By Evie Andreou
A man from a Nicosia village was found guilty of animal abuse on Thursday, for a brutal attack against a stray dog in 2012.
His sentence will be announced in September, the head of the Animal Party Kyriacos Kyriacou told the Cyprus Mail.
The attack happened in the Nicosia village of Ayia Varvara. The man attacked Thunder, a five-month old puppy at the time, which had been playing with children, and “kept hitting it and then lifting it up and hitting it on the edge of the pavement repeatedly in a maniacal manner” witnesses had said, all in the presence of small children.
Thunder, which suffers from partial paralysis of his hind legs, caused by the abuse, was rushed to a vet and was in a coma for several days due to brain haemorrhage. He also had to undergo several operations.
Following his ordeal, Thunder was adopted by a young couple from Nicosia, Kyriacou said.
He expressed his party’s satisfaction with the court’s ruling.
“We look forward to the announcement of the sentence. We want the courts to impose deterrent sentences in such cases,” Kyriacou said.
He added that according to the law, the maximum penalty for cruelty to animals is one year in jail and or a €1700 fine, but that his party was currently gathering information about sentences handed down in similar cases in European courts in a bid to lobby the justice ministry to make penalties stricter.
In March, a 66-year-old man was jailed for two months for killing his dog by tying it to a car and dragging it through the streets of Limassol on Christmas day in 2013.
Following Thunder’s attack, a local teenager created a facebook page about the incident, which was picked up by CNN after it went viral on the internet.
The teen had called on foreigners to “please boycott tourism to my country” until the animal welfare law is properly enforced.