A 66-year-old man was jailed for two months on Thursday for killing his dog by tying it to a car and dragging it through the streets of Limassol on Christmas day in 2013.
The defendant had been arrested by police officers who were in pursuit after witnessing the horrific event of the Rottweiler being dragged behind a Land Rover.
Retired educator Andreas Ioannou had been found guilty of killing a dog, tying a dog to a moving vehicle, illegal use of a collar, negligence, assaulting police officers, and disobeying police orders.
The Cyprus Animal Party said it was the first custodial sentence in an animal abuse case.
The maximum sentence for animal abuse is a year in jail and or a €1,700 fine.
In its decision, delivered before a packed room, the court described the circumstances of the offenses as unacceptable. The defendant showed no concern or sign of distress when he saw his dead dog, the court said.
“We will get some peace and quiet already. What is your problem,” he told the police officer who stopped him that day, according to the court.
His behaviour was inexcusable and condemnable and was not consistent with defence witnesses who claimed he loved and looked after Bruno.
The court said the objective of the sentence is to punish and reform the perpetrator, but also to deter him and others from committing similar offenses
The circumstances of the crime were especially harsh and did not permit the court to suspend the sentence, the judge said.
Animal welfare groups expressed disappointment
Kyriacos Kyriacou, the head of the animal party, said they were “not fully satisfied” but the sentence would set a precedent for similar cases in the future. Until now, animal abusers were either fined or given suspended jail terms, he said.
Kyriacou said he will seek meetings with the attorney-general in a bid to push for stricter penalties.
The Green Party said two months were not enough and that it had expected the state to be stricter.