Animal lovers had their claws out today after videos surfaced on social media showing two nurses at a local veterinary clinic ridiculing a cat post-surgery and playing with a dog’s recently detached testicles.
The videos were posted to the nurses’ respective Instagram accounts this week and have since been removed, but many have posted screengrabs of the clips and posted them to Facebook. The nurses, who have since been suspended over the outcry, worked at the Ohana Vetcare clinic in Pasir Ris.
In one of the clips, a nurse can be seen clapping her hands near a cat that had recently lost its ears, allegedly making fun of the creature for having lost its hearing. Another cringe-worthy clip showed what the clinic said were dog testicles that had been injected with liquid before being bounced off the floor and used for juggling.
“The video displayed wholly inappropriate behavior for people working in veterinary care, where our primary aim is always to ensure the welfare of all animals,” the clinic wrote in its Facebook statement Wednesday morning, adding that the two nurses had been suspended with immediate effect.
The clinic is still investigating the incidents captured in the clips, it added in the response, which turned out to be a fresh statement that replaced an earlier — more controversial — one purportedly written by clinic director Francis Tay.
The earlier statement, posted around 2am, attracted criticism for defending the two nurses, identified as Janice and Leandra, for simply being immature.
“Wei [Tay’s wife] and I mulled over this before we discussed it together the next day. Termination of their services was not on either of their minds,” Tay wrote in the original statement, screenshots of which were posted to other Facebook accounts.
“Our reasons are as follows: (1) This would be taking the easy way out, and succumbing to public outcry for blood is not our style, (2) The actions were not done out of malice or cruelty… (3) It was not an integrity problem… The problem was immaturity.”
After speaking highly of the nurses’ work at the clinic, Tay went on to say that the clinic would take disciplinary action against them over the “inexcusable” videos, though that “would not be a termination.”
“That’s because we all do immature things now and then. And these kids are half my age at most.”
Animal lovers and advocacy groups, however, erupted in anger towards the clinic for both the videos and the original statement.
“These vids of the nurses at Ohana Vetcare making fun of post-surgery animals and playing with testicles from a neutered animal have been circulating,” said one Peh Sue Ann on Facebook.
“Ohana Vetcare’s first ‘justification’ post (it has since been replaced with a general one) cited immaturity as the key reason for the girls’ actions. I beg to differ. I think they’re just sick,” she added.
On Instagram, an account dedicated to all things dog-related called @LittlePawFamily said: “We are not screaming for blood like you so creatively imagined. We are asking for Ohana Vet to reflect on recent events.”
“Immaturity, lack of discipline, and respect. These are values that of an individual that he or she needs to work through,” it added.
The Animal and Veterinary Service is also looking into the case.
“The behavior of the nurses as seen in the videos raises questions on their professionalism,” group director Chua Tze Hoong told Coconuts Singapore in a statement.