(dpa/NAN) A politician in Sicily who was caught on camera abandoning four puppies in the street has resigned from his post, local media reported Tuesday.
Vito Dicara, the alderman for culture and sports in the Sicilian town of Caltagirone, was filmed in the act by the security cameras of a nearby private home, whose owner alerted the Carabinieri, a branch of Italy’s police, according to newspaper La Sicilia.
Abandoning animals is punishable in Italy with one year in prison or a fine of up to 10,000 euros (11,150 dollars).
The press office of Caltagirone municipality was not available for comment. Mayor Gino Ioppolo, a criminal lawyer, told the ANSA news agency he was still considering whether to accept his aide’s resignation, whose work as an alderman he praised.
Dicara confirmed the night-time incident to La Sicilia, saying it occurred “a few weeks ago” after he found the puppies in a box on his doorstep.
“My idea … was to drop them near homes where notoriously kind-hearted people live, in the certainty that [the puppies] would be rescued,” the 54-year-old politician was quoted as saying.
“I apologise to the entire city,” he added.
According to La Sicilia, the pets were screened by local veterinary services and may be offered for adoption.
The Carabinieri are investigating the affair, and it was not clear whether they would press charges against the former alderman.
Ioppolo’s centre-right administration announced just last week the introduction of more security cameras and covert surveillance vehicles as part of a “crackdown” against the “social scourge” of illegal trash dumping.