Maid under probe for allegedly beating employer’s dog to death: SPCA

The helper is seen beating the dog as it whimpers. - DERRICK TAN/FACEBOOK

SINGAPORE: A maid is under investigation for allegedly beating her employer’s dog to death in January, said the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).

Details of the incident were first posted on Facebook by veteran animal activist and rescuer Derrick Tan, who is a friend of the dog’s owner.

In the post, Tan said that his friend, Jason (not his real name), had recently hired a maid to care for his home and look after his pet poodle, Boyboy.

On Jan 22, he left home for work as usual. Later in the evening, his girlfriend informed him that the dog had died suddenly while she was taking a nap.

Believing that Boyboy died of natural causes, the couple at first opted to cremate it.

“Jason rushed to the crematorium to see his dog for the last time,” Tan wrote in his post.

“He noticed that his dog died in a stiffened up posture like after a fit or after certain trauma, and upon cremation he noticed a crack in the remains of his skull,” Tan added.

Jason then reviewed his home’s closed-circuit television camera footage and saw the horrific final moments before the dog died.

Footage of the incident, which was shared in Tan’s post, shows the helper beating the dog’s head with her hands and a thick makeshift rod as it whimpers.

She can be heard saying: “Wait, I said wait, wait. You know, wait?” as she delivers each blow to its head.

She is also seen hanging the dog on the balcony railing using a leash while she fills a bucket of water.

Although still breathing, the dog appears limp and is barely moving.

Tan said: “The helper was employed with the primary task of caring for Boyboy and it is horrifying that she would resort to treating a helpless animal in such a way.”

SPCA said it was alerted to the case on Jan 26 and called the helper’s alleged actions “brutal” and “appalling”.

It immediately contacted the authorities and advised Jason to file a police report against the helper, as well as report the case to the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS).

SPCA explained that the enforcement of animal cruelty cases in Singapore falls under the jurisdiction of the AVS and that investigations are ongoing.

SPCA executive director Aarthi Sankar said that the organisation has been actively involved in gathering evidence for the case.

She added that SPCA will continue to monitor the progress and offer support and guidance to Jason.

Animal cruelty is illegal in Singapore. First-time offenders can be fined up to $15,000, jailed up to 18 months, or both.

Repeat offenders may be fined up to $30,000, jailed up to three years, or both.

“The SPCA hopes that the authorities will pursue the maximum possible penalty for those responsible for this heinous act.

“We stand firmly against all forms of animal cruelty and will continue to advocate for justice on behalf of innocent animals,” Sankar said.

She added that there have been growing concerns about the well-being of pets when their care is outsourced to domestic helpers, trainers, groomers and pet boarding businesses.

In 2023, SPCA saw 12 instances of domestic helpers being investigated in relation to animal cruelty or welfare cases, which include both active abuse and passive neglect.

Sankar said: “As pet owners, we are our pets’ best and perhaps only advocate.

“We urge all pet owners to remain proactive and cautious in ensuring the safety and well-being of their animal companions. This is especially so when entrusting the care of their pets to someone else.”

The Straits Times has contacted AVS for more information. - The Straits Times/ANN

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Singapore , dog , maid , abuse , death


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