A German artist planned to strangle two live puppies to death during an art show at a theater in the Spandau district of Berlin. An administrative court judge has ordered him to not go through with the violent act, saying that it would violate Germany's animal protection laws.
The strangling was meant to bring public awareness to the practice of killing sled dogs and other service dogs once they are no longer able to perform. Just last year, for example, there were reports of an outdoor adventure company in Canada ordering the shooting of 54 sled dogs who were no longer needed after tourist season ended.
To make the plight of working dogs as real as possible for his audience, the Berlin artist planned to execute two puppies onstage by using a cable wire to strangle them. The performance would have been accompanied by funereal music and a banging gong.
The artist defended his planned performance, called Death by Metamorphosis, arguing that artistic freedom was guaranteed in Germany.
It appears that not many onlookers agree with him. A sampling of comments on The Local, a German English-language newspaper, reveals that most everyone has reacted with shock and disgust.
To all the Artistes in Question: I have an idea for drawing attention to the struggle against Capital Punishment...! said one protester.
He isn't an artist, he's a psycho lunatic who needs being watched because this man is dangerous, said another.
One commenter suspected that the artist has gotten what he was pushing for all along: Smells a lot like a publicity stunt that has worked well and achieved its quota of outrage to add another line to his boring artistic CV social media world.