Euthanised dog's rehomer should 'get a lawyer to pursue the matter': Shanmugam

Tammy, the seven-month-old mongrel that was controversially euthanised by its adopted owner, at its foster home in May 2013. The rehomer of Tammy "should get a lawyer to pursue the matter", said Law Minister K. Shanmugam in a Facebook post
Tammy, the seven-month-old mongrel that was controversially euthanised by its adopted owner, at its foster home in May 2013. The rehomer of Tammy "should get a lawyer to pursue the matter", said Law Minister K. Shanmugam in a Facebook post on Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013. -- PHOTO: COURTESY OF PRISCILLA TAN

The rehomer of Tammy, the seven- month-old mongrel that was controversially euthanised by its adopted owner, "should get a lawyer to pursue the matter", said Law Minister K. Shanmugam in a Facebook post on Wednesday.

News of the dog being put to sleep because it was deemed aggressive by its adopter, Ms Alison McElwee, drew flak from many petlovers here earlier this month. The issue was inflamed further after its rehomer, Ms Ada Ong dismissed Ms McElwee's claim that she did not want to take Tammy back, citing text messages and an adoption contract signed between the two, which specified that Ms Ong had to be notified if Tammy could not be cared for.

"Ada told me that she made clear to Tammy's adopter in subsequent conversations that Ada was prepared to take back Tammy. Ada also showed me the SMS exchanges between the adopter and herself, which seems to bear out what Ada says," " said Mr Shanmugam. "I have given Ada my views on the contract, and have suggested to her that she should get a lawyer to pursue this matter. She asked me for help and I have suggested a lawyer to her who will help her pro bono."

The minister, however, cautioned in a subsequent Facebook post that the contract was between Ms Ong and Ms McElwee, and netizens "need to be careful about making allegations against the vet". The minister also reminded netizens that the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority, which released a media statement on euthanasia guidelines on Tuesday, was not commenting whether Ms McElwee was right or wrong in her actions.