Dog owner in 'total panic mode' throws herself over labrador to protect it from 4 attacking rottweilers

Judith Tan
The Straits Times
Jan 12, 2024

Four rottweilers broke through a faulty gate at a house in Sennett Road and attacked a labrador retriever on its “pre-bedtime walk” on Jan 9.

Hobbit sustained several bites, the more serious ones on its neck, shoulder and rear end, and one of its ears was torn. Its owner, Ms Song Ming Shi, said the female labrador might have suffered worse if she had not shielded her pet.

Ms Song, 44, told The Straits Times she heard a commotion outside her house at around 9.20pm. Her domestic helper Sri, who had taken the dog on its usual night walk, screamed when she saw the first rottweiler charging at them.

“There were cars screeching, dogs barking and humans screaming. My heart sank when I heard Hobbit’s cries and quickly realised she was being attacked,” Ms Song said.

A Terrifying Encounter: Hobbit - my Labrador being attacked by four Rottweilers Dogs are known for their loyalty,...

Posted by Melanie Song on Wednesday, 10 January 2024


She ran towards the rottweilers in a panic to fend them off Hobbit.

“They did not have collars, so I couldn’t grip them. Instead, I took the dustbin from the side of the road to ward the rottweilers off, but they would not let go of Hobbit. They were pulling her in all directions, and she was yelping in pain,” Ms Song said.

Ms Song said she then threw her body over the labrador to protect the dog.

“I was in total panic mode. It was chaotic and felt like an eternity. I knew I was at the eye level of the rottweilers. I learnt what I did only when my neighbours told me later,” she said, her voice breaking.

As soon as she managed to pull Hobbit away from the attackers, a quick-thinking neighbour opened his gate slightly for Ms Song and her pet to seek safety.

Hobbit was taken to Gaia Veterinary Centre, where it was stabilised and had a draining tube inserted.

“I was told by the vet that it will take about seven days to fully assess the damage as some injuries would surface only after a few days,” said Ms Song, adding that the vet bill was more than $3,000.

Ms Song said she had adopted Hobbit from the Police K9 Unit in 2018. “She was too playful and had failed her sniffer dog test, resulting in an early retirement.”

Hobbit was then four years old.

Ms Song, who suffered cuts on her heel and ankle, sought treatment at Tan Tock Seng Hospital the next day. She was given a tetanus shot, antibiotics and painkillers.

She was particularly upset when the owners of the rottweilers asked to settle the matter privately.

“It is never a good time to talk to me about a settlement when I’m rushing Hobbit to the vet, hurt and fighting for her life,” she said.

She has since made reports to the police and the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster of the National Parks Board (NParks). Both the authorities confirmed the reports.

Ms Jessica Kwok, group director for AVS, said: “(We) take all feedback received from the public on animal health and welfare seriously. Investigations are ongoing.”

Under the Animals and Birds Act, an errant dog owner can receive a maximum composition fine of $1,000.

The owner of the rottweilers, Ms Marissa Leow, told ST that the incident was “an unfortunate accident”.

“The magnetic lock (at the front gate) was corroded by the rain and was not working. We had not realised this. On the fateful night, I had just returned from the supermarket and was unloading the groceries at the back of the house,” she said.

“The dogs are usually in the front yard. We did not realise the gate was faulty and the dogs managed to burst through the gate. It was not something we had wanted to happen,” said Ms Leow, her eyes brimming with tears.

“We wanted to speak to the owner of the labrador but she was too upset to speak to us. The police advised us to perhaps wait for a while before we broach the subject with her,” she added.

Said Ms Song: “Dogs do not have any moral compass. It is not their fault but that of their owners. I hope the dogs will be taken away and rehabilitated instead of being put down.”

The Straits Times

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