Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam today urged netizens to stop threatening a veterinary clinic where a healthy dog was reportedly euthanized for its aggressive behavior.
The influential minister weighed in days after news of the animal prompted outraged dog lovers to condemn both the owners of the 2-year-old dog and the Changi clinic where they are said to have put him down. In recent days, the vet has been review-bombed on social media and tarred as “murderers.”
Shanmugam said people were too quick to jump to conclusions.
“I can understand people being upset, and wanting justice. No one likes to see a puppy, full of life, put down. But we have to get all the facts first, understand why the vet in this matter came to a view,” he wrote online. “Most of us don’t go out and hit people, when we are angry. The same applies, on the net. We can’t go and hit out at people, whenever we feel that some injustice has been done, we can’t just react and hit out, with our emotions, when other people are involved.”
[ The putting down of Loki ]
There has been a fair bit of online discussion about Loki, a puppy that was put down.
News of the dog’s death was first publicized by local dog rescue group Exclusively Mongrels Ltd., which said the couple adopted the dog then reneged on an agreement to contact them if they no longer wanted it.
Owner Kevin Neo told Coconuts Singapore last week that Loki’s owners, a Danish couple living in Singapore, were party to an agreement as part of the 2017 adoption that Loki be returned if they were not able to care for him. Loki had allegedly displayed aggressive behavior and the couple feared for the safety of their newborn.
The group’s expose sparked the #JusticeForLoki movement calling for accountability for the dog’s death. MP Louis Ng said he would raise the issue of “convenient euthanasia” in Parliament.
The Animal and Veterinary Service said it was looking into the matter. The couple was not identified, and Coconuts Singapore has been unable to reach them for comment.
In Shanmugam’s post, he also included an excerpt of an email he said was from an unnamed senior veterinarian expressing dismay over the “cyber bullying.”
“It is hard enough having to deal with the emotions of ending a life, without also having to live in the constant fear of being ‘doxxed’ by individuals who seek to take matters into their own hands by engaging in cyber bullying,” it read. “While we must always tolerate fair criticism, we must tamp down cyber-bullying where it arises if we are to build a gracious society in Singapore.”
“Regarding recent discussions pertaining to the need to adjust our laws around the euthanasia of animals, I strongly urge the government to take the views of the SVA (Singapore Veterinary Association) into consideration,” the vet added.
The association’s statement, released yesterday, stated that euthanasia of an animal is a “stressful event” and not “taken lightly.” It also mentioned a Code of Ethics vets abide by.
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