The man accused of throwing his dog from the fifth floor of a Strasbourg apartment was sentenced to eight months in prison on Wednesday, February 1, followed by four months of probation and a care obligation at the Strasbourg Criminal Court.
No less than seven animal welfare associations have joined as civil parties in the immediate appearance trial held on Wednesday 1 February in Strasbourg to prosecute the man suspected of throwing his dog from the 5th floor of a Neuhof building on Monday 30 January.
The Strasbourg Criminal Court sentenced him to eight months in prison, followed by a four-month suspended sentence with a duty of care. He is now also banned from owning a pet for life.
The associations, represented by five lawyers, wanted to recall the ordeal suffered by Moka, a Little Crusader in Beijing, after a fall of more than 15 meters from his owner’s residence, on Monday, January 30, 2023, in the Neuhof district of Strasbourg .
On Monday 30 January around 8.30 the dog Moka is discovered by a neighbor returning from work by bicycle. She herself was alerted by the driver of a van. He tells her that he sawan alcoholic who throws a dog out the window“.
The one-and-a-half-year-old Peking Crusader lies on the ground in a pool of blood, his hindquarters paralyzed. The neighbor calls the fire department, then she sees the dog’s owner arrive, barefoot and drunk. “My dog opened the window and he jumped out“, he explains to a passer-by.
My dog opened the window and jumped out.First explanations from the dog owner
At the hearing, the defendant finally explains that he accidentally fell from the fifth floor. He would have liked to keep away a box of liver pâté coveted by the animal by placing it on the window. To escape the vigilance of his highly alcoholic master, the tiny 25 cm tall, 12 kg dog would have managed to jump to reach the edge and would have fallen.
Then he would have remained an hour dying on the tiles in front of the building before the neighbor discovered him.
During the hearing, the lawyers and the prosecutor tried to understand the inconsistencies in the defendant’s statements. Highly intoxicated at the time of the events, the 39-year-old man still had 0.89 mg alcohol per liter of exhaled air when he was arrested by the police. The box of pâté was not found by the investigators, neither in the studio nor outside.
During his hearing, he told investigators: “if my dog dies, it doesn’t matter. With the red wine I could make it into a bourguignon“. What the defendant during the hearing refers to as a joke.
He denies accidentally throwing his dog out of the window, but admits to being an alcoholic. After several years on the streets, he finally managed to rent a small apartment from the Horizon Amitié association and take a dog because he felt alone. At the end of the hearing, he addressed the representatives of the associations and the public, and he wanted to say that he loved his dog, a dog that he offended according to some neighbors.
Maître Didier Reins, lawyer for the Society for the Protection of Animals (SPA) told about the 24 hours after the discovery of the dog. SPA took charge of the animal and put it on pain medication, giving it an x-ray to see the extent of the injuries.
“SPA tried to treat him for 24 hours”, Master Reins explained. “We did everything we could to save this doggie. But he was literally imploded, a single organ was out of place, nothing was working. He was in terrible pain and could never have healed.He was finally euthanized on Tuesday for humanitarian reasons.
We did everything we could to save this dog. But it had literally imploded, a single organ was out of place, nothing was working. He was in terrible pain and could never have healed.Maître Didier Reins, SPA lawyer
“In the SPA, when we euthanize a dog, we euthanize. We will be thinking about this little dog for weeks“, the lawyer explained.”The sentence must have meaning, so that everyone finally knows that we do not insult animals, we do not beat them and we do not throw them out of the window“.
The defendant faced a maximum prison sentence of 5 years and a fine of 75,000 euros, a penalty increased by a new law which dates from December 2021. Before that date, the maximum was 2 years in prison and a fine of 30,000 euros.
“The hearts of men will not change”said Maître Patrice Grillon, lawyer for the Stéphane Lamart Association and the Animal Protection Brigade. “And we will see similar cases again. French judges will continue to deal with acts of violence against animals.“
The lawyer explains that the number of cases before the French courts is increasing. “The positive thing is that citizens are increasingly aware of the fate of animals.” And that they no longer hesitate to condemn outlaw behavior.
Soon police and gendarmes will be trained to deal with animal cruelty.
After the hearing, the man was found guilty of throwing his dog out of the window. He was sentenced to twelve months in prison, of which four months were probation and compulsory care. Sentence accompanied by a lifetime ban on owning a domestic animal.
The man must also pay a large fine to the seven animal welfare associations: 800 euros and 800 euros in legal fees for six of them, and 1,200 euros to SPA for moral damage, 800 euros in legal fees and 208 euros in veterinary expenses, i.e. a total of 11,808 euros.
This decision is a strong signal for the cause of the animal. The French judges are more and more strict. When you are cruel to an animal, you can end up in jail.Maître Patrice Grillon, lawyer for the Stéphane Lamart Association and the Animal Protection Brigade
Maître Cécile Boutin, the defendant’s lawyer, does not yet know whether her client will appeal. He has ten days to do it. He left tonight in custody.
Master Patrice Grillon is pleased with the decision. “Despite his denials, he was found guilty of the facts: he deliberately threw his animal out of the window. This decision is a strong signal for the cause of the animal. The French judges are more and more strict. When you are cruel to an animal, you can end up in jail“.