By Daily Mail Reporter
Rabbis at a Jewish court allegedly condemned a dog to death by stoning - because they thought it was the reincarnation of a secular lawyer who they'd cursed for insulting them.
The rabbinical court reportedly passed down the draconian sentence after a large dog wandered into a court in Mea Shearim, an ultra-Orthodox neighbourhood in Jerusalem.
When it refused to leave, one of the judges allegedly declared the lawyer's spirit must have moved into the dog as punishment, and sentenced it to death by stoning - at the hands of local children.
Reincarnation? A rabbinical court in Jerusalem allegedly sentenced a dog like this one, pictured in the Gaza strip, to death by stoning
The dog managed to escape, but an animal rights organisation called police and lodged a complaint against the head of the court, according to Israeli website Ynet.
According to the site, the incident happened after the dog made its way into Mea Shearim's Monetary Affairs court, where it frightened both judges and plaintiffs.
Although staff tried to get rid of the animal, the dog refused to leave.
One of the rabbis then allegedly remembered a curse the court had put on a secular lawyer after he insulted a judge more than 20 years ago.
He declared the lawyer's spirit had been reborn in the body of a dog as divine retribution.
Some schools of thought within Judaism believe in reincarnation - and dogs are considered impure by orthodox Jews.
As if that wasn't punishment enough, one of the rabbis then allegedly declared the dog should be stoned to death - by local children.
But before the animal could be killed, Let Animals Live, an animal welfare organisation, filed a police complaint against Rabbi Avraham Dov Levin, who denied the allegations.
One of the court's managers, however, told Israeli newspaper Yediot Aharanot the story was true.
He said: 'It was ordered... as an appropriate way to "get back at" the spirit which entered the poor dog.'