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14 June, 2024
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Dog farm owner rejects abuse claims after video

Suspected dog breeder responds to media criticism, says he is not running a puppy mill


A distressing video showing dogs confined on a farm in rural Nicosia has drawn criticism and caused concern on social media, with the owner rushing to dismiss abuse allegations and saying he was not aware of the latest tethering laws.

Local residents in Meniko, a rural community in Nicosia district, have been complaining about a dog farm in their midst where they would hear constant barking and whining from a group of confined canines, tied in outdoor circular spaces exposed to the elements and a short distance from each other.

A video by SigmaLive was posted on social media, with the network saying Police and Animal Services had been notified about the situation.

Police said officers who visited the location did not witness any criminal offenses, according to SigmaLive, which added that law enforcement officials pointed the news network to other state agencies.

But social media users, who commented on the story, accused police officers of not being familiar with the law.

“Police say no criminal offenses were found. They don’t even know animal laws. Deplorable!!!” a dog lover wrote on her Facebook account.

They came from Animal Services and told us that there was a complaint and that it was illegal to keep dogs on a leash. We did not know that a law had passed that prohibits dog tethering

An animal law passed by the House in 2020 prohibits dog tethering, with violators committing a criminal offense rather than a misdemeanor and could also face prosecution in speedy trials for leaving animals confined and unattended.

The same law allows dog tethering only in a public place for a very short period during a walk.

But the dog farm owner, who also contacted SigmaLive, says he was not aware of the new legislation.

“They came from Animal Services and told us that there was a complaint and that it was illegal to keep dogs on a leash. We did not know that a law passed a few months ago that prohibits dog tethering, so we took them to a safe area,” he said.

The dog owner said there were no puppies dying as it had been suggested and reassured the media that all canines on the farm were healthy, vaccinated, microchipped, and registered with authorities.

“We are not dog breeders, we keep a number of dogs of a specific breed for taking part in meetings of the Cyprus Kennel Club,” he said.

Purebred versus mixed-breed

The Cyprus Kennel Club, which promotes purebred dogs over mixed-breed, argues that thoroughbred canines are generally healthier, a claim that has been debunked by veterinarians.

“We say no to exploitation by dog breeders and profiteers,” the organization says on its website.

Dogs from puppy mills remain popular among many Cypriots, who choose to pay hundreds of euros for a purebred instead of adopting an animal from a local shelter.

But the farm owner says they also took in stray dog.

“Besides our dogs, we also have an old German Shepherd that we found and we felt sorry for her, so we take care of her too,” he said.

He also told SigmaLive that they had bought a field where tyhey could keep dog cages but they got stolen.

“We filed a complaint with police but unfortunately they have been unable to locate the perpetrates,” he said.

He went on to say that they then brought the purebreds next to the family residence, where there is plenty of open space, and built new cages that were knocked down by a tornado.

“We are a dog-loving family and we take exception to having some people question our dignity and love for the animals,” he added.

Cyprus  |  Nicosia  |  Meniko  |  dog farm  |  breeder  |  puppy mill  |  animal abuse  |  Cyprus Kennel Club  |  dog tethering  |  purebred  |  mixed breed

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