Armenia’s police support gunning down of stray dogs, animal lovers claim
On December 12, Dingo Team, a Yerevan-based animal welfare group, posted a video on their official Facebook page which showed unidentified armed men gunning down stray dogs near residential areas in Gyumri, Armenia’s second largest city.
The team tagged the Armenian police in the post, stressing that the use of weapons in residential areas is prohibited by the law, and that the perpetrators therefore should be identified and held criminally liable.
Speaking to Epress.am on Thursday, however, Nare Aramyan, a representative of the Armenian office of Pro Paws, alleged that the dogs were killed with the knowledge of law enforcement officers.
“The video was filmed and sent [to Dingo] by local residents. In such cases – arbitrary use of weapons in public areas – the police are obliged to take action even if there has been no official report. However, this is not the first time such an incident happens; these people have been killing strays with the knowledge of the police for rather a long time. The police are not only not doing anything to prevent this but also support these acts,” Aramyan claimed.
Dingo founding director Ovsanna Hovsepyan, in turn, told Epress.am that they have reported the incident to the police but are still waiting for a response.
“Under article 92 of the administrative code, animal cruelty is punishable with a fine. The use of weapons in residential areas, however, is a criminal act and the perpetrators should be held liable accordingly. We don’t who these people are, but we hope the police tale steps to identify them,” Hovsepyan said.