Earlier this year, a couple of dog owners provoked outraged across the country after they euthanised their 3-year-old dog for behavioural issues.
Though most dogs are put down because of old age or disease, Loki was reportedly put down due to “purported aggression”.
Many netizens criticised them as they felt euthanasia wasn’t justified. Exclusively Mongrels, a dog welfare group from which Loki was adopted, has taken legal action against Loki’s owners.
According to the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), however, the couple had done nothing wrong.
Owner “Vindicated” By AVS Findings
37-year-old Christian Mygind and his wife did not fail in their duty of care or commit animal cruelty, said AVS on Tuesday (15 Sep) after investigating the incident.
Mygind said he and his wife had gone through over 10 hours of interviews with AVS representatives, and presented “countless pieces of evidence”.
AVS had also interviewed several people that knew Loki and had experienced his behavioural issues, Mygind said.
After months of negative, profanity-filled comments, Mygind said the couple feels vindicated.
“We do of course feel vindicated, but have still lived through personal hell for four months, where we just had to sit and wait for the conclusions”, he told CNA.
“We could, of course, have jumped online like so many others, but we wanted to respect AVS, the court and their processes”.
For those who don’t know, here’s a brief recap of what happened.
In December 2017, the Myginds adopted a 6-month-old puppy called ‘Loki’ from Exclusively Mongrels.
However, Loki grew “more confident and confrontational”, which led to more frequent and severe bite or attack incidents, according to AVS.
Between 2018 and 2020, Loki had bitten and attacked other dogs and people on 12 occasions.
AVS said the Myginds had explored various options before euthanasia, including medication, training, and rehoming.
What worried the couple was that they had a newborn with them, and Loki seemed nervous and uncomfortable around it.
The dog had also bitten Mr Mygind on his lips at that time, reported CNA.
Consequently, the couple decided to put Loki down two months before he turned three.
Received Death Threats
Dismayed by their decision, Exclusively Mongrels shared a post on Facebook detailing the incident, saying they felt “distraught” by the news and that Loki had been “robbed of a second chance in life”.
After the post was published, Mygind said he and his family received a “crazy amount of negative comments (and) messages”.
These included death threats and profanities aimed at Mrs Mygind.
“This was extremely tough and it became so much that we had to close down our social media profiles and we feared going for a walk if we were recognised and attacked”, he said.
A few comments also said their baby should die, prompting the Myginds to make a police report.
The police told CNA that investigations are ongoing.
Mygind has since returned to Denmark and managed to find a job.
“Obviously the decision was made easier when you are receiving death threats in Singapore”, he said.
Disappointed by AVS Findings
Despite AVS’s findings, some are not convinced of the Myginds’ innocence.
Exclusively Mongrels shared another Facebook post saying it was “saddened and disappointed” by the “expected” outcome.
As many netizens asked, why didn’t the Myginds approach Exclusively Mongrels for help before euthanising Loki?
Mr Mygind explained that he was concerned about Loki’s potential rehomers’ ability to deal with the dog without confining it or caging it, which he said “is not animal welfare in my book”.
“If Loki was rehomed to a family not 100 per cent aware of his issues, I deemed that the risk of Loki having more biting incidents to be very high”, he said.
And being rehomed yet again would place even more stress on Loki, Mygind said, “leading to a vicious cycle of yet more biting incidents and a poor quality of life for Loki.”
So the Myginds didn’t go to Exclusively Mongrels for help because he felt the group wouldn’t react positively to their request.
Made Arrangements to Send Loki to Malaysia Shelter
The Myginds actually arranged in March to send Loki to a shelter in Malaysia, but couldn’t go through with the move because of Malaysia’s Movement Control Order (MCO).
“If we had been able to get him to the sanctuary in Malaysia, he would have been running around with dog friends all day, which would have warmed my heart even though he would no longer be with me and my family”, he said.
Mygind does, however, regret not reaching out to other animal welfare groups earlier in the rehoming process.
He advised dog owners to only consider euthanasia as a last resort but said it can sometimes be the most suitable option.
“…if you have exploited all other options and the dog is a danger to your family or the general public, I still believe euthanasia at a respectable vet, like the one we used, is the best option for both humans and the dog”, he said.
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