SINGAPORE — A lawsuit by local animal welfare group Exclusively Mongrels (EM) against a Danish man who adopted and subsequently put down a dog from EM, has been resolved with an apology from the man and a $1,000 donation to an animal shelter.
In statements posted on Facebook on Thursday (5 November), both parties expressed regret at the fate of Loki the dog, which was put down in April this year.
“I loved Loki deeply and the decision to euthanise him was extremely difficult and a last resort after trying all avenues that seemed viable to me at the time,” said Christian Parker Mygind, who is understood to have left Singapore with his family. “My intention was never to cause harm to Exclusively Mongrels Limited by not including them in the process and for that I deeply apologise.”
Mygind also made a donation to Noah’s Ark Cares, EM’s appointed charity, which re-homes adoptable stray cats and dogs.
EM noted that Mygind had failed to fulfil “certain obligations” under the adoption agreement, namely to give EM an opportunity to rehabilitate and re-home Loki. ‘We still believe that Loki’s death was unnecessary and in vain”, stressed EM, noting that it has never rejected the return of a dog by its adopters.
Loki the dog
Loki’s passing earlier this year sparked a public uproar, as well as an investigation by the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), at the request of EM. Nee Soon Member of Parliament Louis Ng also weighed in on the matter, saying that the current code of ethics for veterinarians is “clearly insufficient” and must be reviewed and significantly improved.
On 6 May, an EM volunteer alleged in a Facebook post that Loki's owners had euthanised their healthy two-year-old dog. After the post went viral, netizens shared the owners’ information online.
The volunteer, who was accused by Mygind and his wife of doxxing, was subsequently instructed to remove his post after police interviewed him.
EM then sued the owners for breach of contractual obligations. The group noted in a Facebook post that its adoption agreements include a specific clause that the adopted dog must be returned to EM should the adopter not be able to care for it. “They chose to put Loki down instead. Was it truly necessary? Did they exhaust all avenues to help Loki?”
The couple then counterclaimed for abuse of process and sued EM for defamation.
Following a four-month long investigation, AVS concluded in September that neither Loki’s owners nor the veterinarians involved in putting him down, had breached the law or code of ethics.
There was "no failure in duty of care or cruelty" by the owners as they had provided Loki with its “basic needs” such as food, water, shelter and veterinary attention, and “treated it well”, said AVS.
The agency also noted that Mygind and his wife had tried medication, training and exploring rehoming alternatives over a period of more than a year, before euthanising Loki. Behavioural modification medication prescribed by vets to treat his aggression and to reduce anxiety, did not succeed in resolving the issues.
Engaging a dog trainer also did not help.
In March, two attending vets from Mount Pleasant Veterinary Group suggested rehoming it to an animal shelter in Malaysia. However, this was curtailed when Malaysia's movement control order came into effect on 18 March.
AVS added that it has been conducting a review of the pet sector to raise the standards of animal health and welfare in Singapore since late 2019 and will continue to do so.
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