Most dog owners will tell you that their dog is a family member. And having a faithful dog at home gives us a listening ear, a warm paw to hold, and even strong legs to run beside. You could say, many owners will defend their dogs ’til the end.
Just today (12 Nov), a Penang man who lost his pet dog, Butcho to city council dog catchers in 2018, and later found it dead, will finally have his suit against the council heard following a decision by the appeals court.
Chendeladevan Kuppusamy, 52, sued the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) for negligence resulting in his 15-year-old mongrel’s death after it had been captured along Batu Ferringhi beach.
The sessions court dismissed his application on technical grounds, supporting MBPP’s claim that the dog was unlicensed when it was caught.
However, Chendeladevan claimed that his dog had been licenced since 2014, with a prominent dog tag visible to beachgoers who saw catchers dragging it by its neck.
The High Court then allowed an appeal for his suit to be heard, thanks to pro bono lawyers. However, the MBPP appealed against the decision at the Court of Appeal.
Today, an appellate bench agreed that Chendeladevan had the right to sue the city council.
ICYMI, MBPP dog catchers caught Butcho at the Batu Ferringhi public beach near the Golden Sands Resort as part of an operation to round up strays following complaints of canine attacks, back on 28 Feb 2018. However, when Butcho was taken away, tourists rebuked the council, saying the senior dog was “docile and harmless”.
Right after the dog’s capture, there was a large-scale protest at the beach when Butcho was declared dead later by the council.
In his statement of claim, Chendeladevan said witnesses saw Butcho being dragged by the neck into a council lorry despite having a dog tag.
In its statement of defence, MBPP said the dog catchers had shot Butcho with a tranquilliser dart as allowed under the law. It said the dog fled into the sea after being shot, forcing the dog catchers to wade into the water to catch it.