Animal welfare officials pleased by first fine issued here for dog fighting

A Costa Rican man charged with acts against animal welfare for organizing dog fights received sanctions for the first time in Costa Rica, according to Humane Society International.

Andrey Josue Montero was ordered to pay a fine for 105,000 colons and told he cannot be involved in any action that could potentially put an animal’s well-being at risk. If he were to violate that accord, judicial authorities said they would seek greater punishments. The fine is about $200.

He was suspected of promoting dog fighting in Desamparados, according to a complaint from December 2012 that started the case. The Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal was involved in carrying out the prosecution and requested the initial search warrant to find evidence that could support the case against Montero in court.

The service’s regional director, Allan Sánchez, said he admires Costa Rican officials for taking an important stand for the protection of animals.

precedent,” he said. “Not to mention the fact that it will also have a considerable public impact, warning dog fight promoters of the legal consequences of animal abuse.”

Humane Society International representatives said that their alliance with the Servicio Nacional de Salud Animal has unearthed many illegal canine breeding operations in Costa Rica. These dogs are being raised and bred specifically for fighting, the representatives said, and most all of them live in unhealthy environments where their basic needs are disregarded.

Cynthia Dent, who heads the Humane Society’s Latin American branch, said that dog fighting is very common in Costa Rica and that it is often found alongside gambling, drug dealing, and illegal arms sales. Like Sánchez, Ms. Dent also said she stands behind Costa Rica’s actions in helping out maltreated dogs.

“We commend the Costa Rican authorities for their great effort and excellent work in the struggle against dog fights,” Ms. Dent said. “We are pleased to witness the real, efficient and tangible results of the trainings we’ve given to help authorities fight this shameful industry.”

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