Labrador named Graff, famous in the Jewish Autonomous Region (EAO), Russia, as a devoted participant in search and rescue operations, died at the hands of his handler poisoned by the dog-hunters. Graff picked up the poison from the ground, while walking with a handler, who was distracted by telephone conversation, and did not pay attention to the animal, and the sudden convulsions indicated poisoning.
“On the morning of the 25th we walked as usual, while the dog ran, I turned away, talked on the phone, and we went into the garage.” Suddenly the dog felt sick, vomited and had a convulsive condition. The handler immediately drove Graff to the veterinary clinic, but in spite of the efforts of veterinarians the Graf passed away in 20 minutes after symptoms of poisoning appeared, said Maxim Golstov from Far East regional search and rescue unit of the Ministry of Emergencies of Russia.
The rescue dog was 2.5 years old, and he already became a favorite of the Birobidzhanians. A year ago, he passed an excellent certification in Blagoveshchensk, where he brilliantly performed a series of exercises to find people with technogenic incidents and in the forest. On many occasions the dog was an indispensable assistant in search and rescue operations.
The damages to the rescue unit are considerable, as there are very few such dogs in the region, and the loss of each becomes a blow not only to the owner, but also a serious blow to the budget, from which the training, maintenance and medical care of the dog was paid.
Residents of the region in social networks are outraged by what happened, they lament the death of the Graff and call the owners of dead animals to report such cases to the police and the prosecutor’s office without delay.
Dog-hunters represent a movement of marginals, maniacs and sadists, united by hatred of dogs, who torture animals and expose the ‘snuff’ content on internet. The cases of outrages and perverse cruelty are happening on daily basis, becoming common in absence of the relevant legislation.
The administration of President Putin from first steps at power blocked the proposed set of laws, protecting animals from human cruelty created during Boris Yeltsin mandate, and oriented to the best world practices of animal welfare. At present the welfare law is blocked on the level of Russian Senate – the Council of Federation.