Some 200 animal lovers from all over Cyprus marched in Protaras yesterday in protest at the abuse of a stray dog at a hotel in the area last week.
The demonstration started at Pernera, ending up outside the hotel where a stray had been thrown into a cardboard crusher.
The inhumane act prompted outrage, including official condemnation from the government which slammed incidents of animal abuse as a “disgrace to society and the country”.
Two hotel employees and their manager have been charged in connection with the incident and have been suspended from their duties at the hotel. Tsokkos Hotels said that the employees had not followed the instructions of their manager to take the dog to an animal shlter.
The stray, called Billy, is in serious condition at the vet after being rescued by outraged passersby.
Participants carried placards calling for the protection of animals and featuring photographs of abused animals.
The demonstrators picketed the hotel, closing off the gates for some 20 minutes. Tempers flared when the hotel owner appeared at the entrance, asking police to remove the demonstrators and protect the property. The mood turned even uglier when some of the demonstrators exchanged angry words with members of the staff who were urging them to leave so as not to tarnish Cyprus’ image further in the eyes of the tourists.
Green MP George Perdikis and the party’s Michalis Paraschos were instrumental in calming frayed nerves, while demonstrators were appeased when the hotel owner went back into the building.
The demonstrators gradually dispersed, and police lifted the cordon it had placed in front of the hotel to prevent demonstrators from entering.

Cyprus weekly

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