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Stray dog culling not a pretty sight

Posted on 13 October 2011

I saw them chased down and strangled to death or caught barely alive by dog-catchers and sent to their deaths.

By Belmont Lay

Watching a stray dog getting strangled by dog-catchers and then hauled into the back of a truck is pretty grotesque.

If my memory serves me well, the one and only time I witnessed the “live” culling of dogs in the wild was in 2004.

That was the second year into my National Service.

I remember very clearly the day the culling of stray dogs took place: It was out in the open, grassy area, adjacent to a reservoir on a bright and sunny weekday afternoon.

There was a pack of dogs hanging around. I noticed them the moment I set foot at that location (but where exactly, my memory remains fuzzy).

A couple of them were still barely active, while another two to three of the mongrels were curled up on their sides motionless, but breathing. I could see the sides of their skinny, furry frame rise and fall as they breathed rather slowly.

The dogs – I need to embellish this description a bit to give you some idea how they looked – were emaciated, ribs sticking out, tongues hanging from the side of their mouths. They were all looking on edge.

And very hungry. On the brink of collapse.

At that point in time, as far as I’m concerned, dogs in packs can be territorial. They will not hesitate to make their presence felt if they feel like they have strength in numbers.

However, they do back off if they’ve ever had any unpleasant experiences with humans. And they kept a safe distance from where I was.

So I thought that as long as I left them on their own, they would leave me to my own devices as well.

And then, out of nowhere, the culling began.

That was also when things started to go pear-shaped.

The really strange thing was, I didn’t even notice the dog-catchers had arrived on the scene because I didn’t see them anywhere in sight.

They were stealthy alright.

But the few dogs that were capable of moving, started to run away, looking as if they were taking cover.

Dogs being dogs, were alert as hell and instinctively knew danger lurked around the corner.

And that was also when I noticed a white pick-up truck had pulled up and out came at least two men with sticks that had a wire loop attached at one end.

That, I was to learn, was used to hook the dogs’ necks as they were chased down and the wire tightened like a noose that resulted in strangulation, as well as a lot of kicking and struggling and convulsing to escape.

It was a very frightening way to put an end to things considering how scrawny their necks were.

I watched as those that were caught were dragged, with nary a whimper, and hauled into the waiting vehicle.

There wasn’t any sound coming out of the dogs’ throats because they were probably dead by then or, I assume, in the process of strangulation. And probably choking on their own tongues.

I also assume, quite liberally, that before this operation took place, the dogs were probably fed food spiked with something that made them weak and disoriented.

And the dog-catchers, had in their previous attempt, failed to get rid of the whole pack. They were back this time. And for revenge.

But the instinct to fight, flee and stay alive is indeed very strong.

The pack of about five dogs were very quickly reduced to about two, but those two were not giving up without a battle of wits and for survival.

They ducked, darted back and forth, evaded attempts to corner it, and very generally, gave those dog-catchers a run for their money.

The sad bastards with their sticks were falling over themselves trying to latch on to the dogs by their necks.

Eventually, though, weakened from the running and chasing, the strays succumbed.

Noose around their necks, body hardened and contorted from all that stress and adrenaline from the chase, they were dragged across the grass with some difficulty and hauled by their necks into the back of the waiting truck.

If children were there to witness what I saw, they would have screamed. Women would have fainted. Men of great faith might have been tempted to repudiate and declare themselves atheists.

And this was in Singapore, mind you.

If not for this overzealous letter from a member of the public to have dogs exterminated, I would probably have left this grotesque memory in cold storage.

As of today, I still haven’t got a clue where those dog-catchers were from but they sure looked like hired killers to me.

I also have no idea what dangers strays pose other than being a possible nuisance to members of the public, especially when they dash across the road during heavy traffic and become road kill and fender benders.

And is there any protocol dictating just how humanely or inhumanely animals should be put down?

Maybe somebody can enlighten us about this?

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- who has written 231 posts on New Nation.


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  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=525462983 Mary-Anne Lee

     Thanks for sharing. I’m just very glad I’ve yet to witness this or to see a dead stray.

    I understand the only regulating body for culling of animals is the AVA… who also authorise the culling.

  • Minkytee

    Our cruelty does not apply to stray dogs. Have them cull minister’s pets before AVA will sit up n perhaps be head scratchers. We have idiots like kwang running around, advocating violence towards the dogs and AVA actively encouraging abuse by keeping absolutely quiet and belt out no punishment. Singapore is trained to be cold, cruel and selfish-as lead by the government.

