Ankara, woman detained for abusing dogs

10 years in prison sought for woman accused of torturing and killing dogs

Prosecutors ask for the defendant, in whose garden malnourished and buried dogs were found, the maximum penalty under new animal abuse law.

A woman arrested yesterday in Ankara accused of torturing and killing at least 11 dogs could be the first person sentenced to prison in Turkey following the reform of the animal abuse law that was approved in the Turkish parliament last July, after police discovered in the garden of her house bodies of buried animals. The prosecution asks the accused for the maximum penalty under the new law: 10 years and 6 months in jail.

Police found in the house of the suspect, identified by the initials M.T., seven dogs that she kept locked up in painful hygienic conditions and that had not been fed for several days; later a larger registry discovered the bodies of up to 11 buried dogs, thanks to the stench of decomposition that emanated from the place.

Prosecution believes that the woman was engaged in collecting stray dogs to take them to her house, where several witnesses had denounced that they used to hear dogs crying. Under the new law against animal abuse, pets and domestic animals ceased to be considered the property of their owners for legal purposes, and now they are seen as living beings with their own rights; besides, there are much higher prison sentences and fines.

The suspect faces a petition before the Ankara courts for more than 10 years in prison, accused of torturing and killing the dogs that she kept locked up in her home: charges that the woman denies, assuring that she was dedicated to caring for stray animals that she found; the detainee also acknowledges having buried two dogs in her garden after they died of natural causes, but she denies having buried the others.