Responding to TISG queries, Jessica Kwok, the Group Director of Community Animal Management, said that the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) is currently investigating the case.
“AVS takes all dog attack incidents seriously, and we investigate all feedback received, regardless of whether the victim is human or animal,” said Ms Kwok.
Initial investigations were conducted on Feb 2020, confirming that the Bichon Frise owner had left the pedestrian gate of their house open.
“Upon completion of the investigation, we have taken enforcement action against the Bichon Frise’s owner for allowing the dog to be at large in a public place, which is an offence under the Dog Licensing and Control Rules,” said Ms Kwok.
AVS is investigating the second incident on Aug 6 and will “consider the circumstances leading to the incident, including the behavioural temperament of the Bichon Frise and the extent of the injuries inflicted by the dog.”
Ms Kwok highlighted that there are various reasons why dogs develop negative behaviours such as aggression towards specific dogs.
“These could be due to prior negative experiences or agonistic interactions with similar-looking dogs. The other reason could be the lack of socialisation or experience with certain dogs, leading to anxiety and a defensive response.”
While pet dogs may be trained to be well-behaved and obedient, they are still susceptible to mood changes and may react negatively to external stimuli or unforeseen circumstances,” said Ms Kwok.
“We would also like to remind owners that under Rule 9(1)(b) of the Animals and Birds (Dog Licensing and Control) Rules, pet dogs must be leashed and under proper control at all times when in public spaces.”
Singapore — A member of the public took to social media to share an ongoing issue with her neighbour’s dog, which had bitten her dog and herself yet was not appropriately addressed by the owner.
One Caterina Tan took to Facebook on Wednesday (Aug 11) to ask for insights and suggestions regarding an issue with her neighbour’s dog, a Bichon Frise.
Ms Tan had adopted Peter, a German Shepherd, from the Singapore Police K-9 unit in 2016 and is known for his mellow nature.
Peter refuses to bite anyone, which is one of the reasons why he failed the K-9 bite test and was used as a show dog before adoption, said Ms Tan.
However, Peter’s peaceful nature resulted in him getting attacked and bitten on several occasions by their neighbour’s Bichon.
“For no apparent reason, this dog absolutely hates Peter,” said Ms Tan. Meanwhile, Peter would just ignore the Bichon, as he does with the other dogs in the neighbourhood.
Ms Tan also noted that the Bichon’s owner would often leave their gate open, causing the small dog to run out and bite Peter repeatedly.
The concerned owner included photos of the instances when Peter was bitten, one of which led to surgery.
“Although the owner of the bichon was informed, she refused to accept responsibility as usual or pay anything for the surgery,” said Ms Tan.
“The first few times Peter was attacked, we did not report the matter to the authorities,” said Ms Tan.
After the Bichon’s behaviour did not improve, Ms Tan complained to AVS (Animal & Veterinary Service) under the National Parks Board (NParks), hoping they could intervene.
“All they did was make a home visit to the owner of the bichon before informing us that ‘the dog is friendly to humans, so it is not deemed as a threat to others.’”
Ms Tan could not believe what she had heard and wondered if the situation would be handled differently if it was reversed, and it was Peter who had attacked the small dog.
The latest incident highlighted by Ms Tan was on Aug 6, when the Bichon escaped and ran towards Peter.
Since Peter was wearing his muzzle as required by law, all he could do was put his paw on the Bichon to try and stop it, said Ms Tan.
When she grabbed the small dog by the neck to stop him from hurting Peter, the Bichon turned around and started biting Ms Tan on her right forearm.
Two men rushed out of their homes to help Ms Tan after hearing her screams.
“By this time, my arm was throbbing, and I was in great pain. I was feeling extremely dizzy and nauseous from the injuries and shock of this sudden attack.”
She called her mother, who then informed the police and sent for an ambulance.
While waiting, the Bichon’s owner arrived.
“She claimed she didn’t know that her side gate was open, which was why the dog ran out,” said Ms Tan, noting this was the same explanation given in the past instances.
Ms Tan said that the woman began taking photos of the wounds without her permission and did not stop despite being asked.
“She kept insisting I had injured myself by falling and that her dog did not bite me even though she was not present when the attack happened.”
The woman said the same thing to the police when they arrived, noting that her dog was harmless and would not hurt a human.
Ms Tan was taken to Sengkang Hospital, where her injuries were confirmed to have come from a dog bite.
The incident was reported to the authorities, and on Aug 10, the same officer from before arrived.
He asked Ms Tan’s mother if they could do an “experiment” by allowing Peter to be walked in front of the Bichon to see how the latter would react and confirm if the behaviour was “truly aggressive.”
Ms Tan provided questions on the officer’s request, noting they had all the proof to back their claims. She also requested advice on how to address the situation.
The Independent Singapore has reached out to NParks for a statement. /TISG
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