Authorities from the Greek island of Crete have fined a man who dumped five new-born kittens in a garbage bin an unprecedented amount of $263 000 (£214 000) under new Greek pet ownership laws. The man also faces prosecution for a felony charge and, if found guilty, could spend up to five years in prison.
The incident happened earlier this month when a 59-year-old man from Heraklion snatched the kittens from their mother and put them into a sack before tossing them into a garbage bin. A woman later found the kittens, one of which had already died. The survivors were rushed to the vet, but only one of the remaining litter survived.
The incident was immediately reported to local animal welfare and police. Security footage had captured the man, his car and the incident, and together with the support of the local community, he was identified and apprehended a few days later.
The man ultimately admitted that the dumped the kittens, which were around two weeks old.
Greece has a long and shameful history of animal abuse. In September 2021, the Greek parliament approved a new law on pet ownership, which laid out stricter penalties for animal abandonment and abuse, including acts like the shooting and poisoning of animals. This case is the first time that the new regulations have been implemented to the full might of the law: a €50,000 fine per dumped kitten, as well as the risk of jail time. Under the new laws, abandoning or killing new-born animals is a felony charge and the fine cannot be written off.
“We welcome this harsh penalty and hope that is serves as a deterrent to anyone else considering committing an atrocious act of abuse or abandonment against defenceless animals,” said David Barritt of Network for Animals. “We applaud to the Greek authorities for taking animal abuse seriously, and hope that more countries will follow in their footsteps.”
Banner Image credit: Keep Talking Greece