Update: The head of the rabbinical court strongly denies that the stray dog who wandered into the courtroom was ordered to be stoned, saying that the dog was instead removed by animal control, and the Israeli newspaper Ma’ariv has apologized for errors in its initial report. However, the orthodox watchdog website FailedMessiah.com reports that one of the court’s managers confirmed that children outside were ordered to “throw stones at [the dog] in order to drive him away.” PETA has not yet received a response to our letter to the court.
Brace yourself: Ultra-Orthodox Rabbinical authorities in Jerusalem have sentenced a dog to be stoned to death after deciding that the dog is the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who supposedly insulted the judges decades ago.
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PETA and Israeli animal rights group Let the Animals Live are calling for the ruling to be overturned and for appropriate law enforcement agencies to investigate whether charges can be made for inciting cruelty to animals. We’re also calling for the head of the court to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.
“By sentencing an innocent animal to a painful death for such an absurd reason, this rabbinical court has not only completely discredited itself but also violated tza’ar ba’alei chayim (the principle of avoiding the suffering of living creatures)—one of the most important principles in Judaism,” said PETA senior researcher Philip Schein.
If you see a dog or any animal in trouble, please alert the authorities right away. Contact PETA’s Cruelty Investigations Department if you need assistance.
Written by Jennifer O’Connor