Malaysia

Dog abuse video triggers online search for culprits

By Clara Chooi
January 25, 2011

Stills from the video depicting a toy poodle being punished because it is unable to stand on its hind legs.Stills from the video depicting a toy poodle being punished because it is unable to stand on its hind legs.KUALA LUMPUR, Jan 25 – A 15-minute video showing a man abusing a toy poodle appears to have triggered a voluntary “online” investigation by Internet users in a joint effort to identify the culprits captured in the clip.

Angered by the display of violence against the tiny animal apparently named “sushi” for its failure to stand on its hind legs, websurfers exchanged emails and messages via social netwoking sites like Facebook and Twitter over the weekend to search for the man and the woman behind the camera.

So far, several users have pointed the finger at a man and his ex-girlfriend as the likely “dog abusers” but their claims have yet to be verified.

In her Facebook profile page, the girl was seen posing in snapshots with a puppy closely resembling “sushi”. She has another puppy which was photographed in a standing pose.

The same girl was also seen in a picture with the alleged abuser in the video, along with a group of friends. She allegedly drives a Proton Wira and lives in Kepong.

An official from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) told The Malaysian Insider today that the organisation had also joined the ad hoc “online” investigation and was appealing for public information on the incident.

“But your guess is as good as mine. What we know for now is probably what you know from all the information obtained through the Internet,” said the official.

The official, however, confirmed that that the matter had been forwarded to the Veterinary Services Department, under the Agriculture and Agro-Based Industries Ministry in Putrajaya for further action.

“They are the authority that can actually take action in these cases so this is usually our protocol.

“But on our part, we are trying our best to verify if these two individuals were truly the ones in the abuse video. We hope the public will continue their efforts to help us,” said the official.

The 15-minute-and-eight-second clip shows a young man with partially dyed hair repeatedly hitting the puppy every time it failed to stand up straight on its hind quarters.

The man is shirtless, clad in only a pair of blue jeans with a black belt and sports several tattoos on both arms and a large ring on his right index finger.

The incident takes place in what appears to be a cluttered bedroom with marble flooring.

The puppy, a toy poodle, is yelled at repeatedly in Cantonese for failing to obey the man’s instructions and is punished each time it slumps on its hind legs by being slapped, punched and thrown across the room.

Despite its yelps and obvious lethargy, the man forces the chocolate-coloured canine to stand still on its hind legs, even wondering out loud at one point, “How come his backbone is so weak? Stand properly, stand properly. Maybe he is afraid of heights.”

A woman with dyed hair filmed the entire session and can be heard referring to the man occasionally as “dear”.

When “sushi” slumps on its hind legs and receives a few punches to the head as punishment, the girl is heard saying, “Dear, leave it alone. Can or not? She (sushi) fell ... she did not come down on her own.”

But the man ignores his girlfriend, who does not attempt to physically stop him from inflicting further torture on the puppy, and continues to scold “sushi”.

“He is afraid of heights ... taste my fist ... see if it hurts. Do not sit. Look up,” he instructs the dog.

He later shows the weak dog some food in a metal bowl then slaps it on the head with the receptacle.

“You see this (the bowl) and you are scared. You know what is going to happen right?” he says.

A Malaysian girl had reportedly discovered the clip in a pen drive she found at Suria KLCC and decided to upload the clip to her profile page on Facebook.

Her move triggered an immediate uproar among the online community with many users recording their disdain against the abuser and urging the authorities to identify the individual.

The clip also drew the attention of Singapore’s SPCA which immediately flashed out a notice through Facebook, urging for more information.

The Malaysian National Animal Welfare Foundation’s (MNWF) Facebook page has also been inundated with messages from indignant animal lovers, urging for a response from the authorities.

An official from MNWF told The Malaysian Insider that the organisation was aware of the incident and was looking into it.