News

Severely injured stray dog believed to have been caught in wild boar trap sight'

tnp@sph.com.sg

She had the same routine every Saturday.

Ms Irene Sng, 35, a tutor, would, with a group of friends, head to a forested area in western Singapore to feed and take care of stray dogs.

One of these dogs included Duncan, a mongrel they had grown to love over the past few months.

Last Saturday, Ms Sng was devastated when she saw that Duncan had been severely injured.

She said: "My heart broke when I saw that Duncan was hiding in a corner, looking so weary. His skin had been torn off and his legs looked broken."

Ms Sng suspects that the dog could have been caught in a wild boar trap and managed to free itself.

She said she did not see the trap, but added: "Nothing else would shatter bones quite like a trap."

Ms Sng and her friends wanted to take Duncan to a veterinarian for treatment, but it would not respond to their calls to come out from its hiding place.

"It was hiding in a corner and we couldn't get to it physically," she said.

So they went back on Monday and the dog was more willing to accept help this time. They put him in a carrier and took him to the vet.

"I did not realise how bad his injuries were. I was extremely shocked when the vet told us to prepare for the worst," said Mrs Sng.

The doctor then told the group that the bones on Duncan's right front and hind legs had been shattered.

It had also developed septicemia, a severe bacteria infection, and could not breathe on its own.

Its condition improved by the next morning, but the vet had no choice but to amputate both the injured legs to prevent the infection from getting worse.

Mrs Sng said: "The dog is still at the clinic and is definitely doing better. But we are looking for someone to take it home and care for it.

"I just kept thinking about how these traps are so cruel to animals. Even if they are meant for wild boars, it's too much."

OTHER VICTIMS

Ms Sng has seen other victims of such traps, saying: "Those dogs would have their two legs completely severed. It is a heartbreaking sight."

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals executive director Corinne Fong, 50, said: "Wild boar traps are the only traps I know that have teeth to crush the bones of animals.

"The traps should never be used in any circumstances. I believe some of these traps may have been set up by illegal overstayers or illegal campers in forested areas to catch boars for consumption.

"I hope the authorities can scour forested areas for the illegal campers and prevent more of these incidents from happening."

The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore said it does not have or use wild boar traps.

Its spokesman said: "It is an offence to kill, take or keep any wild animal or bird, other than those specified in the Schedule, such as crows and mynahs, without a licence."

Offenders can be fined up to $1,000 and have the wild animal or bird forfeited.