March 1, 2021

Champion, the dog become a symbol against animal abuse in Costa Rica

Champion, a two-year-old dog, has become a symbol against animal abuse in Costa Rica, a country where a trial was carried out this Friday for the aggressions carried out by its former owner.

This Friday a judge of the Criminal Court of Athens, Alajuela province, 40 kilometers from the capital, left acquitted of doubt a woman identified as María Reina González Oconitrillo for the crime of cruelty against animals.

Despite the resolution, Champion has become a symbol of resistance and the fight against animal abuse. In addition, it is the first case of a dog that attends a trial in the country and in Latin America.

Judge Mario Rodríguez Villegas explained that the fact that people realize that animals "have the right, that they deserve protection, that they have the right not to be attacked and not be injured" sets a precedent and "a sentence is not necessary criminal conviction ".

According to the lawsuit, in November 2017 the Athens Animals Foundation received an alert from the accused's brother, Jorge Luis González Oconitrillo, who reported that the animal named Tyson at that time, and being a six-month-old puppy, had deep wounds on his neck caused by a cord.

The lesion was so severe that the cord was embodied inside the skin, almost slaughtering it and causing an open wound about three centimeters deep around his neck. The puppy was malnourished and full of fleas.

The puppy, which is currently called Champion, had to receive attention for about 20 days and medications to survive the abuse.

"We wanted a different answer and in favor, but we understand the position of the judge (…). Marking this precedent was not easy it cost us a lot but we arrived, we already have the weapons to fight and in the next case we know how to do it. Champion it is a symbol, it means a lot that he is here representing all the other animals, "the current owner of Champion, Isabel Aguilar, told Efe.

The trial, which began last Monday, was resumed this Friday at the Athens Criminal Court. However, the main witness and complainant of the situation in 2017 through texts and videos, Jorge Luis González, brother of the accused, did not appear to testify.

This decision weighed in the final sentence because there was a lack of evidence to prove that María Reina González had placed the cord around the dog's neck.

"I could not prove who put that cord to Champion and the key witness did not appear, who was Mr. Jorge Luis, who at this time must be under a stone, because he did not imagine what this process was going to become He must be afraid to face his sister and testify against her, "Judge Rodriguez said.

The judge also criticized the State for passing laws without budgetary content to hire veterinary personnel, forensic veterinarians, rescuers, pathologists, buy vehicles and reform facilities to receive animals.

"What a bad habit we have of creating laws without budgetary content," Rodriguez said.

In the first hearing held last Monday, the judges heard the testimonies of the veterinarian who attended the dog, Gustavo Salas, as well as two rescuers.

In May 2017, Costa Rica approved the Animal Welfare Law that establishes penalties of up to two years in jail to those who cause the death of a domestic or domesticated animal; and up to one year in prison to those who cause harm to an animal, perform sexual acts with them or practice vivisection.

Champion currently lives with his owner Isabel Aguilar, and lives on a farm together with 16 other dogs, 18 cats and chickens, all of them rescued, and now part of his family.

. (tagsToTranslate) Champion (t) converted (t) maltreatment (t) Costa (t) Rica

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