Star, a crossbreed dog, was found by animal welfare officers near the city of Birzebbuga, Malta after being shot 40 times in the head and left for dead.
The officers were investigating another case, when they heard whimpering coming from the ground. There, they discovered an incredibly horrific case of animal cruelty. Star was found buried in the ground beneath a wooden board and a tree stump placed on it to hold it down. It's a miracle that Star survived.
Star was dug out of the ground and what officers discovered was even worse than they expected. Not only had 40 gun pellets been put into the skull of the dog, but all four of her limbs were tied together before she was buried in the ground.
Doctors were able to remove all 40 pellets from her skull during an emergency surgery at Ta'Qali hospital.
The punishment for animal cruelty in Malta is only a maximum sentence of one year in jail, or a maximum fine of 46,500 euros. While the maximum fine may be changed to 50,000 euros, the minor one-year jail sentence will remain the same.
If the punishment for animal cruelty were higher, would people still cause harm to animals? If they knew they couldn't get away with it, would they still take that risk? It seems ridiculous that someone as disturbed as the criminal in this situation would be put back into society after only one year.
Star, named appropriately by her rescuers, already has 20 new potential owners who would give her the extra love and care that she needs. However, Star is unable to move into a new home this soon, due to the severe trauma she has experienced.
Let's just hope this disgusting criminal is caught, and given the longer, more serious punishment that they deserve.
Photo credit: Screen Capture