PETITION TARGET: Ballarat Prosecution Unit
UPDATE (9/2/2021): Kon and Liudmila Petropoulos pleaded guilty to animal cruelty charges at Geelong Magistrates Court on March 16, 2021.
They were not convicted but instead were released on undertaking, a spokesperson with the Melbourne Magistrates’ Court Media Unit told Lady Freethinker. Both have been banned from conducting or working in a domestic animal business. The couple also had to pay a total of $1,250 in fines.
We are disappointed that a guilty plea did not result in a conviction and that such paltry penalties were applied to two individuals who have a repeat history of animal welfare violations. But we definitely support the formal order banning this couple from further profiting from innocent animals’ pain and exploitation.
We thank the more than 35,700 people who signed our petition demanding accountability for the suffering of these defenseless animals and will continue to demand justice for all animals.
Sick and dying kittens — many of them far too young to leave their mothers — were sold out of a car trunk for profit and falsely advertised as purebred in Victoria, Australia by breeders who allegedly continued to run their illegal business after being convicted of animal cruelty, according to the Brisbane Times. Some of the ailing cats reportedly died hours or days after purchase.
Shortly after a judge banned the breeders, Con and Liudmila Petropoulos, from selling animals, tipsters told law enforcement that the couple was advertising kittens online using aliases and stolen microchip information. At least $60,000 worth of ads appeared after their sentencing, according to nonprofit organization Oscar’s Law.
Investigative footage shows Mr. Petropoulos peddling the animals for $1,500 each in a parking lot, boasting to one customer that he’s been breeding them for 18 years. Police subsequently executed a search warrant and seized nine kittens from the couple’s home.
Police charged the pair with failing to provide necessary care and confining animals in a way that is likely to cause pain or suffering. Mr. Petropoulus faces additional charges, including breaching the court order that banned the couple from selling animals.
This must stop now. Sign this petition urging the Ballarat Prosecution Unit to prosecute this heartbreaking case to the fullest extent of the law, preventing any more animals from harm or death.