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Warsaw. They removed his kidney and transplanted it into a purebred dog. The Saturn case returns to the docket

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A mutt from a shelter near Warsaw became a kidney donor for a purebred shepherd dog from a breeding farm. The procedure was performed immediately after adoption, and the mutilated pet was returned. The animal protection foundation notified law enforcement authorities. One verdict has already been passed in the case – acquitting the accused. The appeal was successful and the case returned to court for reconsideration.

The hearing will take place on Monday, April 15 at 1 p.m. at the District Court for Warsaw Mokotów. This is another installment of a long-standing dispute.

Kidney transplant

As the Viva! Foundation reminds in its press release. dealing with animal protection, the case began in 2013. “Then a dog, Saturn, was adopted from one of the shelters near Warsaw. Right after the adoption, veterinarian Jacek S. removed the dog's kidney and transplanted it to a purebred dog from the breeding farm of a new adoptive family, Saturn. Shortly after the transplant, the recipient died, and Saturn was given to another family,” says in the foundation's announcement.

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After the procedure, the dog required specialist treatment, the new owner knew nothing about it. Only two years later, she accidentally found out during an ultrasound examination that Saturn was missing a kidney, but a scar from the surgery was visible.

In 2018, on behalf of the Viva! Foundation Attorney Katarzyna Topczewska reported the suspicion of committing a crime of abuse towards Saturn. It also concerned the case of Tosia, a female dog, also homeless, who became a kidney donor for a dog that had a home. As a result of the investigation, the Prosecutor's Office brought charges against doctor Jacek S., who performed the organ transplant on both dogs.

The District Court for Warsaw Mokotów in Warsaw acquitted the accused of the offenses he was charged with. Viva! Foundation she quoted from the justification of the judgment that the court stated “that the accused acted in a state of extreme necessity, saving a more important good – the life of an animal, i.e., among others, a pedigree shepherd dog from a farm.”

Saturn's kidney was transplanted into a breeding dogViva! Foundation, private archive of the Saturn family

Appeal

– We filed an appeal because such a verdict would probably open the door to the use of homeless animals for transplants. After all, they do not have a human who could protect them from becoming a source of “spare parts” for other, loved and cared for animals. We took the position that we cannot save the life of one animal at the expense of the health of another. For me, there was no doubt that Saturn suffered huge consequences of people's unethical decisions and, as a result, he could not live a normal life – says attorney Katarzyna Topczewska, quoted in the foundation's release.

The court of second instance accepted the appeals of Viva! and the prosecutor, overturning the judgment of the District Court and remanding the case for reconsideration. The district court's decision was appealed to the Supreme Court by the defendant's lawyer. However, the complaint was dismissed. The case returned to the district court.

Saturn's kidney was transplanted into a breeding dogViva! Foundation, private archive of the Saturn family

We wrote more about the case of the injured dog Saturn on tvnwarszawa.pl at the beginning of March.

Kidney transplants in dogs are controversial, among other things, because of their questionable effectiveness. According to Viva! estimates, only 30 percent dog recipients survive for more than 100 days after surgery. Less than 20 percent live longer than six months. Rarely does anyone survive one year after transplantation

In cats, these results are much better – as many as 40 percent of patients live three years after surgery. “These are the results from the USA, where donors and recipients are largely related. And it is research from overseas that shows that animal kidney donors also live shorter,” the foundation members note.

Main photo source: Viva! Foundation, private archive of the Saturn family



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