Tuesday 3 October 2023

For the first time in Latin America a dog is the victim of abuse at trial

The Atenas court judge allowed the dog to be present in the courtroom during trial in the case of animal abuse in which it was the victim

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Champéon (Champion), a young dog of two years and two months, became the first animal in Latin America on Monday, in the Costa Rican city of Atenas, to take part in a trial as a victim of abuse.

For the first time in Latin America, a dog (the victim) was allowed to be present at trial. Photo Albert Marin / La Nacion. Watch the video here.

On Monday (July 21), in Atenas, Alajuela, a 34-year-old woman surnamed González stool trial accused of mistreatment and malnutrition and for keeping a dog in her home in unhygienic conditions.

The Fiscalia (prosecution) told the court that, in November 2017, the Fundación Animales Atenas (Atenas Animal Foundation) received an alert from the accused’s own brother that she had the dog tied up with a shoelace at the height of his neck and in deplorable conditions.

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Judge Mario Rodríguez, authorized the dog, the victim of the abuse, to be in the courtroom during trial.

After reading the accusation, to which the woman refused to enter a plea, three witnesses were called to the stand, the veterinarian who treated the animal, Gustavo Salas; animal rescuer Dora Castro and the other rescuer and complainant, Isabel Aguilar, who currently has the dog.

However, Jorge González, the brother of the accused and the prosecutor’s key witness, did not show and the trial was suspended to Friday (July 26).


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