Malta Police Make Arrest in Case of Abused Dog Star

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An arrest has been made in the case of Star, a dog shot, buried alive and left for dead in a shallow grave in Malta.

Alfred Vella, 44, a farmer from Birzebbuga, admitted in court today that he shot Star because she was old. A previous owner of the dog had given her to Vella recently because ‘she was shedding too much’. Vella admitted to shooting the dog with a homemade gun before burying her in the field where she was eventually found.

Defense counsel Peter Paul Zammit said the court needed to impose a severe penalty in order to send a message to potential abusers. “We are in the 21st century and justice needs to be done,” he said.

Vella faces a potential sentence of up to five years if found guilty. Sentencing is scheduled for this afternoon.

Star was just that – and as an inspiration to thousands who cheered her recovery, news of her death came as a serious blow to her supporters, who had spent weeks watching and hoping for a happy ending as she battled her way back from one of the worst cases of animal abuse imaginable. Her story took a heartbreaking turn when a bout of vomiting necessitated an emergency vet trip: Star succumbed to pancreatitis just hours later, on June 6th.
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10 thoughts on “Malta Police Make Arrest in Case of Abused Dog Star”

  1. No matter the punishment it’s not enough. Justice would be the same thing he did 2 star! This thing that claims 2 be human has no heart or feeling at all. May the rest of his earthly life be a living hell & then when he dies thats where he should go!

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  2. I realize we are only getting a snippet of what happened in the courtroom, but Alfred Vella acted as though he did a humane thing by “killing an old dog.” Why didn’t he mention his other depraved actions like wrapping wire around her muzzle and leaving an injured animal and burying a dog that is still breathing.

    There is more here than he is saying and I hope the judge considers what is not being said and the other details of Star’s torture.

    What saddens me the most is how frightened Star must have been, not being able to breath, being bound and not able to move and the terrible pain she must have felt from the gun shot wounds. All of this while not understanding why a human had done this to her.

    I only wish Star had been blessed with more time to live out the remainder of her life with the compassionate family who wanted to adopt her.

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  3. This is great news that there will hopefully be some closure in this case. This really affected me. I do take solace that Star was shown love at the end of her life. Still thinking about you, Star!

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  4. I’m glad they caught him. He did much more than “shoot an old dog”—he tortured her and buried her alive. I hope they make him serve the entire sentence they gave him.

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  5. I am so glad they got the guy. I really didn’t thinik they would when they didn’t have one after a few days. I know many of the Maltese people were on her side, and protesting their laws. I hope the powers that be there will take that to heart and show the world that they take these things seriously. The whole world is watching, and will remember.

    Still missing Star though :(.

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  6. It’s sad to think that a human could do such a thrable thing to any animal just because it sheds.the dog couldn’t help it.The more i hear know about humans the moer i love my rottweilers’

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  7. If his name, address, photo etc is published, maybe someone would decide to give justice to Star. This guy set out to torture Star to death because she was old.

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