SPCA looking to identify boy who forced dog into water at East Coast Park

Submitted by Stomper Jon

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The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is appealing for information to identify a boy who was seen forcing a dog into the sea at East Coast Park on Sept 29.

Stomper Jon witnessed the incident and alerted Stomp to the matter.

He also shared a video showing the boy holding his pet dog by its leash while swimming in the sea.

The dog is seen struggling to swim back to shore but the boy picks it up and brings it back to the water.

"The boy was seen forcefully carrying his visibly frightened and exhausted dog into the sea," said Jon.

"The dog struggled to swim back to shore, but the boy held onto its leash, preventing it from doing so.

"At one point, the dog tried to escape from the boy by running away while unleashed.

"However, it was too exhausted to run far and was eventually caught by the boy and dragged into the sea again.

"During this entire incident, a maid was present who held onto the dog’s leash until the boy returned ashore to abuse the dog again.

"She seemed afraid of the boy and was seen trying to persuade the boy to go home, but to no avail.

"It is concerning that such a young boy would commit such a heinous act and evokes unsettling parallels to the boy who threw a cat to its death in Boon Lay. 

"The school needs to quickly identify him and educate both him and his parents on proper dog handling and treatment. 

"I hope that swift action will be taken to ensure the safety and well-being of the dog."

Jon subsequently reported the incident to the SPCA.

Ms Aarthi Sankar, executive director of SPCA said: "The video was brought to SPCA’s attention on 29 September 2023 and reviewed by our Inspectors.

"Due to the distance from which the video was taken, we were unable to identify the individual involved.

"Nonetheless, we have taken the necessary steps to report the matter to the authorities for further investigation.

"We also appeal to anyone who has credible information about the identity of the person in the video to come forward and contact us at depinspector@spca.org.sg. All information will be handled with the utmost confidentiality.

"The SPCA stresses that force should never be used on animals. Animals are sentient beings, capable of expressing their preferences and feelings. It is essential to understand and respect their cues to disengage in activities.

"In this video, it seems that the dog shows cues wanting to disengage from the activity by swimming back to shore despite tugs from the handler.

"The handler should have allowed the dog to remain onshore instead of carrying him back to the sea.

"Outdoor activities and training should be enjoyable and stress-free for our furry companions, and we encourage guardians to allow their pets the freedom to choose whether to continue or disengage from any activity.

"The SPCA team is happy to offer advice and resources to help teach youth about responsible pet ownership and force-free training methods. We welcome the family members of the handler filmed in the video to reach out to the SPCA for guidance."