SPARTA – Upset with what it said were inhumane conditions for dozens of dogs being held in a pound in Sparta, a stray rights and rescue organization has filed a sit claiming even cruel treatment.
The suit was filed at the local prosecutor’s office in the Eastern Peloponnese town by the Save a Greek Stray non-governmental organization during a visit to the site, said Kathimerini.
The team reported seeing dogs in the pound’s care in an emaciated condition, showing signs of distress and acute illness, chained in small, dirty enclosures and at least one dead on a chain.
The group accused municipal officials of “criminal negligence” and requested the pound turn over all the ill and dying dogs to its care instead of being left there, the report added.
In November, 2020, Greece’s Parliament ruled by the New Democracy government passed a law making serious animal abuse a crime punishable by up to 10 years in prison but it wasn’t clear if municipal officials are exempt from any punishment.
It was passed unanimously, however, a rare show of solidarity in a notoriously fractured and partisan Parliament which approved the measure that has a minimum 1-year sentence and fines ranging up to 15,000 euros ($17,028.)
The law defines serious animal abuse as including poisoning, hanging, burning and mutilation with no indication whether it would extend to facilities operated by cities and towns.
Then-Agriculture Minister Makis Voridis said the law sent a “strong message” to society after a string of animal abuse incidents, including a dog hung and castrated by its owner.
Stray dogs are a menace in Greece, however, responsible for many attacks, especially when traveling in packs and have even mauled and killed by people, especially in remote areas.