A young man has been sentenced to imprisonment for two years after pleading guilty to smashing his pet chihuahua against his bedside table last summer, leading to its death.
The incident occurred on July 21st, 2019 when 22-year-old Leon Borg’s mother called police after her son was showing aggressive behaviour associated with drug withdrawal symptoms.
Upon arriving, police found Borg on his roof along with 45 pills in his pocket trouser – pills that had not been prescribed to him and that he had not taken, he said.
As he was being escorted downstairs, Borg flew into a fit of rage and grabbed a mobile phone from his little brother’s hand and smashed it before turning on the family dog, Otis, who started barking as a result of the commotion caused.
Borg then grabbed Otis from his hind legs and smashed him against his bedside table before police could intervene. The 22-year-old was subsequently apprehended, slightly injuring an officer in the process.
Otis was taken away by Animal Welfare but succumbed to his injuries.
Borg pleaded guilty to the charges brought against him including animal abuse, violently resisting arrest and breaching his bail conditions and is facing a two-year prison sentence as well as a €5,000 fine.
Magistrate Mifsud’s sentence takes a strong stance against animal abuse in Malta and even made reference to Mahatma Gandhi’s principles that “greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way that its animals are treated.”
Borg also faced the possibility of one more year in prison with regards to a previous suspended sentence however the sentence had been “misplaced” and therefore the charges could not be brought forward.