A dog chained to the back bumper of a dump truck was dragged to its death Friday night in Cuenca. The driver, who witnesses claim was drunk at the time of the incident, was captured by bystanders and handed over to police on the Cuenca-Azogues autopista near Hospital del Río.
The case is the second within a week involving the killing of a dog.
In Friday’s incident, the dog’s owner claims he had temporarily chained the dog to the truck at a repair shop near his home after he was assured that the truck would not move. According to police, the driver came into the repair yard about 10:30 p.m. following several hours of drinking and drove the truck away.
“We are not sure if the driver knew the dog was chained to the truck,” a national police officer said after the truck had been stopped. “He was driving at high speed and Toreto [the dog’s name] had no chance of survival.”
On Saturday morning, the truck driver, identified as Juan Octavio P., was sentenced to three days in prison and the judge said further penalties could be added.
According to animal rights activists, the crime is one of many involving cruelty to animals in Cuenca. On July 27, police reported that a dog was kicked to death by a group of men in the Catholic Citadel barrio. A bystander was beaten by the group when he attempted to rescue the dog.
“We will visit the prosecutor’s office Monday or Tuesday and demand stronger enforcement of the animal protection ordinance,” William Ramos, who volunteers with a dog rescue organization, said on Saturday. “There are too many cases like the ones we have seen recently and the justice system must enforce the law.”