I would like to applaud the authorities for their swift action on the 80-year-old man who was caught beating stray puppies to death.
While the case gained a lot of publicity due to the viral status of his act captured on video, I suspect he wasn’t the first, and certainly won’t be the last to commit cruelty on animals.
If anything, it merely sheds light on an issue surrounding strays that is often known but hardly talked about.
This elderly man’s crime, I believe was done because he was threatened by the rampant stray dog problem in his neighbourhood, a sentiment that is shared by many of us.
What made it shocking was the violent nature of those extra steps he took to settle it.
But that is precisely the issue here: stray animals are often seen as pests, and their rights to live non-existent simply because they don’t have a home.
It is a careless belief because these animals are most likely victims of abandonment or descendants of these abandoned pets.
Admittedly, pets have been known to wander too far and ended up on the street.
But that doesn’t excuse the countless number of irresponsible people who throw away their pets when they are deemed a burden.
What is, perhaps, more insidious is the acceptance of the use of poison on these supposed pests. I recently came across a post on an online forum where one asked, “There are monkeys in my area. What should I do?” and a nonchalant reply soon followed, “Poison them.”
This was the same forum where people were outraged by the puppy killer.
Why is it perfectly fine to poison an animal but a crime to beat one to death?
The only difference I can draw is the level of brutality on display.
By feeding an animal food laced with poison, one gets to walk away from the scene of the crime. Beating one to death requires that the perpetrator commits to the act and follows it through to the end.
Either way, an animal’s life has been taken for existing as a “pest”.
I think it is high time for us to have a conversation as a society, to address the problem of “inconvenient” animals without having to resort to callous measures.
A friend recently asked, “Is there a hotline to an animal protection group?”
Perhaps we should start there.