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.
However, in a separate Facebook post earlier today (8 May), Mr Gan said that he was called to the police station for an interview. Apparently, the owners of the aforementioned dog, Loki, had lodged a complaint against him on doxxing.
He was also instructed to take down the earlier post that has gone viral.
TOC notes that the Facebook post has been taken down by Mr Gan at the time of writing.
“I had done what I felt was right to raise awareness of horrible dog owners choosing the easy way out by putting their dogs to sleep. And to call out unethical vets who will agree to terminate innocent lives,” Mr Gan wrote.
“If I had unknowingly broken the law by doing that, I will accept full responsibility. And the responsibility is mine alone,” he added.
Mr Gan went on to thank his friends and fellow dog-lovers for speaking up for the injustice behind the tragic incident that befell Loki. To ensure that Loki did not die in vain, he urged everyone to “push for more changes”, asserting that “convenient euthanasia has no place in our society”.
At the end of his post, he also expressed gratitude to Member of Parliament (MP) of Nee Soon GRC Louis Ng Kok Kwang for extending his support on this matter, while acknowledging Mr Ng’s resolve to fight for the voiceless animals.
MP Louis Ng to call for stricter measures to put an end to ‘convenience euthanasia’
Upon having knowledge of Loki’s passing, Mr Ng took to Facebook on Thursday (7 May) to share his grief and concerns.
In fact, he shared that nearly seven years ago – before he was an MP – he spoke up for Tammy, a seven-month-old puppy who, just like Loki, was rehomed and later euthanised for its aggressive behaviour after biting a number of people.
Taking into account the needless killing of Tammy and Loki, Mr Ng vouched to raise this issue in Parliament to call for stricter measures to put an end to ‘convenience euthanasia’.
I will ask that we mandate that owners who want to euthanise their healthy dog must show proof:
1. If it is due to aggressive behaviours, that they have engaged a dog trainer and the trainer must certify that he or she tried all means possible.
2. That they tried to rehome the dog.
He added that he will ask for the ruling which will require all veterinarians to wait a minimum of seven full days before putting any animal down, so as to provide the animal with the opportunity to be adopted.
The animals’ details could be put on NParks and animal welfare groups’ websites. Such a “cooling off” period might give owners time to rethink and animal activists time to re-home the animal.
Netizens offer support to Mr Gan, question the law of doxxing
Upon reading Mr Gan’s post, netizens expressed their gratitude to him for speaking up, and extended their support in solidarity against the unethical action of putting a dog to sleep when it is perfectly healthy.
Penning their thoughts in the comments section of his post, a large number of them thanked Mr Gan for doing “the right thing”. Many even said that they are more than willing to help contribute to his legal fees should Loki’s owners decide to pursue a legal action.
A handful of netizens expressed their disgust at Loki’s owners – seemingly a Singaporean Permanent Resident couple from Copenhagen, Denmark – for having the audacity to file a police report against Mr Gan, noting that they are ones who committed a heinous crime in the first place.
A few comments even pointed out that expatriates in Singapore tend to have it easier with the law as most of the time it goes in their favour.
What’s more, a number of netizens cast aspersions on the laws of doxxing and animal protection in Singapore. Many questioned how the doxxing law really works, hinting that Mr Gan did not cross the line in his initial Facebook post.
A couple of them also voiced their disagreement to the doxxing law, calling for the higher-ups to do something about it so as to prevent the guilty parties from getting away rather easily.
Meanwhile, one netizen, Esther Lee shared her personal story which coincides with Mr Gan’s. She stated that she had been called up by the police under the suspicion of doxxing after she spread the word about an alleged cat abuser to an online group which apparently generated nasty comments against the abuser.
She added that the police officer didn’t find her post offensive. She also affirmed that she didn’t break any doxxing law, judging by what she revealed about the abuser.