If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Animal Abuse

Three offers to adopt dog beaten by owner
by Esther Ng 05:55 AM Jul 16, 2010SINGAPORE

Three animal lovers have offered to adopt Butters, the six-month-old pup seen, in a widely-circulated video, receiving a thrashing from its owner for chewing on a couple of cushions.

Ms Sandy Lim, founder of the animal welfare group, SOS Animals, has volunteered to adopt Butters and also pay its owner for the crossbreed and buy her a new set of cushions.

Mr Jerry Toh, an assistant outlet manager, and his girlfriend have promised to shower Butters with love just as they do their two-year-old Maltese.

"My concern is the well-being of the dog ... the authorities and the SPCA can do a spot check on us," he said.

Another concerned animal lover, Ms Fiona Foo, has been informed by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) that Butters was not "in any danger".

"We have checked on the dog," AVA principal animal welfare inspector Soh Seng Beng told her in an email, adding that investigations were ongoing.

Earlier, Rachel Goh and Clara Fu on Facebook called on the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to rescue the dog.

The pup could develop a "nervous aggression" if beaten repeatedly, said dog trainer, and president of welfare group, Action for Singapore Dogs, Mr Ricky Yeo.

The SPCA said it was grateful and encouraged by the public's concern for the welfare of the animal. ESTHER NG
Our Thoughts :

In an email reply from AVA, AVA mentioned that they have checked on the dog and that the dog is fine and not in danger. What does "not in danger mean"? No risk or zero risk of being hit or abused in future?

When I asked if the dog would be removed from the home and put in foster care to prevent further abuse, AVA's reply was that the dog was "not in danger"and thus not necessary.

I am curious as to how AVA assessed that the dog is fine and not in danger. Did they do a visual screening with their naked eye, see no open bleeding wounds and thus affirm that the dog is fine? Did they make an effort to take the dog to the vet to perhaps do a head x-ray since he had hard blows rained on his little head? What if he has blood clots or internal bleeding? Would the naked eye have been able to see that? Apart from physical pain, the poor little puppy would have emotional truama and distress.

The lady owner may be angrier with the puppy now for "giving" her unnecessary media attention and perhaps take it out on the poor puppy even more. Who will be responsible for the continued abuse? The people who ensured the public that the dog is not in danger? Animal welfare has obviously not cared about animal welfare. The lady will go on abusing the puppy - this time we won't even know because it will no longer be posted on You Tube for all to see.

The article above says "SPCA is grateful and encouraged by the public's concern" - and what has SPCA done with that gratefulness? Passed that gratefulness to AVA?

Is AVA prosecuting the owner? By allowing the owner to get away with abusing her dog, AVA is setting an example to other dog owners - that it is perfectly fine to abuse your dog, as long as when the authorities inspect, they can't see any open wounds with their naked eye.

What constitutes abuse?

Are we the only country in the world that has animal welfare authorities uninterested in animal welfare?___________________________________________________________
13 July 2010

When people think of animal welfare in Singapore - commonly AVA or SPCA comes to mind.

In the case of AVA, they are in charge of Food, Animals & Pets and Agriculture & Fisheries in Singapore. Are they like most Singaporeans where food is their top priority and animals last on their list? We would be concerned if it was, because many people look up to AVA as an authoritative figure, yet are they doing enough for the animals? AVA is about "protecting the health of animals, fish and plants through advanced technology and professional expertise in agriculture, fisheries, veterinary science and the life sciences." Volunteers in animal welfare, have you seen this happening? Have you seen them "protecting the health of animals". Speak up. Fear not. You are in animal welfare because you are the voice for the animals.

In the past five days, we have come across TWO obvious cases of animal abuse and animal cruelty. There could be more, but we were only aware of these two.

