Animal welfare

Finnish police suspect man of animal welfare crimes after fatal transport of dog from Russia | New

Police are opening a preliminary investigation and suspect the man who transported the dogs of aggravated animal welfare offences.

Seven of the dogs died during the crossing of the Gulf of Finland, while three others were in such poor condition that it was decided to euthanize them.

Image: Matias Väänänen / Yle

Helsinki police have opened a preliminary investigation into suspicions that a 24-year-old man transported 32 dogs into the country in poor conditions.

The means of transport, a small truck, caused the animals unnecessary pain and suffering, police said.

On Saturday, the border guard informed Helsinki police that a vehicle containing a large number of dogs had arrived at a port in the city on a ferry from Tallinn. Police said they found 32 dogs in the vehicle, seven of which had died en route.

Detective Inspector Crista Granroth said the suspect was transporting the dogs in a truck that was not intended for transporting animals.

“The air conditioning of the vehicle was insufficient and according to current information, the conditions were in no way suitable for transporting animals,” Granroth said in a statement.

Police suspect the driver took the animals from an animal shelter in Moscow, Russia, to Finland via Lithuania and Estonia. Police said they plan to examine the dogs’ origins and the legal status of the animals’ entry into Finland.

Three of the dogs were in such poor condition when they arrived that authorities felt they should be euthanized.

Meanwhile, on Monday, three other dogs were still being treated at the University of Helsinki Veterinary Hospital, two of them in critical condition.