Exclusively Mongrels drops lawsuit in Loki euthanasia case; former owner donates S$1,000 to animal charity
SINGAPORE: A dog welfare group has dropped its lawsuit against an adopter who had euthanised a dog for aggression.
Exclusively Mongrels said in a Facebook post on Thursday (Nov 5) that the "parties have settled" and that it has "discontinued" the lawsuit against Mr Christian Parker Mygind in connection to the euthanasia of the dog Loki.
The group had on May 18 filed a lawsuit against Mr Mygind for what it said was a breach of the adoption agreement, alleging that it was not informed by the owner that Loki was going to be put down.
"Mr Parker has agreed to donate S$1,000 to our appointed charity, Noah's Ark CARES Singapore," the group said, referring to a charity that rehomes adoptable stray cats and dogs. Mr Mygind has also apologised.
The Animal Veterinary Service (AVS) said on Sep 15 in its investigation findings that Loki's owners did their best to care for the dog, and had explored various options before euthanasia, including medication, training and rehoming.
Loki was euthanised on Apr 20.
"While we have learned that Christian did try to help Loki with his behavioural problems, we regret that he did not fulfil certain obligations under the adoption agreement, namely, the obligation to contact us and to give us the opportunity to rehabilitate and rehome Loki," Exclusively Mongrels said in a statement it posted on Facebook on Thursday.
"We regret that he did not inform us of Loki's demise and that we had to learn about the same through a third party. We still believe that Loki's death was unnecessary and in vain."
Mr Mygind told CNA in an interview on Sep 17 that he did not approach Exclusively Mongrels before putting down Loki as he felt the group would not have reacted constructively to his request to have it rehomed.
"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," Mr Mygind wrote in a Facebook post on Thursday.
"In hindsight, more could have been done under the obligations of the adoption agreement and I should have reached out to Exclusively Mongrels earlier.
"My intention was never to cause harm to Exclusively Mongrels Limited by not including them in the process and for that I deeply apologise.
"I recognise that Exclusively Mongrels Limited should have been given the opportunity to rehabilitate and rehome Loki should my family and I no longer be able to have him in our home. Euthanisation should always be a measure of last resort."
READ: Euthanasia of dog Loki: AVS finds no failure in duty of care, animal cruelty by owners; no ethics breach by vets
Exclusively Mongrels said in its statement that it has "never rejected having a dog returned to us when our adopters could not care for them anymore, regardless of the reasons".
"We started this suit to ensure that Loki's death will not be in vain and to send a strong message to all current and future adopters and pet owners that euthanisation should always be a measure of last resort," it added.
"We hope to put this episode behind us, and urge the public to exercise restraint in commenting further about the matter."
Mr Mygind said he felt he did everything in his power to help Loki with its behavioural issues, adding that he would like to remind all adopters and prospective pet owners that the "decision to take on the care of another animal should not be taken lightly".
"As pet adopters, we also owe a responsibility to the pets in our care and the organisation that we had adopted the animals from," he said, adding that he supports Exclusively Mongrel’s mission of rehoming mongrel dogs and that he would make a S$1,000 donation to Noah's Arc Cares.
Exclusively Mongrels said it would continue pushing for stronger and clearer guidelines surrounding euthanisation, and for "laws that better protect animals".
AVS, which is under the National Parks Board (NParks), has since August 2019 been conducting a review of the pet sector, with NParks expected to introduce measures to improve standards in the breeding and boarding industry, before looking at the veterinary industry.
When asked if euthanasia protocol will be reviewed, an NParks spokesperson said "there will be quite a few things that we are looking at".
"It is also my sincere hope that these events lead to stronger protection for animals in Singapore," Mr Mygind wrote.