Man ‘murdered’ hero earthquake rescue dogs with sausages laced with poison

A sicko who cruelly killed hero rescue dogs with poisoned sausages has been jailed.

Benjamín 'N' has become the first person in Mexico to be sent behind bars on animal abuse charges after being found guilty of intentionally killing dogs Athos and Tango.

The pair of four-legged Querétaro Red Cross workers died of a toxic substance on June 13, 2021 after Benjamín 'N' lobbed poisoned sausages into their handler's garden.

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Benjamín 'N' initially spent just 20 days in custody but a renewed campaign for justice has seen him be locked up for 10-and-a-half years over 12 months later.

Athos was a bravely and highly experienced 4-year-old border collie breed who specialised in search and rescue missions after becoming internationally certified by the International Organization of Search and Rescue Dogs.

The most significant moment of Athos' career came when he was just a puppy, searching for survivors after the earthquake of September 19, 2017 in Mexico City.

His cute colleague also targeted by Benjamín 'N' was therapy dog Tango a little Yorkshire terrier who provided emotional assistance to those suffering from shock, trauma and anxiety after a tragic event.

Following their tragic deaths in Querétaro, Mexico, the State Attorney General's Office launched an investigation which resulted in just a 20-day jail sentence due to the intensity of threats Benjamín 'N' faced online.

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With the backing of the Cariño Animal association and other organisations, lawyer Mónica Huerta Muñoz took on the case of Athos and Tango to ensure similar wicked acts are not repeated without fear of repercussions.

Judge Alicia Basurto García explained that video evidence of the poisoning was supported by a neighbour of Benjamín 'N's who claimed the suspect revealed his evil plan so the dogs were no longer trained in the garden.

At the Criminal Hearing Chambers of the Superior Court of Justice on Tuesday, August 23, the Judge concluded that Benjamín 'N' committed three crimes of aggravated mistreatment of animals.

In addition to his 10-and-a-half years in prison, the defendant who is estimated to be in his 60s, was ordered to pay a fine of 151,464 pesos (£6,450) for the irreparable damage caused to society.

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Benjamín 'N' was hit by a further fine of 2,145,479 pesos (£91,415) as compensation for the death of Athos, and 223,548 pesos (£9,500) as compensation for killing Tango.

The dog poisoner has also been billed for his victims' vet and funeral fees as well as psychological care of Armando Édgar Martínez Olguín, who was the caretaker of both rescue dogs.

A formal reading of the sentence will take place next Tuesday, August 30.

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