Half a year of imprisonment suspended for a two-year probationary period – this was the sentence issued by the District Court in Tomaszów Lubelski in the case of a hunter who shot a dog near the village of Tarnawatka-Tartak (Lubelskie Voivodeship). The man claimed that he mistook the animal for a fox. The judgment is not final.
At the end of November 2021, Anna Piwko and her brother went for a walk in the fields near the village of Tarnawatka-Tartak. They took with them the dog Bąbel, who had been with the family for a year, from a puppy. At some point, the man heard the bang of a gunshot and the howl of a dog that moved away from the owner only a few dozen meters.
It turned out that the animal had been shot. The shooter descended from a nearby hunting tower and disappeared into the woods. Then he got into the car and drove away, although he was called to help. The dog was taken to the veterinarian in Tomaszów Lubelski. However, the wound was so serious that the quadruped could not be saved and he was euthanized.
– This is such a drastic situation that we do not know how to communicate it to our children. The whole family is crying now – said Piwko in December 2021.
They appealed the injunction. Now the court has sentenced him to a suspended prison sentence
The case was taken up by the police. Wiesław Ś., a 69-year-old hunter from the commune of Tarnawatka, was charged with killing the dog.
The first judgment in this case was issued in the prescriptive mode. According to it, the man was to perform unpaid work for social purposes for a year and a half, 30 hours a month. He was also supposed to pay PLN 2,000 for a shelter for homeless animals.
The parties objected to this decision, and the case went to trial. On Tuesday (February 28), the verdict was passed in the first instance.
As we found out in the criminal department of the District Court in Tomaszów Lubelski, Wiesław Ś. was sentenced to six months in prison, suspended for two years. He is also to pay a fine of PLN 2,000, PLN 6,000 in compensation to the owners of the dog, and PLN 8,000 in damages to an animal welfare organization. The court also ordered the forfeiture of the gun with which the hunter fired the shot.
The judgment is not final. There are motions to justify the judgment
As reported by the local portal lublin112, the court emphasized during the hearing that there was no doubt as to the hunter’s guilt, especially since the shot was fired from a short distance.
However, as ridiculous – as reported by the local portal – the court described the man’s explanation that he had confused the dog with a fox. The dog had a collar and a different coat color and body structure than the fox.
“In addition, there was a man near the animal. For a hunter with many years of experience, such as Wiesław Ś., all this should be clear that he is not dealing with a fox,” the portal described the court’s position.
The judgment is not final. The criminal division has informed us that the parties have requested written reasons for the judgment. So appeals are possible.
Main photo source: Private archive of dog owners