellbeing and we wait to see if Animal Welfare and the Police will prosecute the owner for this atrocity. According to comments given by the Director of Animal Welfare to iNewsmalta, it is not excluded that the owner will be prosecuted.
“Mhux eskluż li se jkunu qegħdin jittieħdu passi legali fil-konfront tas-sid li lanqas fetaħ lill-uffiċjali tal-Pulizija li ppruvaw iħabbtulu l-bieb kemm-il darba.”
This is not to say that prosecution is guaranteed. One can only hope.