New protocol against animal cruelty and mistreatment
Santo Domingo, DR
A process of redesigning its protocols for the prosecution of crimes of abuse against animals is well underway by the Public Prosecutor’s Office, which is seeking to extend its actions to the entire country and is considering that prosecutors ensure compliance with the law in this regard.
The Deputy Prosecutor, Rodolfo Espiñeira Ceballos, a member of the Superior Council of the Public Prosecutor’s Office, explained that for several months this entity has been in the process of reviewing its Animal Protection Department.
“We trust, even, that all citizens create awareness towards animals and that, in addition, they know that they are protected by Law 248-12, on Animal Protection and Responsible Possession, of August 15, 2012,” said Ceballos.
In that order, he pondered the interest of the General Directorate of Special Programs of the Presidency (Propeep) in building the “First State Model Shelter,” which will allow the central government to assume the care of the dogs sheltered in Pedro Brand.
Espiñeira Ceballos informed that the director of Propeep, José Leonel (Neney) Cabrera Abud, informed the Public Ministry, through a communication dated the 2nd of this month, that on the lands of Pedro Brand, where the shelter of the Animal Protection Unit of the Attorney General’s Office is located, the Government seeks to establish “the First State Model Shelter,” for which plans and a budget is already ready.
“We know that the support of conscientious citizens is key in the fight against animal abuse,” he said.
“We weigh their complaints through social networks and we also want them to be proactive in reporting cases in their respective prosecutors’ offices, because we want these crimes to be prosecuted with the same determination in all jurisdictions,” Espiñeira Ceballos added.
He praised the Government’s interest in the shelter, indicating that the Animal Protection Unit of the Attorney General’s Office has economic limitations, with a budget of RD$200,000 per month for its activities.
With its few resources, the unit is responsible for the veterinary care of the dog shelter in Pedro Brand, which houses 75 dogs. “This month alone in the Procuraduría 273,000 pesos will be spent on food, care and surveillance of the animals and each month we receive an average of 50 situations involving animals.”
FORCE OF LAW
Law 248-12 imposes penalties of three to six months imprisonment and between 10 and 20 minimum wages in fines for those who mistreat animals.
In cases involving cruelty, imprisonment will be from 6 months to one year and fines between 25 and 50 minimum wages. In addition, the law places the prosecution of animal abuse crimes under the responsibility of the Public Prosecutor’s Office.
For its part, Public Health must put into operation shelters in the National District and the provincial capitals.