Police in the eastern Peloponnesian city of Sparta have arrested a deputy mayor as part of an investigation into allegations of animal cruelty and neglect at two municipal kennels in the city.
Police also arrested two other people in addition to the deputy mayor, who is a former police officer.
Commenting on the allegations of animal cruelty at the pounds, Civil Protection Minister Takis Theodorikakos said that stray animals deserve the respect of all civilized people, especially the competent authorities. The law is the law and must be obeyed by all, he added.
The police investigation into conditions at the pound followed the filing of a lawsuit by a stray rights and rescue organization over what it described as the inhumane treatment of dozens of dogs.
The suit was accompanied by witness statements and a series of photographs taken by a team from the Save a Greek Stray, a non-governmental organization, during a visit to the site over the weekend.
The team reported seeing the dogs in the pound’s care in an emaciated condition, showing signs of distress and acute illness, chained in small, dirty enclosures.
It also reported seeing at least one dog lying dead at the end of a chain.
Accusing the municipal authority of “criminal negligence,” Save a Greek Stray also requested that all the sick and dying animals be surrendered to its care.