Veterinarians in Far East Russia have put down around 200 stray animals who they said had come into contact with a rabid dog, authorities announced Monday.
The news came after an animal rights group found empty dog and cat cages at the facility in the city of Yakutsk. They later discovered the carcasses of what the activists said were 100 dogs and a few cats with their throats slit at the temporary shelter.
The Russian republic of Sakha’s veterinary department said the shelter was placed under quarantine last Tuesday, March 3, after one of the dogs there tested positive for rabies.
“Veterinarians euthanized 153 dogs and 48 cats that may have been infected by the infected animal,” it said in a statement.
Sakha’s veterinary department said the carcasses discovered by animal rights activists belonged to dogs who had died from other causes in addition to euthanasia and were being prepared for disposal. The department dismissed reports of the animals being brutally killed by veterinarians as “not true.”
The mayor of Yakutsk, 8,000 kilometers east of Moscow, and the governor of Sakha have announced separate inspections into the euthanization.
Animal rights activists previously accused the temporary shelter of holding the animals in freezing temperatures of minus 50 degrees Celsius.