  • http://www.facebook.com/xnsdvd Shannon Lim

    Seriously Belmont, dial back on the emo, this one was a bit much.

  • Eclipse_doom13ringer

    Thank you for sharing this. I never witness a culling myself but i’m not surprised to hear about human’s ruthlessness towards animals.

  • innocent strays

    Thank you, Belmont, for sharing this. I would have screamed and cried if I were to witness this…:(  It seems to me that AVA is not doing their job, or rather, their main scope of job is just to cull the strays.. They are NOT doing anything when there are complaints about very sick puppies at pet shops / farms, or when the living conditions at breeding mills/farms are HORRIBLE! And they take action when just ONE IDIOT BASTARD called to complain about being chased by a stray dog! What is this? The strays will NOT harm humans unless provoked or hurt before! So culling has to take place just because this IDIOT KWANG thinks that strays are ‘dangerous’? So if every reader writes in and say KWANG is a ‘highly dangerous man’ and ask AVA to cull him, can they do that as well?! The biggest problem is KWANG himself! He is a human, or MAYBE NOT, and those are just poor animals out there hiding in a place already out of the public, why does he want them dead? This world is definitely not just for human beings, there are many other living things. If he can’t tolerate  another living thing on Earth, then go fly kite and stay in the MOON! If AVA really starts culling again, I’m sure animal lovers will take action against them and this thing is going to blow up! I hope PAP will not lose more votes in the next Election because of incompetent AVA!

  • Aria Sim

    Thank you for sharing this. This is absolutely traumatizing and I’m very sorry you had to be there to see it that day. 

  • Hu Shep JM

    Thank you for your piece. As more and more of animal abuse cases have been surfacing, I think it would be good if people can come out and testify about these cases. In many of AVA’s replies to the commenters on their FB, they have mentioned that in order for them to carry out and/or further their investigations, they require both verifiable evidence AND witnesses who are willing to testify in court. 

    Seeing that you have witnessed a dog-culling incident that was allegedly done by hired dog catchers, would it be possible for you to contact AVA (the authority on animal abuse cases and stray management in Singapore) with whatever information you have so that they may investigate on this case?
    Thank you.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_44UXMF3WDZMMBLYGWVTS2QS5T4 none

    (  Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 ) Lorong Halus
    stray dogs attack people !!!

    I get chased by stray dogs many time on fishing trips at ( 6:45pm – 7:00pm )

    This is
    the time that stray dog become more aggressive after 6:45pm. And start to
    attack people walking past there.

    ( And
    it’s not safe to ride a bike or walk past there )

    ( Only
    safe to drive a car there, but not safe to ride a bike or walk past there )

    On weekend many school student and family went there for
    other activity.

    And the place become danger zone of stray dogs attack bicycle rider, motorcycles
    rider ,
    jogging and fishing trips people.

    We saw this women took many plastic bag of dogs foods from
    her car to feed the stray dogs. And She dirty the place too of feeding the
    stray dogs.

    Her vehicles
    licence plate number:  SFY5217G.

    She puts the public in danger of feeding the stray dogs at
    that place.

    One problem feeds the other—the
    growing demand for these stray dogs leads to
    more breeding, and more unwanted stray dogs.

    ( And the place become danger zone of stray dogs attack bicycle rider, motorcycles
    rider ,
    jogging and fishing trips people )

    Dog attacks are not pretty and they are definitely no
    laughing matter. When stray dogs attack people it can lead to serious injury or
    even death. Too many people have been bit this way and it is surely not worth it.

    witness of stray dogs complaint:

    Click here:   

    http://hg-rider.blogspot.com/2011/06/report-road-fault-stray-dogs.html

     

    http://naturallyours.blogspot.com/2008/03/13-trip-to-lorong-halus.html

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_44UXMF3WDZMMBLYGWVTS2QS5T4 none

    (  Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 ) Lorong Halus stray dogs attack people !!!

    I get chased by stray dogs many time on fishing trips at ( 6:45pm – 7:00pm )

    This is the time that stray dog become more aggressive after 6:45pm. And start to attack people walking past there.

