Misael de Moraes is a well-known traveler on the streets of São Tomé das Letras (MG) and Três Corações (MG) for walking accompanied by a sheep that he named ‘Lua de Moraes’. In February 2022, he was charged by the Public Prosecutor’s Office on suspicion of animal abuse. The sheep ‘Lua’ was placed in the custody of Três Corações City Hall until the investigations were completed, but was returned to him after the Court ruled that there was no crime.
According to information from the Civil Police of Minas Gerais, the sheep’s guardian was indicted after reports alleged that the sheep was tied by the neck on the sidewalk of the Três Corações Forum, without water, without food and in need of shearing.
A city hall team collected the animal so that it could undergo a veterinary report, with the aim of determining whether the complaint could really be considered mistreatment. However, after statements and the absence of evidence that would constitute the crime, Misael was cleared of the charges.
According to information from the court case, Lua was not accompanied by Misael when the city hall team arrived at the designated location to investigate the complaint.
To g1, Misael said he realized that she wasn’t where he had left her because he whistled and she didn’t respond.
“I whistled at her and she didn’t respond, so I said: ‘It’s different. There’s something wrong, she’s not answering me. And I even felt sick when I didn’t see her’” he said.
During the period in which the sheep was imprisoned, Misael remained on the streets of the city awaiting the outcome of the court decision. According to the tutor, he was already sure that she would be returned.
“What they did to me was cowardly. But I wouldn’t leave without her. She is my favorite, my daughter. I’ve been with her since 2020, since she was little. And wherever I go she accompanies me, she walks with me without disobeying”, said Misael.
Crime denied by Justice
The Public Prosecutor’s Office requested the conviction of Misael de Moraes for the crime of mistreatment for traveling through the cities of São Tomé das Letras and Três Corações carrying the sheep and for the animal being abandoned and tied by the neck on the sidewalk, without water, food and needing to be sheared.
During the process, police officers interviewed in court stated that they had not seen any injuries to the sheep and that it was fat, beautiful and did not appear to be suffering any abuse. A veterinarian also denied that the animal was malnourished.
In the sentence, in relation to the lack of shearing, judge Flávio Junqueira Silva, from the District of Três Corações, said that there was no evidence in the case file regarding the obligation to carry out the procedure, much less regarding the frequency of carrying it out, since the wool is a natural state of sheep.
In view of this, the judge decided “to prevail the principle of presumption of innocence, imposing, in case of doubt, acquittal”.
The Municipality of Três Corações posted a note of clarification on the case on social media:
“On February 2, 2022, Três Corações City Hall was called to seize a sheep that was located on the premises of the former Municipal Forum, on Rua 7 de Setembro, due to reports of possible mistreatment of the animal. After the seizure, a police report was drawn up and the sheep was placed in PMTC custody until a court decision.
After due judicial process (nº. 5008237.87.2022.8.13.0693) it was considered by the Court that there was no mistreatment, with a judicial decision to return the animal to its owner, which was done on Friday, September 22, 2023 .”
Reunion and trip around the country
After more than a year apart, Lua de Moraes and Misael are together again and their destination now, according to the sheep’s owner, is the south of the country. The two are already on the road. They left Três Corações last Thursday (9) and arrived in Varginha this Monday (13).
The trip, however, will feature more members. According to Misael, Lua was returned to him pregnant. The man also said that he also intends to raise the puppies.
“She was delivered to me pregnant. Who the father is I don’t know. But I’m not going to sell it. I’m going to raise her and the grandchildren. She, I and my grandchildren are going to the South.”
Misael took the sheep to raise in 2020 in the city of Itapeva (MG) and since then he has always been with the animal, which accompanies him everywhere. After a quick conversation with the g1 reporter, he did not give further details on how and when he intends to arrive in the south of the country with the sheep and possible puppies.