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Our truest life is when we are in dreams awake.

Henry David Thoreau

- Monday, October 21, 2013 @ 12:00 PM
I made the decision to reserve my opinions until the findings are out.  ST reported   today on Tammy's previous owner's conflicting statements.

ST Headlines 21/10/13 :
Owner stands by decision to put down dog
She says it was not wanted back, but her text messages tell different story

Source : http://www.straitstimes.com/premium/singapore/story/owner-stands-decision-put-down-dog-20131021

I'm so tempted to blog about this.

While some would just brush this incident aside with the mentality, "It's just a dog", the issue has developed into a huge controversy among many animals lovers here.  

Do correct me if I'm wrong but the following appear crystal clear in the writeup :

1) The owner did not honour her word (which I believe was also made in the form of a contract) with Ada Ong, Tammy's former caregiver.
2) She ignored Ada's text messages regarding Tammy's status and in fact lied to the latter and gone ahead to put the little innocent canine to sleep.
3) ST has yet to clarify The Animal's Clinic's protocol on euthanasia.

The accused family had expressed that they are now worried about threats from angry animal activists on their lives, especially their kids.  I fear more for the direct consequences of the parents on their children, who had been and will be subjected to unnecessary duress as a result of the former's lack of integrity, lies and absence of clear common sense.  They will now grow up and be known as the expat kids whose parents had murdered an innocent puppy when there was the simple alternative to return Tammy to her original caregiver.   Yes, I do admit that parenting is no walk in the park.  What I simply do not condone is irresponsible parents who send wrong messages to their children and in this case, their actions now beamed all over the media for the nation to devour.

I hope they learn their lesson.  I hope they apologise - if not for their sake, Tammy's but for their kids' sanity.   This is not just an appeal for justice for Tammy but also for the robbed innocence of young children through dysfunctional parenting which is so common among educated families in a highly stressful city like ours.

I hope we will all move on with a clearer appreciation of animals' rightful co-existence in our highly competitive society that has little tolerance for mistakes and those that stand in the way of its relentless pursuit for excellence and success.  I hope that the authorities will scrutinise animal rights with the measure they do to the welfare of foreign workers, the elderly and the handicap and that the people in power will tighten all inconsistent and discriminatory practices within the industry.

That would be my Martin Luther dream, of course, for our 4-legged creatures in Singapore.




Owner stands by decision to put down dog

She says it was not wanted back, but her text messages tell different story

Tammy was put down on Oct 7. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF PRISCILLA TAN

A WOMAN who had her seven- month-old mongrel Tammy put down for aggression has defended her decision, claiming the person she got it from did not want to take it back.
Ms Alison McElwee, who was criticised for ignoring the rehomer's pleas to return it, said in a statement: "The rehomer suggested placing (Tammy) in a long- term boarding home" and "did not want to take (it) back".
She alleged that Tammy bit her four-year-old daughter and two adults.
Ms McElwee said the "difficult decision" was made after "considering the safety of (her) two young children and the quality of life Tammy would have in a long-term boarding home". Tammy was put down on Oct 7.
However, Tammy's rehomer Ada Ong, 35, dismissed Ms McElwee's claim as "impossible", citing texts and the adoption agreement signed by Ms McElwee on June 1.
The agreement obtained by The Straits Times states that Ms Ong had to be notified if Tammy could not be cared for.
Ms Ong said: "I said I'll take Tammy back no matter what. But as she was almost full-grown, I would have to board Tammy until a new home was found. She said she would discuss the matter with her husband before telling me when I can take Tammy back."
This took place in the first week of October. On Oct 6, Ms Ong sent Ms McElwee a text message asking if Tammy could be sterilised before boarding. There was no reply.
Ms Cathy Strong, founder of Animal Lovers League (Pets Villa) where Tammy was to be boarded, confirmed that Ms Ong had approached her.
"I only asked that the dog be vaccinated and sterilised first," Ms Strong said. "Why would Ada ask if she could board Tammy if she had refused to take her back?"
On Oct 8, Ms McElwee told Ms Ong via text message that she had found "somewhere" for Tammy and that "she left yesterday afternoon". She also said that the family "will not put (Tammy) in boarding, so we found her a new home". Ms Ong was then told to "leave it at that".
A worried Ms Ong made two trips to the McElwees' Clementi home on Oct 8 and 9 before discovering that Tammy had been put down days earlier.
She posted Tammy's story on Facebook on Oct 11, and it has since been shared 900 times.
The McElwees stated that they "regret the uproar this episode has caused" and are "concerned by the reaction from certain members of the public".
The statement added: "They ask that the public respect their perspective and stop threatening their and their children's safety - whether in person or online."

Pet euthanasia: Who decides, and why

Published on Oct 21, 2013



PET euthanasia is proving a grey area for some veterinarians, with only a general code of ethics and their own judgment guiding their assessments.
While all clinics The Straits Times spoke to said they generally euthanise animals only when treatment fails to relieve their suffering, many said they accept requests to euthanise aggressive pets posing a danger to owners.
These cases are assessed on their own merit, they said.
Protocol for animal euthanasia was called into question after the recent death of seven-month-old mongrel Tammy. Its owner and a vet at The Animal Clinic deemed it to be aggressive - a claim disputed by furious animal lovers.
The clinic's managing director, Dr Lennie Lee, who has come under pressure to reveal its euthanasia protocol, told The Straits Times it will put down aggressive pets that "become a threat to the safety and lives" of humans and when behavioural therapy and treatments have not succeeded.
At the Animal Recovery Centre, an animal is put to sleep only if it has "no hope of rescue" medically. Director Jean-Paul Ly said: "Killing an animal, no matter how nicely, is still taking away a life."
Amber Vet's principal surgeon, Dr Brian Loon, noted there are often times "where the decision is grey both for the owner and veterinarian". He added that each case has to be individually assessed.
The same approach is taken at Namly Animal Clinic which has, on rare occasions, accepted requests to euthanise dogs found to be aggressive and dangerous.
One of its vets, who declined to be named, said: "If you refuse, where does the dog go? Some place them in a shelter, but would their quality of life be considered good... in a small kennel?"
Dr Daniel Sing of Toa Payoh Vets added: "Once an owner is bent on it, it is difficult to persuade them otherwise."
Vets do not take the decision lightly and always consider the backgrounds of the owners and pets. In some cases, said Namly Animal Clinic, the owners have trained their dog, yet it continues to endanger them.
A code of ethics for vets issued by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and posted on both its website and that of the Singapore Veterinary Association (SVA) states that euthanasia must be considered "to prevent unnecessary suffering" to an animal.
The code is "vague" and open to different interpretations, said Dr Ly. The SVA did not respond to media queries.
An AVA spokesman said pets are euthanised for various reasons, such as to alleviate their suffering, or if they are aggressive. "The decision to euthanise a pet is made by its owner after consulting a vet... The vet must examine the animal and assess that euthanasia is necessary."
Seven animal welfare groups including Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) have drafted a set of guidelines for pet euthanasia.
ASD president Ricky Yeo said: "Consent must be sought between different parties - the shelter from which a dog was adopted or the dog trainer - before an animal is put down for aggression."
BACKGROUND STORY

AGREEMENT NEEDED
“Consent must be sought between different parties – the shelter from which a dog was adopted or the dog trainer – before an animal is put down for aggression.”
– Action for Singapore Dogs president Ricky Yeo. The animal welfare group has drafted guidelines for pet euthanasia

LIFE LOST
“Killing an animal, no matter how nicely, is still taking away a life.”
– Animal Recovery Centre director Jean-Paul Ly

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