Indonesia is a soccer obsessed country (national team’s failings aside), but nothing can excuse using defenseless animals as a live substitute for a soccer ball.
Recently, video clips showing three teenagers abusing a small cat went viral online. The teens seemed to get a kick out of using the cat — perhaps cruelly inspired by the felines‘s white fur with some small black patches — for a keepy-up session, launching the feline into the air several times using their feet.
The video came to the attention of animal rights activists in Indonesia. Doni Herdaru Tona, founder of Animal Defenders Indonesia, shared the video on his Instagram account yesterday in the hopes that someone online could identify the teenagers.
Soon enough, one of the teenagers from the video contacted Doni on social media to apologize. Doni then told him that he and his friends must post a video apology saying they regret their actions and that they will be kind to animals in the future or he would report them to the authorities. The video was then posted on Doni’s Instagram account.
Furthermore, the teenagers, who live in Makassar, South Sulawesi, took the cat to a local vet, who inspected the cat and found that it didn’t suffer any injuries.
Hari ini @rezapahlepi81 dan @mkhadafia membawa kucing terkait ke Puskeswan Makassar dan diperiksa oleh Drh Nurmayanti, dan dinyatakan kucingnya dalam kondisi sehat / tidak ada tanda2 sakit. Kucingnya akan terus dipelihara oleh pemiliknya, para pelatih futsal mereka. Dan mereka berencana memelihara si Viral ini, setelah meminta ijin ke pelatih futsalnya. . Sekiranya ini sudah menambah itikad baik adik2 ini agar masalah clear. . Sudah minta maaf, sudah bawa ke Puskeswan, sudah minta keterangan pemeriksaan dokter, dan kooperatif. Saya kira cukup ya. . Tugas selanjutnya membimbing dia dgn baik, bukan dgn ancaman2, agar adik2 ini jadi pejuang buat hewan2 disekitarnya, bukannya malah terus dipojokkan, nanti efeknya malah beda. . Kita penyayang binatang, masa gak sayang sama yang udah minta maaf? Enough. . Jika kalian masih mau jadi bagian yang marah2 terus, monggo. Itu pilihan. ini adalah pilihan sikap. Saya hargai pilihan apapun, dan yang memilih berbeda pun harus menghargai sikap yang sudah memaafkan. . Kasus segambreng2, jangan abis energi buat yang level begini. Buanyak bener yang harus ditangani diluar sana.
The cat, coincidentally named Viral, was determined to be a 4-month-old male in the vet’s letter. It turns out that Viral belongs to the boys’ indoor soccer coach and, according to Doni’s caption to the post above, Viral has now been returned to his owner.
As to why Doni decided not to report the teenagers to the police, he told Coconuts, “I didn’t think it was necessary to take this matter to the police because they were proactive and did not deny their faults, they immediately admitted they were wrong and asked for guidance.”
“I think the best step is guidance so that they become kids who care and fight for animal welfare in the future.”
Though he and his organization won’t report the teenagers to the police, Doni admitted that others still could.
“For those who aren’t satisfied, feel free to report (the teenagers) to the police. But the things they’ve gone through should aid their defense [if it comes to that]. And I’m ready to testify as a witness with the evidence I have.”
“Education is the most important thing, rather than repression… Except if the culprits repeat their actions and there’s no good intentions on their part. They are still under our watch.”
Under Indonesia’s KUHP criminal code, animal abuse is punishable by up to three months in prison, as well as a paltry fine of IDR4,500 (US$0.33), which would have been plenty in the Dutch colonial era (when the KUHP was originally drawn up) but that would barely buy you a bottle of water these days. Activists have long called for tougher punishments for animal abuse in Indonesia.
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