On 5 May, a First Information Report (FIR) was registered and a man was arrested by Patiala police for allegedly shooting and killing a dog, following a complaint filed by PETA India. PETA India’s Emergency Response Team contacted senior police officials in Patiala after learning about a video that had gone viral on social media, which reportedly showed the man shooting and barbarically killing a dog. PETA India worked with senior officials of the Patiala police to register the FIR under Section 429 of the Indian Penal Code; Section 11(1)(a) and (l) of The Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (PCA) Act, 1960; and Sections 5 and 27 of the Arms Act, 1959. The suspect was arrested on 5 May, and a firearm was seized by police.
Research shows that people who commit acts of animal abuse are often repeat offenders who move on to hurting other animals or humans. For example, Veerappan was a serial killer and a poacher, and the infamous Noida serial murders of children took place at the home of Moninder Singh Pandher, who was fond of hunting. In a study of domestic violence victims, 60% of women said that their abusive partners had harmed or killed their dogs or other animals.
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PETA India has long campaigned to strengthen the PCA Act, 1960, which contains outdated, inadequate penalties, such as a maximum fine of only Rs 50 for convicted first-time offenders. In PETA India’s recent proposal sent to the central government regarding an amendment to the PCA Act, 1960, we recommended increasing penalties for cruelty to animals to a range between Rs 25,000 and Rs 1 lakh and up to five years of imprisonment. For a cognisable offence or a second non-cognisable offence, we also recommend seizing the person’s animals and depriving him or her of owning or working with any animal.