Loss of fur, severe itch and crusts on Xuan Xuan's head

Through the animal welfare circle, we were informed of two grossly neglected Shihtzus (mother and daughter) and both dogs were eventually surrendered to SPCA. One of the dogs, Xuan Xuan, was emaciated and she had scabies. (Scabies, also called sarcoptic mange, is caused by a specific type of mite that burrows itself into a dog's skin. It can be spread from dog to dog through direct contact such as when dogs are in a kennel as mites move from one dog to another). What do you think SPCA would have done for these poor neglected doggies? Give them the love, food and medical attention that these two dogs have obviously been deprived of? SPCA - Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, whose mission is to "promote kindness to animals and birds and to prevent cruelty to animals and birds". Perhaps SPCA felt that putting Xuan Xuan down was promoting kindness and preventing cruelty (and suffering)? Because that was what they WOULD have done! Why, you ask? Its just scabies. No doubt scabies is contagious but IT IS CURABLE. It’s not as if Xuan Xuan is old and has an incurable disease. Xuan Xuan is middle-aged, about 6 to 7 years old and she merely has scabies. Why was this Society not willing to help the dog?

Bad teeth

SPCA also explains on their website "why we put animals to sleep . . . because quite a number of the dogs are non HDB breeds”. That’s quite understandable. As long as HDB believes that there are no responsible pet owners in Singapore, this ruling will always be in place. However, Xuan Xuan is a Shihtzu, falling under the category of a toy dog, HDB APPROVED. Oh, perhaps it is because SPCA has no quarantine or isolation area? SPCA has been around since the 1800s but in 1954 they officially had its own place at Orchard Road. More than half a century has gone by and the quarantine area has yet to be built?

An animal welfare volunteer had to go down to SPCA to take both the dogs out and send them to the vet at her own expense. Did SPCA feel that both these dogs were not worth spending its public donations on or were they too much effort to care for till full recovery took place? Thank God for people who genuinely care for animals.

Both Xuan Xuan and Furby are presently at the Vet's, receiving the medical treatment they deserve and more importantly, the second chance they deserve. It wasn't their fault that they were abused and neglected by their owner. It truly would have been a sad, horrible life, being neglected, abused and then put to sleep. Poor Xuan Xuan would have died, never experiencing love.

Maybe SPCA should put more effort into promoting Virtual Pets.

In the Straits Time and TODAY on 14 July 2010, most people would have heard of the lady beating her little toy dog with a broom, simply because the little dog chewed on a cushion? That video and pictures of abuse have been widely circulated on You Tube and Facebook.

Read report here.

Watch video here.

Infuriated dog lovers are concerned. Has the dog been removed from the home to prevent further hurt, injury and abuse? In cases of child abuse, the child is immediately removed from the home and placed in foster care, to prevent further emotional trauma. In case the relevant authorities are unaware, dogs do feel pain, hurt and sadness. They do go through emotional trauma too. For children, they receive counseling to help them overcome their emotional issues and they have play therapy to "verbalize" their hurt. What about dogs? Dogs don’t receive counseling, nor are they able to verbalize their pain and emotional scars. Thus it is of great urgency that the dog is removed to safety immediately or do the authorities require proof before they step in and save a life?

Source: Straits Times, 14 July 2010

Source: TODAY, 14 July 2010

According to reports on AsiaOne.com, AVA says SPCA has given them information on the "identities of the parties involved" and are currently investigating. However, both AVA and SPCA have declined to reveal this information until investigations are completed. Honestly, its about time AVA and SPCA came up with new excuses. This line has been way over used. Do they hope that if they take long enough to complete investigations, animal lovers will forget about this little dog?

Does it seem as if SPCA is pushing the case to AVA and vice versa? Is this not a clear case of dog abuse, falling under the jurisdiction of authorities dealing in animal welfare? News article from AsiaOne says "If convicted - person faces $10K fine", does it imply that the person has yet to be convicted although they are already aware of the identity of the abuser? Shame on all these government authorities in ANIMAL WELFARE who hesitate to HELP a tiny defenseless dog from being abused!

Quote from AsiaOne.com "Anyone with information on the case can contact AVA at 64717198 or e-mail ava_cawc@ava.gov.sg or the SPCA at 62875355 extension 9". Will someone please comment on WHAT information the authorities require? Are photographs and video of the dog clearly being abused insufficient? Would the dog's body lying on the post mortem table then be sufficient?

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