Word that a healthy dog was allegedly euthanized unnecessarily by owners afraid it would bite their newborn has sparked an uproar among dog lovers and prompted a lawmaker to speak out against “convenience euthanasia.”
The head of a Singaporean dog rescue group expressed dismay today that a 2-year-old animal adopted from the group had allegedly been euthanized by a Danish couple worried it would bite their baby without attempting to return the animal instead.
“Didn’t contact us at all and made [the] decision to terminate Loki’s life,” Exclusively Mongrels Ltd director Kevin Neo told Coconuts Singapore today. “It is stated in our adoption agreement that [the] dog must be returned to EM if [the] owner is unable to care for it.”
Though the couple was not identified, Coconuts Singapore is attempting to reach them for comment.
Word first spread about the fate of Loki the dog on Wednesday after another member of the group went public with accusations it had been put to sleep by its owners. It was not clear when Loki purportedly died.
Neo, 44, said the couple are from Denmark. Identified only as Christian and Lilian, they adopted Loki in December 2017, a month after he was rescued from the state-run Animal and Veterinary Service compound.
Jessica Kwok, a representative of the service, said they were aware of the incident and looking into it.
The man who made the accusations against the couple was Exclusively Mongrels’ Theng Wei Gan, also a director, who Neo said learned about it from one of the couple’s friends. Gan wrote yesterday that he deleted the original post on order of the police after they questioned him for possibly violating Singapore’s anti-doxxing law.
In the now-deleted post, Gan said the couple had put Loki to sleep after the dog bit several people. He said the couple wanted to get rid of Loki so he couldn’t bite their newborn.
Gan said that was no excuse not to reach out for help.
“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,” Gan’s post read.
Bad dog or dog in need?
The group disputes that Loki’s apparent behavior was untreatable.
According to Neo, Loki’s seemingly aggressive actions did not mean he had a temper but was just territorial. That was something that could have been solved by hiring a trainer, but the couple had rejected a trainer’s offer to help, Neo said.
“They’d contacted a trainer who adopted three of our dogs. We didn’t know until we asked the trainer. They had posted in the Singapore Specials Group to seek advice,” Neo said, referring to a forum for owners of crossbred dogs. “Many suggested hiring a trainer. Not sure if they followed through. They claimed they tried rehoming Loki but [were] unsuccessful. But no one knew Loki was up for rehoming.”
“They had the support from the community. Resources were available. And [Exclusively Mongrel] was ready to take Loki in if he had reached out to us. But no, he decided to kill the poor dog after their baby was born mid-April,” Neo said.
Since Gan’s post went viral, netizens have been calling justice for Loki with the hashtag #Justiceforloki used in online posts.
Neo said that it is not uncommon for dogs to act aggressively, but putting them to sleep is not the solution.
“Engage a professional, and always seek help with the rehoming agencies if needed. They must never terminate a life just like that and deny a dog of a better life,” he said. “[Euthanizing] should only be considered when the dog has no quality of life, either medically or physically and not a convenient way out of a situation. #justiceforloki.”
Loki’s case has also caught the attention of politician and animal rights champion Louis Ng, who pledged to raise the issue of “convenience euthanasia” in Parliament.
“I will raise this in Parliament and call for measures to be put in place to ensure that this needless killing ends. We must put an end to ‘convenience euthanasia.’ We need stricter regulations,” he wrote online, bringing up a similar case in 2013 when a puppy named Tammy was put to sleep for being aggressive.
[ Why euthanise healthy animals 😡 ]
Yet again, a life has been lost 😢 Many of you have contacted my about Loki and I…
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to indicate that we’ve attempted to contact the accused couple and specify that Theng Wei Gan is also a director of Exclusively Mongrels.
Other stories you should check out: