Recently, we received distressing news: A video, purportedly showing a woman viciously beating a defenseless dog, had been found online. The minute-long video shows a woman repeatedly “punishing” a small dog named Butters with a broom. Butters’ “crime”? He chewed on a cushion.
Several concerned Singaporean citizens informed the city-state’s Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, which took action by filing a complaint with the authorities. PETA Asia has written to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), the enforcement authority, and pushed for the immediate arrest of the abuser and the rescue of the animals who remain in her care.
However, AVA has recently sent us a disappointing reply. Following its purported “thorough investigation,” including “interviews, observations of the dog owners’ behaviour and interaction with Butters, as well as a veterinary examination of Butters,” AVA concluded that “the owners had no intention to harm Butters nor was there any lasting harm or injury inflicted.” All that AVA is willing to do in light of the pain and suffering Butters went through is to issue the abusers a “stern warning.”
AVA should have taken Butters away from the abusers in order to prevent potential further suffering. Animal abusers need to be aggressively prosecuted too. Violence toward animals is a warning sign of a dangerous pathology that is ignored at our risk. The good news is that this cycle of violence can be stopped.
The responses from AVA fail to reflect the seriousness of the crimes and send the dangerous message to adults and children alike that animal abuse will be tolerated. We are appealing to AVA to review its decision and do the right thing for Butters.
Posted by Rochelle Regodon