Outrage after death of puppy whose limbs and tail had been cut off; one arrested
The maimed pup, who was about a month old, struggled to hold on to life for two days after walkers found it in a forested area
A man was arrested in Turkey after a month-old pupppy was found with its legs and tail chopped off in a wooded area, and which has triggered a wave of outrage against animal cruelty in the country.
The maimed pup struggled to hold on to its life for two days after walkers found him in the woods in Sapanca district, Sakarya. It was rushed to a vet immediately but died while undergoing surgery on June 15.
Animals lovers and activists in the country and around the world have spoken out about the incident so much that that the issue has figured in the debates leading up the the polls on June 24.
President Recap Tayyip Erdogan told an election rally in Istanbul on June 17 that the authorities have arrested a construction machine operator in connection to the brutal maiming of the poor animal.
Berktuğ Çiftçi, the vet who treated the puppy, told Doğan News Agency that the wounds on the tiny dog showed that the cuts were made with an extremely sharp object like a knife or an axe.
He said there was no doubt that the injuries were caused by a person.
Nuray Ersoy, one of the walker who found the puppy while feeding stray dogs in the area, said that preliminary investigation showed that the puppy's feet were probably chopped off with some heavy construction equipment.
Images and videos of the little dog went viral on social media, and the incident was taken up by the media across the country. Politicians from opposing parties have come together in a rare move and called for some action to introduce a new law that will prevent similar violence against stray animals.
Erdogan said that the country's laws for animal rights will definitely be amended after the elections take place on June 24 where he is confident he'll be voted in with increased power.
If these laws are introduced, it will change the way stray dogs in the country are handled by the public. The government is hoping to implement penalties for any person who abuses dogs.
Erdogn said: "Whether at home or on the street, we will take the law into consideration and evaluate it. This operator was arrested today. The authorities in Sapanca ordered his arrest. There is nothing acceptable about this, but it is very important to show this awareness."
Lütfi Dursun, the Sakarya Chief Prosecutor, told the Daily Sabah that the machine worker had been arrested after the images and videos of the pup went viral on social media. He didn't provide any further details.
Animal rights groups in Turkey have said the punishment for animal cruelty had not been strict enough in the country.
However, Erol Yidiz, a resident who stays near the area where the puppy was maimed, said it was a case of work accident and and not a case of animal cruelty as it is being made out to be.
He told the Anadolu Agency: "This is a work accident and the real murderers are those who leave these dogs here."
Meral Aksener, the Iyi Party leader and a presidental candidate, tweeted about the incident: "This brutality against a small being is a painful manifestation of the loss of values in our country. I hope to God that those who hurt a small puppy find what they deserve in the afterlife. If only they would do so in this world with the correct laws as well."