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What to do if the dog was poisoned by doghunter: legal side of the issue

The problem of cruelty to animals is complex and requires a comprehensive solution. While the internet is filled with helpful tips on how to recognize signs of poisoning and provide first aid, we would like to refer to the equally important question - is it possible to punish those responsible and how.

We asked for help our partners - law company Spektor Law Firm - and asked to explain what to do if the poisoning of domestic and stray dogs was seen. We received a very thorough and detailed answer, and decided not to cut it, because every detail is important.

The problem of cruelty to animals is complex and requires a comprehensive solution. While the internet is filled with helpful tips on how to recognize signs of poisoning and provide first aid, we would like to refer to the equally important question - is it possible to punish those responsible and how.

We asked for help our partners - law company Spektor Law Firm - and asked to explain what to do if the poisoning of domestic and stray dogs was seen. We received a very thorough and detailed answer, and decided not to cut it, because every detail is important.

Is poisoning of dogs (home or homeless) legal?

No. The question of animal protection is governed by Ukraine "About protection of animals from cruelty", which provides rules for the animals handling, and also defines in which cases murder can be made for adjusting the number of animals. This regulation is called killing. According to Art. 17 that killing can be lawful, if it meets several conditions:

1. A without using inhumane methods of killing that may lead to the suffering (suffocation, poisoning, pain injection and etc.).

2. Held indoors.

Based on the latest requirements it is obvious that the fact of killing dogs in the street is illegal, and for legal killing dogs it is necessary to catch them and deliver in a specific room. Sec. 5, Art. * 24 of the Act provides that citizens do not perform self-catching dogs. Such thing should be provided only by municipal services or enterprise on maintenance and treatment of animals in populated areas, so catching dogs by citizens for further killing is illegal.

However, the law also provides exceptions to this rule. Thus, citizens are permitted to catch the dogs, if dog acts aggressively and thereby is a threat to human security. This single provision allows persons who poison dogs interpret it so that if any dog ​​will show aggression (even if that aggression was caused deliberately by man), it can be caught by man even if dog is no longer aggressive.

After catching an aggressive animal person can deliver it in a separate room and kill. In this case, formally killing is legitimate. However, this provision, like any law, should be interpreted systematically, taking into account all the rules, not the position of a single article. When systemic interpretation it is that killing dogs may be legal only in the case of killing in the defense against attack when there is a real threat to life and health, and not at any time after the attack, for example, the next day .

So killing of stray dogs on the streets is, in fact, a brutal murder. And killing domestic animals without proper reason for under Art. 17 of the Act, is a crime. Responsibility for such actions foreseen in Art. 194 and Art. 299 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine and art. 89 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offences.

What to do to punish the guilty?

Call the police! We step by step will explain what's what.

Submission of an Application the police.

First, after the discovery of animal poisoning, contact the police with a statement about animal cruelty, including one that led to her death.

If the dog is domestic.

The statement must specify that your dog has been poisoned, the circumstances in which it was poisoned and specify persons who have committed or might commit a crime. If the animal before death were given veterinary care, it is advisable to take written evidence of it. In our practice, as an evidence of veterinary care was an extract from the journal Veterinary outpatient clinic.

If dog is stray.

If you find dead stray animals with signs of poisoning (such as a lot of saliva around their mouths), you should just turn statement described above to the police. Also most major cities of Ukraine have animal identification centers that deal with stray animals. For example, in Kiev there is a communal enterprise "Centre animal identification". The center has a telephone hotline concerning cruelty to animals (044-332-12-34).

In case you do not have time or desire to engage in punishment those who are guilty of poisoning dogs, you can refer to this center. For the Center to take care of it you must call back as soon as possible and pass on information about poisoned animals, which you own (place and time of the poisoning, the number of animals, etc.). But remember that passing the case to the jurisdiction of the Centre, you lose control over it.

Once you have written and submitted an application to the police, the investigator must submit data on criminal offenses in the Unified Register of judicial investigations, pre-qualifying offense (ch. 1, Art. 214 of the Criminal Procedure Code of Ukraine). From this moment begins the preliminary investigation stage, during which the investigator shall make all necessary investigations, which, in his opinion, could help solve the crime.

What right do you have when you are applying to the police and that you have rights?

The person who appealed to the police a statement has a status of the applicant. The rights of the applicant listed in Art. 60 of the Criminal Procedure Code and they are very limited compared to the rights of the victim. We therefore recommend that the owner of the dead dog, according to ch. 2, Art. 55 of the Criminal Procedure Code to apply to the police a statement about bringing it to the proceedings as a victim, which indicate that he had suffered moral and material damage. The person who informed law enforcement authorities of poisoning stray dogs, can also be considered a victim if the police turn a similar statement. But in a statement it could only refer to him causing moral harm.

