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The man accused of having thrown his dog from the 5th floor of an apartment in Strasbourg was sentenced this Wednesday, February 1 to eight months in prison followed by four months of probation and obligation of care by the criminal court of Strasbourg.
No less than seven animal protection associations have joined as civil parties in the immediate appearance trial which was held on Wednesday February 1 in Strasbourg to try the man suspected of having thrown his dog from the 5th floor of a Neuhof building on Monday. January 30.
The Strasbourg Criminal Court sentenced him to eight months in prison followed by four months of probation with obligation of care. He is also now prohibited from owning a pet for life.
The associations, represented by five lawyers, wanted to recall the ordeal suffered by Moka, a small Beijing crusader, after a fall of more than 15 meters from his owner’s accommodation, Monday January 30, 2023, in the Neuhof district of Strasbourg.
Monday, January 30, around 8:30 a.m., the dog Moka is discovered by a neighbor who is returning from work by bicycle. She was herself alerted by the driver of a van. He tells her that he sawan alcoholic throwing a dog out the window« .
The one-and-a-half-year-old Peking Crusader lies on the ground in a pool of blood, his hindquarters paralyzed. The neighbor calls the fire department then she sees the dog’s owner arrive, barefoot and drunk. « My dog opened the window and he jumped out“, he explains to a passerby.
My dog opened the window and jumped out.First explanations from the dog owner
At the hearing, the defendant finally explains that he accidentally fell from the fifth floor. He would have liked to keep a box of liver pâté coveted by the animal away by placing it on the window. Escaping the vigilance of his very alcoholic master, the small 25 cm tall dog weighing 12 kg would have managed to jump to reach the edge and would have fallen.
Then, he would have remained an hour, dying on the flagstones, in front of the building, before the neighbor discovered him.
During the hearing, the lawyers and the prosecutor tried to understand the inconsistencies in the defendant’s statements. Very alcoholic at the time of the events, the 39-year-old man still had 0.89 mg of alcohol per liter of exhaled air when he was arrested by the police. The box of pâté was not found by the investigators, neither in the studio nor outside.
During his hearing, he told investigators: « if my dog dies, it doesn’t matter. With the red wine, I could make it a bourguignon« . What the defendant describes during the hearing as a joke.
He denies accidentally throwing his dog out the window, but admits to being an alcoholic. After several years spent on the street, he finally managed to rent a small apartment from the Horizon Amitié association, and to take a dog because he felt alone. At the end of the hearing, addressing the representatives of the associations and the public, he wanted to say that he loved his dog, a dog that he insulted according to some neighbors.
Maître Didier Reins, lawyer for the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) recounted the 24 hours following the discovery of the dog. The SPA took charge of the animal and placed it on painkillers, giving it an X-ray to see the extent of the injuries.
« The SPA tried to treat him for 24 hours », Master Reins explained. « We did everything possible to save this doggie. But he had literally imploded, a single organ was out of place, nothing was working. He was in terrible pain and could never have healed.He was finally euthanized on Tuesday on humanitarian grounds.
We did everything we could to save this pooch. But it had literally imploded, a single organ was out of place, nothing worked. He was in terrible pain and could never have healed.Maître Didier Reins, SPA lawyer
« At the SPA, when we euthanize a dog, we rehash. We’ll be thinking about this little dog for weeks« , detailed the lawyer. « The sentence must be significant, so that everyone finally knows that we don’t insult animals, we don’t hit them and we don’t throw them out the window« .
The defendant faced a maximum prison sentence of 5 years and a fine of 75,000 euros, a sentence increased by a new law which dates from December 2021. Before this date, the maximum was 2 years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros.
« The hearts of men will not change »said Maître Patrice Grillon, lawyer for the Stéphane Lamart association and the animal protection brigade. “And we will see similar cases again. French magistrates will continue to deal with acts of violence against animals.«
The lawyer explains that the number of cases brought before the French courts is on the rise. « What is positive is that citizens are increasingly aware of the fate of animals.” And that they no longer hesitate to denounce outlaw behavior.
Soon, police and gendarmes will be trained to deal with acts of cruelty to animals.
After the hearing, the man was found guilty of throwing his dog out the window. He was sentenced to twelve months in prison, four months of which was probationary and compulsory care. Sentence accompanied by a lifetime ban on owning a domestic animal.
The man will also have to pay a heavy fine to the seven animal defense associations: 800 euros as well as 800 euros in legal fees for six of them, and 1,200 euros for the SPA for moral damages, 800 euros in lawyer’s fees and 208 euros in veterinary costs, i.e. a total of 11,808 euros.
This decision is a strong signal for the animal cause. The French magistrates are more and more severe. When you are cruel to an animal, you can end up in prison.Maître Patrice Grillon, lawyer for the Stéphane Lamart Association and the Animal Protection Brigade
Maître Cécile Boutin, the defendant’s lawyer, does not yet know whether her client will appeal. He has ten days to do so. He left tonight in detention.
Master Patrice Grillon is satisfied with the decision. « Despite his denials, he was found guilty of the facts: he deliberately threw his animal out of the window. This decision is a strong signal for the animal cause. The French magistrates are more and more severe. When you are cruel to an animal, you can end up in prison« .