It was a tragic affair that mobilized the inhabitants of Turquant, a town in western France, for the past few weeks. On December 11, a resident of the town made a revolting discovery. While he was walking his dog, he heard cries of distress coming from the ground.
Stupefied, he discovered a Brittany spaniel covered with several inches of dirt, “freshly moved,” and blocked in by metal sheets held down by logs.
Interviewed by France 3, the man explained:
When I took him out, I got the impression that he was no longer breathing, so I picked him up and did a bit of CPR. He was able to get his breath back.
The man immediately took the spaniel, dubbed Aslan, to the closest veterinary clinic. Upon his arrival, the animal was in critical condition. The practitioner gave him an IV and placed him on a heated table because he suffered from hypothermia and dehydration.
Two days in intensive care
Sadly, Aslan’s health wasn’t improving. After two and a half days in intensive care, they made the decision to take the dog out of his miserable agony. The veterinarian and the animal protection group “Droits de Vivre” (Right To Live) proceeded with the euthanasia. “Aslan took his last voyage on Tuesday evening [December 13] joined by local members of the association,” explained the local press.
A 44-year-old hunter questioned
The organization “Droits de Vivre” decided to file a complaint for “animal cruelty.” On January 5, the owner of the animal was located thanks to his licence plate number that a neighbor managed to note at the time of the events.
It was a 44-year-old hunter who was a resident of a neighboring town. According to Kiosque, a regional paper, the man had put his blind and deaf hunting dog to sleep by burying him. To defend himself, he admitted that he thought the animal was dead when he placed him in the ground.
He has since been released from custody before trial. His weapons and other dogs have been confiscated, and he risks two years in prison and 30,000 euros ($32,000) in fines if convicted.
Close to 40,000 signatures call for justice
Shocked by this horrifying act, a number of residents accompanied animal protection organizations to mobilize a response. On January 15, around 80 people participated in a white march in Turquant, in homage to Aslan.
At the time, the witness who gave the license plate number to the police explained:
He said he thought Aslan was dead, but do you think a passerby would have heard him if he was dead? When the man left, I took his license plate number, while the barking could still be heard […] I can therefore confirm that the dog was buried alive.
A petition was launched on the platform Change.org by the association Droits de Vivre to bring justice to Aslan. “If Aslan hadn’t been identified, maybe the owner thought he could escape charges. A maximum penalty should be asked to provide justice for Aslan. This petition was launched to show our support for the organizations looking to right this sad matter,” explained the petition text, which has since gathered almost 40,000 signatures.
To sign the petition, click here. A Facebook group dedicated to Aslan has also been started which follows all available information. To follow click here.