Policeman is 'prime suspect' in dog shooting
A Vienna policeman is accused of having shot and wounded two dogs in the garden of a home in Wollersdorf, Wiener Neustadt in February.
The animals were shot in the head and legs and were both seriously injured, but survived.
A neighbour heard the gunshots and immediately alerted the owner, who had left her home to pick up her children from a friend’s house.
The Kurier newspaper reports that a 58-year-old police officer is being investigated on suspicion of animal cruelty.
Lower Austria Police spokesman Johann Baumschlager told the Austria Press Agency that a search of the officer’s house had also revealed a stash of illegal arms and ammunition.
The Kurier reports that a shotgun, two unregistered small-calibre rifles - one of them a semi-automatic - and illegal handguns were found, along with rounds of ammunition which are thought to have been stolen from police supplies.
Baumschlager said the investigation was progressing well and that witnesses had been questioned. He added that it’s believed the police officer is an “animal hater” and that he could be behind a spate of incidents in Lower Austria where poisoned bait was left out for dogs.
The police officer, who works in Vienna, has denied the allegations and said that he was watching television at the time the dogs were shot.
Baumschlager said that National Police Headquarters in Vienna would have to make a decision on whether to suspend the officer. Spokesman Thomas Keiblinger told APA that “disciplinary proceedings were being initiated”.