But Yasha’s life was cut short this week: After snacking on something in a Moscow park, she fell into a seizure at Lesovets’ apartment and began foaming at the mouth. The family rushed her to a nearby animal clinic, where the veterinarian said this was the sixth case he had seen that week, and there was nothing he could do.
On Friday police opened a criminal investigation into what they suspect are poisonings by dog killers. Cruelty to animals is common in Russia and animal protection laws are rarely enforced, but reports of as many as 70 dead dogs this week have spurred the police to take action.
While some residents suspected that a vigilante matriarch, wary of her children being bitten, might be the cause of the attacks, Lesovets was quick to suspect a more malicious culprit: dog hunters, a kind of deadly hobby gaining ground in the Russian online community.