A MADRID man is facing an 18-month jail term after he killed his partner’s dog in order to ‘do her harm’. He is being charged under a new animal-cruelty law that was recently passed by the Socialist-led national government, and that increases the penalties for such cases.

According to the public prosecutor in the case, the suspect abused the female dog on at least three occasions. Spanish daily El Pais reports that the third beating was so severe that the two-year-old animal did not survive it. 

The man, who has been identified by his initials R. C. P. and is currently 26 years old, was living with his partner and the dog, named Bella, between April and July 2020, when the country was mired in the coronavirus health emergency. 

The prosecutor details one of the beatings in April 2020, striking the animal on its head with an ‘undetermined object’. In June, another assault left Bella with swelling to her body, while it was on July 1 that the beating was so severe it cost the animal its life. 

The 18-month jail term that the prosecutor is seeking includes the aggravating circumstance of gender violence, given that his objective was to cause damage to his partner. 

The man is also facing fines of €300 to cover the autopsy of the animal and €3,000 for the psychological damage caused. 

The new animal cruelty law doubled the maximum jail time for killing an animal, from 12 to 24 months. Aggravating circumstances can see the eventual sentence rise to 36 months.

These include whether or not the assailant is the owner of the animal, if there is any personal gain from the cruelty or if there is an element of gender violence, as was allegedly the case here.

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