    ( And it’s not safe to ride a bike or walk past there )

    ( Only safe to drive a car there, but not safe to ride a bike or walk past there )

    On weekend many school student and family went there for other activity.
    And the place become danger zone of stray dogs attack bicycle rider, motorcycles rider , jogging and fishing trips people.
    We saw this women took many plastic bag of dogs foods from her car to feed the stray dogs. And She dirty the place too of feeding the stray dogs.
    Her vehicles licence plate number:  SFY5217G.
    She puts the public in danger of feeding the stray dogs at that place.
    One problem feeds the other—the growing demand for these stray dogs leads to more breeding, and more unwanted stray dogs.
    ( And the place become danger zone of stray dogs attack bicycle rider, motorcycles rider , jogging and fishing trips people )
    Dog attacks are not pretty and they are definitely no laughing matter. When stray dogs attack people it can lead to serious injury or even death. Too many people have been bit this way and it is surely not worth it.

    witness of stray dogs complaint:

    Click here:   
    http://hg-rider.blogspot.com/2011/06/report-road-fault-stray-dogs.html

    http://naturallyours.blogspot.com/2008/03/13-trip-to-lorong-halus.html

  • John Finch

    How are you gonna write a cheerful post about dogs being murdered in the street?

    Maybe you would have preferred a joke or two Shannon Lim, but for those of us with hearts – this is a horrific example of mankind’s indifference to everything but himself.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_44UXMF3WDZMMBLYGWVTS2QS5T4 none

    (  Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 ) Lorong Halus stray dogs attack
    people have came out in Zaobao News Paper on 17-10-2011.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_44UXMF3WDZMMBLYGWVTS2QS5T4 none

    We saw this women took many plastic bag of dogs foods from
    her car to feed the stray dogs. And She dirty the place too of feeding the
    stray dogs.

    Her vehicles
    licence plate number:  SFY5217G.

    She puts the public in danger of feeding the stray dogs at
    that place.

    • fml3131

      @none – then who put the strays in danger in the 1st place? People like yourself, aka heartless axxholes!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_7AJPVINJHZVZDOWDFZZ7MPY5JA Anonymous

    These stray dogs are not home puppy, it attack people.

    I went to take my puppy dog out for
    his evening walk at 6:30pm last weekend.

    Me and my puppy dog have
    being attacked by stray dogs at the serangoon east dam near ( 
    Pasir Ris Coast Industrial Park 6 ) Lorong Halus .

    The stray dogs feeder, she is responsible for all this
    problem.

    She relocate all this stray dogs to the serangoon east dam
    as a feeding ground.

    She feed all this stray dogs at the public
    area. This stray dogs becoming a severe threat to public and become not
    afraid of people.

    Many school student and family went there for other activity
    on weekend.

    You don’t own this place, this place belong to the public.
    Not for your stray dogs !!!

    Seem you people are so rich to feed the stray dogs, why not
    relocate your stray dogs ?

    Or use this money donation to charity ?

    • Chandhini Pandey

      She does not own that place and neither do you. These places are meant to be shared by all living things. You seem to have a problem with that. So, the solution for you would be to just stay in your own home as that space is truly only yours and no other living things can enter. 

  • fml3131

    If i was there, i would have yelled them to stop and threaten to call the police cos that is not a right way to cull an animal. My mom’s friend once told me and my mom that she ever encountered AVA men shot strays with guns, place drugged/poison food to lure them out, and like what the author said – strangled them in a wire-loop pole. So she wrote in to AVA 1 day and ask if that was their ways of culling stray dogs. Guess what AVA replied? They said NO and kept denying. And they even asked my mom’s friend who was the one who saw it, where that person lives, so on and so forth.. Somehow trying to dig out information on the witness. Though she couldn’t tell if those men were the same ones who kept culling the strays, the vehicle was always the same each time the culling took place. AVA is indeed trying to play dumb and act like a saint! Unless an order given out by some big shots(like the LEE family) to put a stop to this sick and cruel acts, there is no way we can stop the unscrupulous culling of the poor and pitiful souls out there. Effing sad, but true…. What else can we do? *SIGH*

  • Pingback: Local news: pregnant stray feeder tried to photograph dog catcher , gets reported to police - Page 20 - www.hardwarezone.com.sg

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002274511545 Patsy Goh

    @yahoo yahoo-7AJPVINJHZVZDOWDFZZ7MPY5JA – your grammar sucks big time.  And don’t lie.  You don’t have a ‘puppy’.  People who have puppies don’t try to get other dogs murdered.  In fact you write like how this Loh Boon Kwang (the person who complained- link given in the article).  YOu must be the same person.  And are you also the same person who complained that a golf ball nearly hit your child?  Here:  http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/304834/1/.html  What a whingeing complain biatch, sorry king.  So idiotic.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100002274511545 Patsy Goh

    @none- you ought to go hang yourself.  Your grammer sucks like shit.

  • Pingback: AVA’s questionable routine of killing, trapping animals | New Nation

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