Love dogs, but put public safety first

Updated:2018-01-19 10:23:36

  Efforts to humiliate police officer who beat stray golden retriever to death are uncalled for

  People have the right to love their pet dogs. They also have the right to show their concern for even stray dogs.

  Nevertheless, they have no reason to launch an online campaign against a policeman who killed a stray dog that had injured one person, bitten another and posed a threat to more passers-by.

  In Changsha, the capital of Hunan province, police received a report that a stray golden retriever had injured a pedestrian and attacked another who, thanks to his "thick clothing", escaped physical injury. The stray dog, though chained to a railing, could have bitten unsuspecting passers-by if no action was taken. Worse, if the dog was afflicted with rabies, some of the victims could have contracted the disease and possibly lost their lives.

  Therefore, there is no doubt the dog needed to be put down. The task was assigned to the policeman, who used a stick to beat the dog to death. He didn't have a tranquilizer gun to render the dog senseless so a veterinarian could determine whether it was suffering from rabies.

  The policeman later explained that he did not use his handgun because if he had missed the dog, the bullet could have ricocheted and hit a passer-by.

  No sober-minded person would deny that the policeman did the right thing, and that it was his responsibility to choose the method to kill the animal.

  To the policeman's surprise, some people who say they are dog lovers have made up stories to suggest he tortured the stray dog for several hours before it died. They searched the internet to acquire the policeman's name and address in order to humiliate him by putting funeral wreaths at his door and publicly burning his photograph.

  Two of the dog lovers have reportedly been detained by police for what they did to shame the police officer, which they rightly deserve. Some dog lovers still believe the policeman should not have killed the dog, because they consider dog to be man's best friend.

  However, they turn a blind eye to the fact that a dog with rabies could bite anybody and the victims might not survive without getting an antidote in time.

  What they also do not want to accept is that some people actually abandon their pet dogs when they no longer want to keep them because they cannot afford or want to pay for their medical treatment, or consider them a burden on their family. And that's the reason why even pedigree dogs are sometimes seen roaming the streets without receiving anti-rabies injections and thus pose a threat to the general public.

  Dog lovers are entitled to love their pet dogs in the way they choose. But they should not expect other people to do the same, especially if a dog poses a threat to the public.

  I don't believe such people's love for dogs is real. If it were, why don't they adopt stray dogs as pets? Why don't they get the strays inoculated with anti-rabies vaccines to ensure public safety?

  More important, they should profess the same kind of love for other people. That they assume they occupy the moral high ground because of their love for dogs and point an accusing finger at others betray their selfishness and hypocrisy.

  The author is a writer with China Daily.