Novedades del derecho y las leyes argentinas para el ciudadano

A couple and their dog represent a “multispecies family”, judge decides

The pet owners were deemed to be parents of a mongrel dog killed by a police officer while enforcing lockdown restrictions. For case law, a dog is "a non-human daughter" of the couple

For a judge, a couple and their dog formed a “multispecies family”. The court considered that the animal was part of their family among their two children. And therefore convicted a policeman for killing the animal.

In a groundbreaking ruling, a criminal judge called pet owners “her parents.” And the pet, a one year old mixed mongrel and Pitbull dog, as their “the daughter.”

The ruling has to do with the death of the dog “Tita”, when a police officer shot her dead with his weapon while on duty to enforce the strict quarantine imposed due to covid pandemics.

What happened to Tita the dog, the non human member of the family?

The fact took place in the Playa Unión, Rawson, in the province of Chubut, Argentina, reported Clarin, a widely read newspaper.

The  police had received a complaint that in the area where the family that owned the dog lives, there was a construction site with bricklayers working.

For prosecutors, the police officer entered the property, received a bump on the left leg by the dog and as the animal moved away, it was when he fired with his weapon. The projectile entered the upper neck and it was impossible for a veterinarian to save her life.

The dog belonged to the couple formed by Marianella and Maximiliano, who have two children. Judge Castro sentenced the policeman, the author of the shooting, to one year in prison.

In statements made to Clarín Journal, the police officer assured that he “is not a murderer” and that he shot the dog “to defend himself from an attack.” He also said that he asked the family for forgiveness. But the family experienced a tremendous shock due to her death.

“Tita was like our daughter and to do justice is what we want, if I did not love Tita as a daughter I would not be here, we are a multispecies family,” the owner of the dog, whose family is represented by a plaintiff attorney.

The criminal ruling issued during the trial also stated that “with his weapon, the police officer killed” Tita “the non-human daughter of the couple formed by Marianella and Maximiliano”.

In addition, the judge Gustavo Daniel Castro deemed “Tita” to be “a non-human person” based on a 2015 case law related to the orangutan “Sandra”, who was recognized by another judge as “a sentient being”.

“Sandra”, who was also considered “a sentient being” by the magistrate, had lived 33 years in the Buenos Aires zoo. The ruling determined that she should find a place that guarantees her well-being. She was transferred to the Great Ape Center in Florida, United States.

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