Fire at Animal Shelter Wilful, Say Experts

Fire at Animal Shelter Wilful, Say Experts

Published: November 21, 2012 (Issue # 1736)

MOSCOW — Investigators said Tuesday that a fire that killed seven dogs in a Moscow animal shelter in early November was the work of arsonists.

Experts are continuing to examine the area surrounding the Alma shelter, which was engulfed in flames in the early hours of Nov. 5, but are now treating the case as an arson attack, Sergei Chervyakov, head of the Federal Fire Service, told RIA-Novosti.

Police have opened a criminal case on charges of animal cruelty and intentional destruction of property.

Shelter director Lyudmila Bychkova said a witness had seen a man in a green Lada stop outside the shelter in western Moscow and throw something into the compound, after which the building caught fire, Interfax reported.

The shelter housed around 200 animals at the time of the fire, but most were saved by staff opening their cages.

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