Last year, Ponnamma, a Bengaluru resident and wife of an honorary Flight Lieutenant, had killed eight puppies by bashing them against a boulder in front of their mother. Following the shocking incident, local residents had filed an FIR against her. In July last year, the mother of the puppies – Ammu, who had grown up in the locality also died after suffering canine distemper and mental trauma.

According to an India Times report, Ponnamma was charged under various sections and the cumulative fine came to Rs 1,000. She paid Rs 700 under Section 429 IPC (mischief by killing or maiming cattle…); Rs 100 under section 93 (punishment for cruelty to animals) of the Karnataka Police Act; and Rs 200 under section 11 (treating animals cruelly, including killing) of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act.

Notably, Ponnamma did not even hire a lawyer for the court case that was heard by the court of the 45th ACMM (additional chief metropolitan magistrate).

Following the verdict, animal activists, led by Humane Society International India (which took Ponnamma to court), say that they will soon file an appeal. They are happy that Ponnamma was convicted, but find the paltry fines too bizarre.

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“There are so many studies that show animal abuse is linked to human violence. Based on these studies, the US has made cruelty to animals a heinous crime. Unfortunately, we have not recognised it yet,” said Shreya Paropkari, according to the report.

“Paying Rs 1,000 and being absolved of the crime is not correct. Proper justice has to be done for puppies and their mother Ammu. We want to appeal and this case should be a lesson to people who think that anything can be done to the voiceless,” said Harish KB, CUPA (Compassion Unlimited Plus Action) cruelty inspector.

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