A recent story involving a husband and wife allegedly euthanising their pet dog to prevent the dog from biting their newborn baby has sparked a public outcry on social media.
The heartbreaking incident was brought to light by Gan Theng Wei in a Facebook post on Wednesday night (6 May). Mr Gan is a member of Exclusively Mongrels, a non-profit organisation that supports and promotes mongrel welfare in Singapore.
In his post, he revealed that he received word about the “tragic news” on Wednesday. According to him, the dog, Loki, was rehomed two and a half years ago. He added that in two months’ time, Loki would have been three years old.
Mr Gan stated that the reason Loki’s owners gave behind their decision to euthanise Loki is to avoid the risk of Loki biting their newborn baby following several biting incidents lately.
‘He bit a girl the other day. And last week I was bitten too…’
‘We wouldn’t want to risk it with the baby and everything..’
Loki’s owners, seemingly a Singaporean Permanent Resident couple from Copenhagen, Denmark, told the canine welfare group that they tried to rehome Loki but was unsuccessful.
‘And we tried rehoming him but not successful ..’
Mr Gan highlighted the irony of the situation, where the couple brought a life into the world last month but decided to end the life of another yesterday.
He questioned why didn’t the couple consider engaging a dog trainer to prepare Loki and themselves before the baby comes into the picture. He even pointed out that Loki could have been returned back to the welfare group, adding that they would’ve done their best to find Loki a new home as it was the promise they presented when they rescued him.
Why didn’t you consider engaging a dog trainer in the past 9 months to prepare Loki and you for the arrival of the baby?
You could have at least returned Loki back to us. We would have done our best to find him a new home. After all, that was the promise we gave him when we rescued him.
Mr Gan went on to claim that the couple had “unilaterally destroyed the meaning of euthanasia”. He noted that euthanasia is used as an “ethical means” to prevent suffering. “It is not an indiscriminate death sentence,” he stressed.
Feeling somewhat responsible for Loki’s passing, he offered up an apology to Loki for the chain of events that has led to this grim situation.
I’m sorry Loki. I was the person who brought you to your killers. I’m sorry for choosing a wrong home for you. I’m sorry you had to die through no fault of yours You were mercilessly EXECUTED.
At the end of his post, Mr Gan left a haunting footnote to Loki’s owner, so as to ensure that their action will never be forgotten nor will their guilt be washed away.
Loki’s owners, if you are reading this, one day your child is going to ask you, as all children do, if she can have a dog.
And you will remember Loki.
And then you will not be able to look her in her eyes and tell her that you executed him in cold blood because of her.
I hope you live with that guilt each time she asks for a pet.
A pet whom you senselessly murdered.
And please do not ever get that dog that she asks for.
Cos you are not worthy of a dog.
Attempts to rehome Loki?
According to Mr Gan, one of reasons why Loki was put to sleep – besides him recently biting a girl and one of the owners – was because the owners claimed that they attempted to rehome Loki, but to no avail.
TOC understands that the owners, Christian and Lilian, made no attempts to contact the rescuers or Exclusively Mongrels, the organisation that Loki was adopted from, about any intention to rehome Loki.
It is unclear if the couple made any efforts at all to rehome Loki before deciding to put him to sleep.
Nonetheless, from the timeliness on Mr Gan’s Facebook post, it is clear that Loki was euthanised not long after the arrival of a new baby in the household.
Netizens outraged over the decision behind Loki’s death
Upon reading Mr Gan’s post, netizens were livid at the outcome of the situation as they called out the responsible parties for Loki’s death.
Penning their thoughts in the comments section of the Facebook post, a large number of them were quick to slam Loki’s owners for practically committing murder.
They painted the couple with terms like “selfish”, “cold-blooded”, “evil”, “heartless”, “inhuman”, “cowardly”, while some went as far as “shamelessly cruel” and “senseless sadists”.
A handful of netizens even hinted that bad karma awaits Loki’s owners for their wrongdoing.
Many even cast aspersions on the couple’s sense of responsibility as dog owners, arguing that they had better options than having to resort to euthanising Loki.
What’s more, a couple of netizens questioned Loki’s owners on what they would do should their child end up being defiant or out of control. They wondered if the couple would “put their child to sleep” just like they did to Loki.
A number of netizens also shared their personal encounters having difficulty to pre-empt their pet dogs from biting people.
However, one of them, Kimberley Olsen, said that with “patience, love and a lot of understanding”, her dog had drastically changed for the better. “There are always options if you give a shit to look for them,” she remarked.
Meanwhile, Chester Yzl casually uttered that he doesn’t see any problem with having pet dogs mingling with babies. In fact, he even uploaded a picture of a baby – most likely his own child or perhaps the child of a loved one – accompanied by three dogs to illustrate his point.
Yuna Lee expressed the similar sentiments as she asserted that dogs and babies “can be together”, adding that dogs “can be very sweet” to the babies and even end up as their best friends, depending on how the dogs are brought up or trained.
She proceeded to attach a series of pictures which inadvertently adds the cherry on top of the icing on her comment.
Interestingly, Ms Yuna’s pictures offered a couple of valuable takeaways. Firstly, they conveyed the bond between a dog and baby as they grow up together. Secondly, they showed that even someone else’s dog can behave lovingly to a baby – in reference to her mother-in-law’s dog. Thirdly, they exhibited that having a dog as company, a baby can grow up developing a more endearing nature towards animals.
Besides having the spotlight on Loki’s owners, a group of netizens felt that the veterinarian involved in the euthanasia ought to be held responsible as well, seeing how they permitted and carried on with the procedure on a healthy young dog to the final end.
Meanwhile, a few of them were probing into the legal side of the story regarding the existence of any laws or regulations that safeguard voiceless animals from being put to sleep when they’re young and healthy.
Even Member of Parliament (MP) of Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng Kok Kwang was tagged in several comments, with a few netizens aching to know where does the law stand on this matter.
Mr Ng is also the Founder and Chief Executive of Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (ACRES).