Animal Welfare was called repeatedly to take action against a “reckless” pit bull breeder that kept his dogs in miserable condition and rooftop kennels, two of whom mauled a woman to death.
Well-informed sources said that numerous complaints were filed with Animal Welfare, who visited the site but never took action against the man. Police reports were also filed over the dogs’ incessant barking, who sources said were kept in awful conditions on the roof of the building and within the block itself.
A 95-year-old woman, Inez Galea, was killed by two pit bulls belonging to the man, Andre Galea, who is a relative of the victim. Her chihuahua was also killed.
Galea’s Facebook profile makes it abundantly clear that he was breeding dogs within the block. He identifies himself as a dog breeder who specialises in “pit bulls, american bulldogs, and american staffordshire terriers”.
Sources said that Galea was clearly running a crude puppy mill, keeping the dogs in separate cages with little interaction. The Association for Abandoned Animals has said there were over ten pit bulls in the block.
A large number of people tried to intervene. However, sources said that Galea always seemed to be able to sort out his affairs before Animal Welfare actually arrived.
Dogs, sources said, are not the only animals residing in the block, with Galea allegedly keeping and breeding all sorts of animals within the residence.
Those who reported Galea were reportedly subject to threats from the man.
Police have said that the two dogs were being kept in the yard and had managed to enter the woman’s ground floor maisonette on Antonio Sciortino Street, Msida.
Sources said that Galea was not residing in the apartment block at the time of the shocking attack. He allegedly left the apartment after electricity and water had been turned off in the building a few days prior.
Magistrate Charmaine Galea is leading an inquiry. Lovin Malta has reached out to the Police and the Animal Rights Ministry for comment. Police have indicated that they may not be able to answer all questions since the case is still under investigation.
Dog breeders intending to breed more than four litters in a year are required to obtain a license and keep detailed records. It is unclear whether the man had a license to operate.
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