01/27/06 Torturer and Murderer of a Dog Sentenced to Five Months of Prison!
A historical sentence in Croatia passed in the legal process against Ostoja Babic: Torturer and murderer of a dog sentenced to five months of prison!
- the first prison sentence passed for the crime of torturing pets in Croatia
- the first sentence passed for the crime of torturing animals in Zagreb
- there is an urgent need of changing the Animal Welfare Act
Today, on January 27, 2006, at the District Court in Vrbovec, Judge Jasna Zoretic passed a historical sentence in Croatia, one that should help suppressing animal abusers: she sentenced Ostoja Babic to a non-suspended imprisonment in duration of five months for having committed a crime against animals. This sentence has set a precedent, since there had been no previous imprisonments in Croatia for torturing or murdering companion animals!
It is paradoxical that Babic was sentenced only according to the Criminal Law, which stipulates a fine of maximum 150 daily incomes or imprisonment of maximum 6 months for crimes of torturing or murdering animals. However, he could not be tried for violating the Animal Welfare Act, since the present Act, which is supposed to protect animals, has no regulations for such crimes, which only encourages animal abusers to torture animals, since they will not have to justify themselves before the law because of its deficiency. Moreover, it is inexplicable that the law does not prohibit the abusers to keep pets, so that, after serving his sentence, Ostoja Babic can actually acquire a new dog and repeat the crime for which he was tried.
"I love animals a lot. If I made a mistake, it was because she was howling."
With this statement the "monster from Pescenica" tried to justify his action, having admitted before the court that on December 4, 2004 he clubbed his dog to death with an iron bar and a pitchfork until its skull was fractured and it almost lost all its blood.
His neighbors called the police after they had been listening to the dog yelping for about an hour and having seen that in the courtyard of Ostoja Babic someone was waving a large object and beating the dog. The blows were so severe and the pain so excruciating that the bitch managed to tear off the chain and cross the street, limping, in order to seek refuge in the neighbouring courtyard, trying to hide from her torturer. Ostoja Babic followed the dog with an axe in his hand, but he lingered on the road in order to ask his neighbour whether he could kill the dog, since he was a student of veterinary medicine. The unfortunate dog, exhausted and paralysed from the blows, fell on the ground and was dying in agony. Since it was, according to the testimonies of eye-witnesses, severely mutilated, covered with blood and with a piece of forehead bone size of half a palm missing from her skull, while her brain was oozing from the large wound, the policeman helped her out of agony by shooting her.
Ostoja Babic said that he intentionally killed the year-and-half old bitch, since she was "no good at all," always wagging her tail at the passers-by and whining when kept on chain. Moreover, he expressed annoyance for having to come to court, since his leg was hurting and he felt as if he were "beaten up like a dog."
There is an urgent need to pass a new Law on Animal Welfare!
Animal Friends reacted to this criminal act by protesting in front of the house of Ostoja Babic and starting a petition demanding the highest possible penalty. Over 2400 signatures were collected, which the association handed in at the District Attorney's Office in Zagreb.
Sentencing Ostoja Babic for having committed his monstrous crime is the first case of punishing a person for abusing animals in Zagreb and one of the rare cases in Croatia. It is also a historical moment, which could become a precedent for regular punishing of crimes against animals in Croatia, since torturers and murderers of animals are dangerous for the entire community in which they live.
Therefore, our association is of the opinion that there is an urgent need of passing a Animal Welfare Act, which would stipulate severe penalties for torturing, abusing, or murdering animals and permanently prevent such abusers and murderers from keeping animals.