San José, Costa Rica, since 1956

Priest Convicted for Ordering Dog to be Killed

A San José court this week sentencedFather Carlos Artavia to one month in jailfor ordering the killing of a street dognamed Camila for no valid reason,according to local press reports.The Catholic priest delivered Camilato a veterinarian to be put to sleep lastJanuary, saying she disrupted masses andfunerals with her incessant barking. Angrychurchgoers, however, said she was asweet dog that never hurt anyone.Artavia will be able to pay ¢30,000(approximately $60) in lieu of serving time,plus additional charges for court costs.In January, after the dog disappearedfrom the church, the priest told concernedmembers of his congregation that he hadtaken her to an animal refuge. However,after consulting with various refuges andnot finding the dog at any of them, Artavia’scongregation confronted him and he admittedto having ordered the dog put to sleep.At the time, Archbishop HugoBarrantes spoke out in defense of thepriest (TT, Feb. 4).Artavia told the newspaper DiarioExtra he is “satisfied with the court’s sentencebecause it finally has been determinedthat I made a mistake and will haveto pay for it, and at the same time, itallows me to continue my work in peace.”“Thank God this case is over,” he added.

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