The brutal killing of a puppy has sparked widespread outrage in Turkish society, prompting the public to join forces in demanding a strengthening of the law to protect animal rights.
The sadistically injured puppy, who suffered a traumatic amputation of all four of its feet, was found on June 13 near the Sapanca area of Sakarya province and was immediately taken to a veterinary clinic by the locals.
The puppy succumbed to its injuries two days later.
Photos of the young dog went viral on social media, sparking outrage and a donation campaign to help the puppy.
In addition to animal rights activists, celebrities and politicians weighed in and called for an urgent investigation into the parties responsible.
The operator of a piece of construction equipment was detained Saturday on allegations that the wounds could only have been made by a machine.
The equipment operator was arrested by the court a day later.
Sakarya Governor İrfan Balkanlıoğlu stated on Saturday that the puppy had also been tortured.
“I ordered the local gendarmerie command to find the perpetrators, just as if they had killed a human being,” he tweeted.
According to a new bill passed in parliament on April, torturing animals carries a sentence of four months to three years in prison.
Politicians, including President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and presidential candidate Muharrem İnce, pledged to protect animal rights in the country.
“I can’t forget that photograph,” Nationalist Movement Party (MHP) leader Devlet Bahçeli tweeted on Saturday.
“The person who committed this atrocity will not be allowed to get away with it. Shame on you!” İnce also tweeted, accusing the current government of spreading hatred among the population.
Numerous news reports have surfaced over the years of stories in which animals have been tortured, tormented or killed, but the perpetrators only received minor penalties, the Hürriyet Daily News reported on Sunday.
In August 2017, a man who killed a stray dog by deliberately running over it in the Mediterranean province of Antalya was issued a fine of only TL 1,097 along with the suspension of his driver’s license.