A woman, with the help of two men, abuses a defenseless dog. Someone captures the event on video and uploads it on the internet. The video will soon go viral on social media. And this triggered thousands of people, people who then started protests against the suffering that Cholito had to go through.
The incident took place in a shopping area in the Patronato district. This is located in the district of Recoleta, in the capital Santiago de Chile. The animal, known as Cholito, had been abandoned there by its owners last Christmas.
The owner of one of the stores felt annoyed with the dog’s presence and asked an employee to get rid of him in some way.
The employee who abused the dog – and today expresses remorse for what happened – defends himself by saying that she only hit him in the head until he became unconscious. She did not go so far as to kill him.
At the time of writing, a legal investigation of the incident is underway , but Cholito has not yet been found, either alive or dead.
His assailants have told investigators that they then wrapped him in a blanket and took him to an open area in the city. The police have managed to find the blanket in question but saw no trace of the poor creature.
Investigators believe that through the videos of the incident, together with verified testimonies, they can confirm the possible fatal assault that Cholito was subjected to.
The mayor of Recoleta, Daniel Jadue, has together with the animal groups Observatorio Animal, Animal Libre, Ecopolys and Callejeritos de la Vega made a report against those who were behind the brutal abuse of the dog.
The report was made in accordance with the provisions of the country’s criminal procedure legislation against those responsible for the assault, which is classified as “animal cruelty”.
Mayor Jadue has also publicly said that the scandal now contributes to greater efforts being made to ensure that animals are never abused for any reason, whether in public places or in private homes. This type of action is, according to him, forbidden “in all its dimensions.”
It did not take long before the public stood up in protest against this cruelty that the dog suffered.
With the hashtag #JusticeForCholito (or #JusticiaParaCholito in Spanish), thousands of people expressed their anger over the cruel abuse that the poor dog experienced. The protests are spreading like wildfire on social media where thousands of people post pictures with their own pets with the aim that the crime will not go unpunished.
From the internet to the streets – protests against animal cruelty
Activism did not end there. Chilean conversations on social media led to the organization of real-life protests to raise awareness of animal rights.
In the Chilean capital and across several other cities in the country, a total of about 10,000 people gathered to protest together against the terrible violence that the little dog Cholito suffered, and which is believed to have ended his life.
Members of animal rights organizations who showed their support marched with their pets and demanded prison sentences for those responsible. They also demanded longer sentences for animal cruelty.
One positive thing that came from Cholito’s horrific experience is the fact that many people are now taking a stand on the issue of animal cruelty. On both the internet and on the streets, more and more people are now appearing to make their voices heard and to defend all dogs like Cholito around the world.
Image sources: oasisfm.cl and www.eldesconierto.cl