A Colombian judge has ordered the exhumation of a cat’s body to ascertain whether its death was attributable to dog bites. The costs will be borne by the owners of the feline, who have filed a complaint against those of the canine and are asking for moral damages. In fact, animals cannot be tried.
It all begins in October 2021, when a couple leaves their three-year-old Persian cat, named Saitama, with the parents of one of them before leaving for a week. We are in Suba, a district of Bogota. Seven days later, a vigilante finds the badly injured cat in front of the courtyard of a house. He alerts the owners, who take him to a vet. Doctor notes bites, collapsed lung, heat shock, and hypovolemic shock.
At first it seems possible to operate on Saitama and restore him to walking conditions, but after further evaluation it is understood that the operation would have had a minimal percentage of success. At that point the owners reluctantly decide to put it down to avoid further suffering.
The dog responsible for the fatal bites, according to the indictment, is Milo. That he would have wandered around the common areas of the district without a muzzle and would have attacked Saitama. According to the cat’s family, already in the past Milo would have had aggressive behaviors against other animals, against vigilantes and against some residents of the area.
The Colombian Constitutional Court has emphasized that there is no exclusive concept of the family. Some judges have gone so far as to speak of a multispecies family, including not only humans but also animals. A 2016 law established that animals “are sentient beings and are not things”, therefore they have the right to be protected from pain, especially that caused by people.
The judge in this case clearly implemented the indications of the Court and the law. In fact, in addition to a veterinary necropsy (the animal equivalent of an autopsy), he ordered the examination of the videos recorded by the security cameras and the hearing of witnesses of Milo’s attack in Saitama. The goal is to establish whether the dog’s bite was really fatal.
The next hearing in the case is scheduled for December 12.