Shemaine Bushnell Kyriakides
A 28-year-old Cypriot man was arrested yesterday in connection with a case of animal abuse. He is the second suspect that has been arrested in relation to this case. A 25-year-old man had already been arrested on Sunday and was detained on a court order pending investigation.
According to police sources, an unnamed citizen had contacted the Limassol Police department last Saturday complaining about a video posted on Instagram showing two dogs being subjected to a dog fight in an undisclosed local area. The case was forwarded to the Limassol Animal Police unit who, along with the Cyprus Cybercrime unit, proceeded to scrutinize the video to determine the location and people involved.
As a result, police were able to identify the two men that appeared in the video, a 28-year-old and a 25-year-old. Police immediately issued arrest warrants and on Sunday the first of the two suspects, the 25-year-old man, was found shortly before 4:30 pm.
He was brought to court on Monday and a one-day detention order was imposed. Police arrested the second suspect, a 28-year-old man, on Monday afternoon, and he has also been detained pending the investigation.
According to the head of the Animal Police unit, the two suspects are facing charges of animal cruelty and the case will be heard in court. If found guilty, they can face a penalty of 10,000 euros each or imprisonment for one year.
The case continues to be under investigation by Limassol Animal Police Unit.
The Animal Police Unit in Cyprus was established in May 2021 in order to deal with the increasing number of complaints of animal abuse on the island. The unit is composed of 16 officers, 4 in Nicosia, 4 in Limassol, and 2 each in the districts of Paphos, Larnaca, Morphou and Famagusta. To date, they have successfully brought 40 cases to trial and have investigated more than 600 complaints.
If you or anyone you know suspects or is a witness to animal abuse, you can immediately report it at your local police station who will then refer the case to the Animal Police Unit. There is no official hotline at this time.