By Evie Andreou
LITTLE BILLY, the stray dog thrown alive into a cardboard crusher by two hotel employees in Protaras three weeks ago is now featuring prominently in the international press.
The infamous photo of the little black poodle lying unconscious at the vet clinic after his rescue from the crushing machine featured prominently on the Daily Mail’s online edition on Monday, accompanied by the story of the dog’s fate which shocked locals and visitors alike and sparked a storm of protest.
Billy’s story has also been featured in the Daily Mirror, Deutsche Welle, AOL and the New Zealand Herald.
Billy, who died nearly two weeks ago, has become a symbol against animal abuse and the heavy criticism and negative publicity it brought, urged the government to speed up the process for the creation of a coordinating body that will better manage all services, state, local and private that work with animals.
On Sunday, Humanimal, a Greek activist group, protested outside the Cyprus Embassy in Athens. The activists demanded justice for Billy’s death and the creation of an animal police in Cyprus.
The protest was in support of the two earlier protests that took place in Cyprus, organised by the Nicosia Dog Shelter, outside Anastasia Hotel in Protaras where the incident took place.
The two employees involved were fired from the hotel, and they were charged. The hotel has been tarnished however not just for the incident itself but also for the response of the owners towards the protesters, which aggravated public opinion even more.
Billy was rescued from the crushing machine, by tourists who heard his screams and was transferred to a local vet clinic. He was in a coma for two weeks and died on July 4.
By Evie Andreou