The accused indicated that he first attempted to alert the animal’s owners that the dog was running away, and regularly setting about his rubbish bins. However, the steps taken by the owners were not visibly effective. The defendant then called the local police, concluding that concern for a runaway beagle did not appear to be a priority for police response teams.
One day, during September 2017, the dog had once again left the accused’s neighbours’ property, and had been caught by another neighbour in the area. The accused then snatched the dog from the arms of the benevolent neighbour, and threw it into his van, saying that he would take care of it. He initially had the idea of taking it to an animal refuge in Walloon Brabant. However, he crossed the Luxembourg and French borders, and offered the dog to a roadside café at a motorway services in France. Upon the café turning him down the man from Genappe drove to the next motorway services where, he says, the dog escaped. It has never been found.
“It may be a laughing matter for some, but this dog actually belonged to children. It is a villainous act,” said the deputy public prosecutor at the hearing, somewhat annoyed, and requesting a sentence of 75 hours community service for the accused.
Judgment is to be given on 25th February.