Material losses is destroying the dog as a property. According h. 1 tbsp. 180 of the Civil Code of Ukraine animals are a subject of civil rights. The document, which confirms ownership of the animals, is a contract of sale, lease, gift or registration certificate issued by the Centre after the animal identification compulsory registration of dogs. Proof of ownership of the animal can be veterinary passport which is usually given to the owner after vaccination.

According to Art. 23 of the Civil Code moral hazar includes mental anguish in which the individual has suffered due to the destruction or damage of property. In addition, Sec. 1 h. 1 tbsp. 4 of the Law defines that cruelty to animals is incompatible with the requirements of morality and humanity, and the person causing moral harm. Therefore, referring to inflicting material and moral damage, such person shall substantiate the link based on the content of these rules.

Since the submission of the person bringing the proceedings as a victim, he has all the rights and obligations of the victim as provided by Articles 56-57 of the Criminal Procedure Code (including the petition to the investigator, the case files, receive copies of procedural documents etc.).

How to prove that it has been a crime, not a "coincidence"?

To bring the person to justice, the investigation to prove the following facts:

1. The animal died not of natural causes, and was poisoned;

2. The animal was killed by violent methods;

3. The suspected person committed the above action.

The evidence referred to facts that are entitled to the applicant or the victim may be:

1. The video, showing that person feeds something dead animals;

2. Written and oral testimony of a person who, according to the person giving the testimony committed a crime, and which is able to identify or understand.

In addition, if you become aware that any person has useful information that can help in criminal investigations, such as the identity of the offender, gun crime, you have the right to appeal to the investigator with a request to question the witness.

The only proper evidence that the dog was poisoned, and didn’t die of natural causes, is expert opinion. The duty of the examination, which will determine the cause of death of the animal, lying on law enforcement. But if you want to speed up proceedings, you have the right to take this responsibility on themselves and turn to the State Veterinary Laboratory, which is located in your area for veterinary examination, which will establish the cause of death of the dog.

What should a police officer do after receiving your application?

If in the case appeared suspect, then, not later than two months from the date of notification of his suspicions, criminal proceedings (easier - investigation) should be closed or investigator must apply to the court indictment. The proceedings can be closed only in the cases provided ch. 1, Art. 184 of the Criminal Procedure Code (ie, in the absence of criminal offense unless it was found enough evidence to prove the guilt of the suspect and had exhausted the possibilities to get them and others.).

If the investigator asked the court for indictment, the fate of the accused will be decided on the court on the basis of obtained evidence during the preliminary investigation and directly during the trial. If the person is guilty of cruelty to animals, the court may impose a fine of up to 850 UAH or arrest for up to six months

If there is no suspect, the investigator make up the resolution on termination of proceedings on the grounds provided PM 1, 2, 4 ch. 1, Art. 284 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

If the investigating police officers perform their duties not in good faith

Sometimes investigators shirk their duties. The Criminal Procedure Code contains provisions that give the right to appeal such omissions and determine in what order is the appeal (Articles 303-304 of the Criminal Procedure Code).

For example, the appeal shall be don’t in case of failure to make information on investigating criminal offenses to the Unified Register of pre-trial investigations upon receiving or investigating commission proceedings that he must act in a certain Criminal Procedure Code the term. The applicant may appeal the decision of an investigator refusing to admit the applicant to victims. There may be appealed by the applicant and the victim investigator decision on the termination of criminal proceedings.

What punishment guilty can get

Administrative responsibility

Depending on the circumstances, the grounds for holding a person is criminally responsible can not be (if there is no offense under Art. 299 of the Criminal Procedure Code). In this case, a person can be fined for cruelty to animals, their torture and any other actions that led to the death of the animal (Art. 89 of the Code of Ukraine on Administrative Offences). Involve the person liable under this article easier, as the resolution of administrative liability is representative of law enforcement, and there is no need to prove the infringement in court. But the responsibility for the offense in less than a crime - only a fine of 153 to 357 USD.

Civil liability

It should be noted that the person whose dog was killed, may apply to the local court for compensation for material and moral damages against the person who poisoned the dog. This is the person who submits a claim to be under an obligation to prove all the circumstances to which it refers, and confirm the amount of compensation for material damage and moral damage. This is evidence that animal was poisoned.


Obviously, the process of bringing those responsible for poisoning dogs is very difficult. And not even the fact that the legislation contains some gaps and inaccuracies. The main factor in this regard is the human factor - the police do not want to deal with such cases and the burden of proof falls on those who seek justice. It is believed that the killing of stray dogs doesn’t cause harm and damage to citizens, such cases can be ignored. Murder of the dog has, according to police, very little damage. It is because of this indifference and passivity of law enforcement bodies of most of the citizens in many cities continue to operate group of people who poison and shoot animals in broad daylight.

We therefore ask all who read this article - let's not be indifferent! The more applications get the police, the more chances to influence the situation in general!