Despite claiming to be an animal-lover with a dog of his own, a former army cadet officer was given a suspended prison sentence by a military court yesterday for cruelty to animals after he brutally killed a litter of puppies in a camp near Thessaloniki last year. Reserve Lieutenant Dimitris Tachas, a 28-year-old physicist, received a five-month term for beheading the eight newly born puppies with an ax. Vassilis Routsis, who was serving as a private in the Langadas Camp last November and attacked Tachas after the incident, was acquitted of assaulting and verbally abusing an officer. Tachas’s lawyer said his client had been under heavy stress due to an impending inspection of the camp, and was frantic to get the puppies’ mother, a stray, and her litter out of the camp, fearing a rebuke from his superiors. He said Tachas loved animals and kept a dog at his country house.