Neighbours say canine’s mouth was duct-taped by owner in balcony, report the incident
While city-based activists are seen striving each day to prevent animal cruelty, yet another case of abuse — this time inflicted upon a black Labrador — has come to the fore. In an unusual pet-cruelty incident, the canine was found being beaten up by the owner in his Undri home. But with the help of animal welfare volunteers, the plush society’s resident was able to rescue the dog from her owners.
On Wednesday around 11.30 pm, Surpiya Phate and her family heard a squeal from the neighbouring flat. When they turned up at their balcony, they were shocked to see that the dog was being beaten up by her owner in a flat on the seventh floor of the same building .
Narrating the incident, Phate told Mirror, “When we heard the noise, we went to the balcony to check. We looked into the flat right under ours and saw the owner Rohit Mathew mercilessly beating the dog up. To our horror, we found that the dog’s mouth was duct-taped to ensure that the squeals don’t reach any of us. When we yelled at him to stop the abuse, he dragged the dog inside the house. But I was pretty sure the dog would be subjected to more cruelty inside the room. So, I immediately sprang into action and informed local animal activists and the cops. When all of us turned up at their home, a woman who also lived there resisted any kind of inquiry. After a while, Rohit came outside to talk to us. Shockingly, he denied hitting the dog. Thankfully after the cops grilled the duo, they agreed to hand over the dog to us.”
The nine-month-old Labrador was later examined and it was found that she had internal injuries. She also had a swelling on his leg due to the assault.
Diksha Thakkar, an animal rights activist who was a part of the rescue operation, said, “I received a call at 1 am from Nitesh Khare. Khare is the founder of the Society for Animal Safety (SAS) India. He said that a dog was being beaten up by a drunk owner with his mouth tied with a duct tape. I immediately called up Phate, who had reported the abuse. She had also called 100 helpline number and the police officer had reached the spot to probe the owner. I was later told by the cop to file a complaint at the police station in this regard. So, I along with Phate and other animal lovers filed a formal complaint at the police station. The dog’s custody was assigned to us by the cops. The Undri police have been very cooperative in this case. We need more and more people to become aware of animal rights and laws related to them.”
Mathew, who was caught red-handed abusing the dog, however, refuted all the allegations. He further said that he was unnecessarily harassed in the middle of the night by his neighbours. Talking to Mirror, he said, “I am traumatised since my dog was taken away from me in the middle of the night for no reason. On Wednesday morning, Zoe — my dog — had hurt herself and in the evening she had bit me. I was only petting her at night as she is in the age where Labradors are generally very active and thus need training. First I thought she was taken away by People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) volunteers, but now I don’t even know where she is.”
Khare told Mirror that this particular incident was one of the most horrific ones he has ever come across in the city. Khare said, “The case was appaling. Phate found that the dog was duct-taped and beaten up badly. Some people don’t understand the responsibilities that come up with adopting animals. They keep pets at home as a source of entertainment and fail to provide love and care that these animals are in dire need of. They later end up getting caught in such legal complexities after abusing the animals. We are thankful to the Undri police for showing great support in tackling the case. We took the dog in our custody after completing paperwork.”