The dog was left on the railway to die intentionally

On November 8, 2020, in Senaki, an animal lover/activist witnessed horrific footage of animal cruelty.

Information and photos of the occurrence quickly spread on Facebook.

The photos show an unknown person on the train tracks deliberately leaving the dog in the bag to die. Despite the dog attempting to open the bag, it failed to do so and was run over by the train. The result can be seen in the above photo material: the dismembered body of the dog, the detached head, and limbs.

This cruel act against an animal is a criminal offense and a violation of Article 259 of the Criminal Code, cruelty to an animal.

Unfortunately, cases of animal cruelty have increased in Georgia. No one has yet been punished, which proves that the amendments made in 2019 to Article 259 of the Criminal Code, which was declared as a “strict” law do not work. There is no mechanism for its enforcement and therefore no evidence of law enforcement is recorded.

At present, cases of cruelty and ill-treatment of animals in Georgia are regulated by the Criminal Code (Article 259) and the Code of Administrative Offenses (Article 104).

According to the amendments made in the case of Article 259 of the Criminal Code, as a result of evidence of one single act of torture, a citizen faces from 6 months to 1 year of house arrest and 1 year of imprisonment.

Article 259. Torture or cruel treatment of an animal

Article 259. Torture or cruel treatment of an animal

1. Torture or cruel treatment of an animal which has resulted in its death or mutilation shall be punishable by community service for a term of one hundred and twenty to two hundred and forty hours, imprisonment for a term of six months to one year, a fine or imprisonment for a term of up to one year.

2. The same act committed:
A) in groups;
B) repeatedly;
C) in the presence of a minor – is punished with community service for a term of two hundred to four hours, with house arrest for one to two years, with a fine or imprisonment for a term of up to three years.

This article seems to be strict at first glance, as the article states 1 to 3 years of imprisonment due to the severity of the crime, but at the same time the entry ‘community service’ was added. Hence, Georgian case law shows that the attitude towards cruelty to animals is relaxed and no one applies the maximum punitive measures. As a result, this article is manipulated and actually mitigated to favor reduced punishments.

According to 2018 data, 1,163 injured animals were admitted to the Tbilisi Municipal Shelter, most of which were allegedly victims of torture or ill-treatment. As for the confirmed cases, 11 animals were admitted to the shelter in the same year, which all had various injuries caused by weapons, boilers, blunt and large objects, or pneumatic weapons. Only 6 of the 11 animals survived. The Ministry of Internal Affairs launched an investigation into these cases, but in the end, no one punished them.