A man in the Far East has been charged with cruelty to animals for feeding 1,000 stray dogs food laced with deadly poison, police said.
The Vladivostok resident testified that he took to the Internet to find information about what medical drugs are deadly to dogs, where those drugs can be bought, and what dosages are needed to kill an animal, the Primorye region branch of the Interior Ministry said in an online statement Monday.
From May of last year to January, he fed about 1,000 stray dogs in the city with drug-laced meats, the statement said. It was not clear how many dogs may have died.
Police seized a computer, two handguns, a rifle and medical drug packages during a search at the man's apartment. The suspect, who had no prior criminal record, was released after signing a pledge not to leave the city.
Stray animals eke out a dog's life in many Russian cities, and have become a point of contention between animal rights activists, animal control authorities and "dog hunter" vigilantes.
Sochi authorities have removed stray dogs from the streets of the Black Sea resort to keep them from bothering the crowds of international athletes and guests arriving in the city for the Winter Olympics. Though officials say that healthy animals are only "taken into custody," it was unclear where the captured dogs might be taken and how many may have been killed.
Dog lovers from the Moscow region traveled to Sochi last month to rescue a dozen or so stray dogs from the city and give them a home, after reading social network posts that said local authorities had hired a company to shoot street dogs and cats ahead of the Olympics.