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Animal abuse: Playing vigilante ‘weakens’ case against offender

 | April 24, 2017

Animal welfare group says animal lovers should instead gather signatures and put pressure on police and Department of Vet Services to act.

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PETALING JAYA: Use your anger against those abusing animals by making multiple reports to the police and Department of Veterinary Services (DVS).

This is better than threatening the animal abusers, advises Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) founder Wani Muthiah.

“Use your anger to pressure the authorities into taking action.

“Not just through an online petition, but a hard copy petition where they get signatures from the public and hand them over to the DVS.”

Wani said this was because the authorities seemed to place more importance on the safety and interests of human beings rather than the furry ones.

“Animal lovers and the concerned public should not play vigilante by calling the abuser up, or going to his house and threatening him,” she said to FMT.

“Because then he becomes the victim.

“For animal lovers, their priority is the animal. For others and the authorities, the interests of the human is given priority.”

Her statement came following a report in The Star, that a man had lodged a police report after he was threatened by angry social media users.

Animal lovers were infuriated after seeing a video of him setting his dog on fire for chewing his slippers.

Segamat police chief Supt Raub Selamat said police had gone to the man’s house to check on the dog’s condition and found that the dog was still alive.

The man claimed he was just trying to scare his dog by placing it on a fire.

This is not the first case where alleged animal abusers had received threats of physical harm from angry animal lovers.

Last year, a Facebook user by the name of Fadly Mezah posted several pictures of a stray dog that he admitted he had hung. “A criminal has been hanged to death,” he wrote.

Angered netizens, besides threatening to do the same to him, also initiated an online petition demanding action be taken against him.

In just two days, the petition garnered over 2,300 signatures and more than 18,400 shares on Facebook.

However, nothing happened to Fadly.

Wani cited another case where threats of physical harm had allowed an abuser to get away with a slap on the wrist.

“There was a case where a man was charged in court for whacking a poodle. But he was only fined RM100 or RM200.

“One of the reasons for the light punishment was because he claimed to have already paid the price of his sin when members of the public threatened and harassed him.

“So, don’t create situations like that.

“The priority of a magistrate or a judge is the best interests of the person in front of them.”


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