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Cops collar dogs' tormentor, Wednesday May23, 2012
May 23 2012, 02:40 AM
Joined: 24-December 06
Member No.: 2,491
A 51-year-old man has been arrested after netizens, incensed at videos showing him caning dogs, demanded swift action. One of two videos, taken by a neighbor and uploaded into cyberspace, shows a man striking a dog once, while a second video shows him caning a dog repeatedly.
Officers of the Yuen Long Regional Crime Unit saw the video and got a search warrant before collaring the man, surnamed Chow. The site is believed to be a podium of the man's flat. In the first video, lasting 50 seconds, the man raises his rattan cane in front of a dog, which retreats. The man strikes it once and turns away. "Why is he hitting the dog? That's bad," a woman's voice is heard saying, to which a man responds: "He hits it every day." In the second video, the tormentor strikes a cowering dog four times. Soon after the clips hit the internet a few days ago, netizens flooded cyber space with appeals for the police to act. Two golden retrievers are now under the care of the SPCA. The man has been released on bail and ordered to report back to the police at the end of next month.
A police spokeswoman told The Standard that when they receive a report of suspected animal abuse, they will send officers to investigate. If there is evidence, the case will be referred to the crime unit. Animal Earth founder and chief officer David Wong Kai-yan was one of those who lodged a report on Sunday after seeing the videos on the internet. "At first the police said the emergency number was only for reporting urgent accidents and were unwilling to refer the case for follow-up action," Wong said. "But they eventually referred my report to another department after I reminded them the police once said the public can report any animal abuse through the 999 emergency number."
The arrest was made one day after Wong's report. Animal Rights Concern Group convener Dora Wong Chit-hei welcomed the swift and high-profile police action, saying it will deter others from abusing animals. But she said the case highlights the need for the force to set up an animal police unit like those in the United States and Canada. However, SPCA spokeswoman Rebecca Ngan Yee-ling disagreed, saying the society is working with the police and the Agriculture, Fisheries and Conservation Department to stem animal abuse.
Early this month, about 400 people took part in a candlelight vigil arranged by animal rights groups in memory of a two-year-old stray cat that was abused and died in Mong Kok in April. The groups urged the government to set up police units targeting animal abuse. The police say there were 12 reports of animal abuse from January to March this year and two arrests. In 2011, there were 66 reports and 12 arrests.
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