When seen from a distance, they highlight not just a society that fails to properly implement the numerous laws meant to protect our furry friends – it is one where cruel indifference is the norm, and sometimes a source of amusement. 

Searching for the animal abuse cases from the period since independence, you will only find 17 court sentences in the State Registry of Court Decisions. Ukrainian legislation punishes animal cruelty with six months of prison or a fee up to Hr 850, more if the minors were present at the crime scene. In a country with an average salary of Hr 3,380 that restriction seems to be deterrent enough, but in reality, it’s not.

In some cases, the abuse of animals is terrible, but still has some perverted logic behind it. Such was the case of a married couple in Poltava, which killed and ate 15 cats in 2008, arguing they had no money for food. Guard dogs, meant to provide security, are often killed during burglaries. Terrible as they are, these cases at least have an explanation.

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