The fate of the two pit bulls who attacked and killed a 95-year-old woman will be determined by the court after the trial is concluded.
Animal Rights Minister Anton Refalo confirmed that the decision of whether to euthanise the two pit bulls remains with Magistrate Charmaine Galea who is leading an inquiry into the case.
“The dogs are evidence in court and they cannot be put down now,” he said at a press conference earlier today.
“We have to wait and see what the magistrate has to say. At the moment they are being kept with us because they are considered as potential evidence.”
The two pit bulls were apprehended by Animal Welfare following a tragic incident in which they escaped their rooftop enclosure and attacked a 95-year-old woman, the dog owner’s grandmother, in her ground floor maisonette. The pit bulls also killed her chihuahua.
Andre Galea, who is the victim’s grandson, is currently out on police bail after being interrogated by police and visiting Mater Dei hospital with chest pains. Malta’s police are treating the case as an involuntary homicide, but are yet to charge Galea.
Galea’s Facebook profile makes it abundantly clear that he was breeding dogs within the block. He identifies himself as a dog breeder who specialises in “pit bulls, American bulldogs, and American Staffordshire terriers”.
Sources said that Galea was clearly running a crude puppy mill, keeping the dogs in separate cages with little interaction. The Association for Abandoned Animals has said there were over ten pit bulls in the block.
Animal Welfare and police are facing a barrage for how the situation was handled following news that they gave Galea a clean bill of health despite numerous reports. In fact, Animal Welfare said the dogs “were in a good state of health” after every inspection.
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