From: Alice Taylor
Animal Rights NGO Denouces Minors for Violence to Dogs in Durres

Albanian animal rights NGO ‘Jeta Tier und Mench’ has denounced a group of minors to police in Durres for animal abuse.

Three days ago, the NGO that rescue, rehome, and provide medical treatment for stray dogs, was informed of a case of violence against stray animals in the city. They told Exit that a group of 5-7 boys apparently under the age of 18 targeted a stray in one of the city’s neighborhoods. They commanded their own dogs (around three or four of them) to attack the stray.

Information about the attack was posted on an animal right Facebook Group where dozens of people commented that they had seen the same group of boys, carrying out similar attacks around the city. These attacks have been going on for more than a year, according to the NGO.

As a response to the pattern of attacks, they reported the boys to the police and provided them with videos, witness statements, and photographs of the attacks, and those involved.

“Now, we hope that the authorities will continue the investigation and take legal measures to identify, counsel or follow these minors by a psychologist and most importantly, to stop their violence against stray animals, for the welfare of which our organization and volunteers spend so much energy, time and money to provide them a permanent home, a loving and safe environment,” the NGO told Exit.

Exit has seen some of the images but is not publishing them as they contain minors.

In November, the government made changes to the criminal code to increase jail time and fines for animal cruelty. The wording of the law is somewhat vague however and could be construed that it does not include stray animals.

Both the Municipality of Durres and the Municipality of Tirana have come under fire for their treatment of stray dogs which is alleged to include poisoning, violence, and euthanasia.

Earlier in the week, an Exit journalist witnessed a group of three minors killing ducks at Tirana Lake Park. They lured the animals near them with bread and then killed them with rocks, their feet, and hands. The journalist called the police but they did not attend the scene.