Sick dogs rescued from 'state of neglect'
A pit bull terrier with liver problems and a hound with a skin condition were rescued from an environment of neglect after the Animal Welfare Department raided two rooms in Qormi.
Acting on reports that the animals were being kept for dog fighting, the department's team moved in yesterday and animal welfare officer Godric Marston said they found clear evidence to support these claims.
Six dogs were being kept in rooms close to the Qormi public works' offices, just off the Mrieħel bypass. After an inspection by a vet, the two most neglected canines were taken while the rest were left with their owner, a 74-year-old man who lives in the area.
During the rescue operation the owner collaborated with the officers and when he realised they would take the two dogs, he begged them to look after them as they cost him hundreds of euro.
"Dogs are my joy and passion," he told welfare officers and the vet as they examined the animals.
Mr Marston said the two confiscated dogs would be sedated and carefully checked by the vet who would then decide on their fate. If they were healthy they would be taken to a sanctuary.
Putting down a dog was the last resort when the animal was very sick with no hope of recovery, he said.
He added that the dogs' owner would be taken to court on charges of animal cruelty. The magistrate would decide whether or not the dogs would be returned to him.
On Monday, the department searched a villa in Birkirkara after it received several anonymous calls from people in the vicinity. They found 44 dogs which were in decent health although their general living conditions were not good. The breeder was given time to improve their conditions.