Owner, neighbor get away with a mere fine of 809 liras for amputating dog's legs

The owner of a golden retriever and his neighbor have been given an administrative fine of total 809 Turkish liras ($103) for their role in amputating the dog's legs. The decision was severely criticized on social media, with several users asking the government how it can justify this decision.

Duvar English

Two people have received a mere monetary fine for amputating a golden retriever's front legs, Turkish media outlets reported on Dec. 2.

The dog's owner was given a fine of 181 Turkish liras ($23), whereas the neighbor was given a fine of 628 Turkish liras ($80).

Pamuk (“cotton”), as rescuers have called the badly-injured dog, suffered for days before her owner decided to take her to the vet.

The horrifying incident happened in Turkey's northern province of Samsun last month.

Pamuk's owner found the dog shot in her legs. In an attempt to “treat” the dog, the owner got the help of a neighbor who amputated the two front legs. After seeing the dog writhing in pain, the owner eventually took Pamuk to the vet.

Turkish animal rights group HAYTAP assumed the dog's responsibility and took her to the capital Ankara for a more comprehensive treatment. HAYTAP said that it might be possible to attach prosthetic legs to Pamuk.

“When the injuries at the legs recover, the prosthetic works will start and we will see that she will once again start walking. Along with her physical injuries in her legs, we are trying to treat her psychological injuries. She is not trembling as much as before when she sees people. Pamuk is in safe hands, you should have no worries,” said HAYTAP officials.

The General Directorate of Nature Conservation and National Parks, under the Agriculture and Forestry Ministry, imposed a fine of 181 liras on the owner for “neglecting the dog's care," whereas imposed a fine of 628 liras on the neighbor on the grounds that "surgical interventions can be done only by vets."

Several social media owners criticized this decision, asking the government: “Who would like to explain to Pamuk that the cost of her amputated paws is 181 liras?”

Turkish animal rights activists have been for years urging lawmakers to vote for a long-awaited legislation that will expand rights of animals, amid cases of violence against animals.

Officials from the ruling Justice and Development Party (AKP) said earlier this year that a draft bill could be voted on within months, but no action has been so far taken.

The new legislation aims to respond to public outcry following a series of animal murders, with many of the perpetrators getting administrative fines only, as the Turkish law sees the abuse of animals as simply a “property violation.”