Man sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing Mexican service dogs
Mexico City, Aug 23 (EFE).- A man was sentenced to more than 10 years in prison Tuesday in the central Mexican state of Querétaro for the killings of Athos and Tango, rescue and emotional support dogs that were part of the emergency bodies of the Mexican Red Cross, in the first criminal trial for animal abuse in the country’s history.
A judge sentenced Benjamín “N” to 10 years and six months in prison for killing the dogs with poisoned sausages on June 13, 2021.
Balam, puppy of border collie Athos, also suffered serious illness due to the poisoned food.
Benjamín “N” was found guilty on three charges over the deaths of Athos and Yorkshire terrier Tango, the injury caused to Balam, and for the poison administered to them.
In addition to jail, Benjamín “N” will have to pay 2.3 million pesos ($115,000) in damages and a fine of 115,000 pesos ($5,700).
“We achieved a sentence with an imprisonment term of ten years and six months and an exemplary damages, according to the value of the puppies, the training and all the care they had and that was provided by their handler,” said Mónica Huerta, lawyer of Edgar Martínez, trainer and owner of Athos and Tango.
The accused was given the maximum sentence, and will have to appear again in court at the end of the month where the sentence will be read. He will then have 10 business days to appeal.
The lawyer said that the judge considered that the deaths of the dogs not only caused suffering to the handler, but also affected society due to the work they carried out, so the judge considered that it was an irreparable loss that “neither the sentence nor the fine is sufficient to repair the damage in this particular case.”
This punishment, she added, makes it clear that in Querétaro and in Mexico the loss of a pet is no longer spoken of as that of an object, but as a living being that represents irreparable damage and a loss for a family.
Emmanuel Tovar Amador, a veterinarian in charge of the dogs, said the trial sets a precedent for justice for animals in Mexico. EFE