Pet parents ‘shocked’ at viral video of dog beaten by staff in Mumbai clinic - Hindustan Times
close_game
close_game

Pet parents across India are ‘shocked’ at viral video of dog beaten by staff in Mumbai clinic

ByAbigail banerji
Feb 14, 2024 09:50 PM IST

After the horrifying behaviour was caught on camera, people have cause for concern for their pet and how they are treated

In a horrifying video doing the rounds on social media since Tuesday, two groomers from The Vetic Pet Clinic, a pet clinic in Thane, Mumbai, were seen hitting a pet dog on the pretext of a grooming session surfaced on social media. One particularly violent staffer was seen punching Tofu, a three-year-old Chow Chow, repeatedly, on its face and back. Another man, who was filming the act, was also seen landing a few blows, as the animal struggled to get away from them. Even after the dog got down from the stretcher, the staff kicked him. The two employees were arrested after a complaint was filed against them on February 13.

Pet groomers should make the experience relaxing for the good instead of causing discomfort (Shutterstock)
Pet groomers should make the experience relaxing for the good instead of causing discomfort (Shutterstock)

HT launches Crick-it, a one stop destination to catch Cricket, anytime, anywhere. Explore now!

Pet groomers should make the experience relaxing for the good instead of causing discomfort (Shutterstock)
Pet groomers should make the experience relaxing for the good instead of causing discomfort (Shutterstock)

Street Dogs of Bombay, an Instagram account, that is in touch with Tofu’s owner, wrote: "The owner of Tofu will be taking further action tomorrow morning (Wednesday). Regarding legal proceedings, the PFA team has indicated that IPC 429 (committing mischief by killing, poisoning, maiming or rendering useless any animal) might not be applicable, so they are considering using the IT Act for the FIR. We have urged them to also include IPC 511 (punishment for attempting to commit offences punishable with imprisonment for life or other imprisonment) for attempted animal cruelty.”

Law and punishments

Krishna Bhatt, a mum of five dogs was shocked when she saw the video as “it’s difficult to believe that people like this still exist” in the world. As a pet parents, they put in a lot of trust into such pet care businesses, when they send their with the thought that they will be well taken care of. Based in Mumbai, Bhatt says, “Many people are scared of animals, but cruelty towards them is heartbreaking, especially when the dog was just sitting there and not attacking anyone. My little dog is always scared of showers and grooming and if something like this were to happen to her, it would traumatise her even more. When I saw the video I only wished for one thing - these men are put behind bars. Our country needs to have stricter punishment for cruelty against animals. These animals can’t speak for themselves, they cannot come home and complain to their parents, which makes it just more unjust.”

See an animal subjected to cruelty? Here’s how to help

If an individual is found engaging in harming stray or pet dogs, they may face charges under the Section 11 of the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Act, 1960, which stipulates the accused can be subject to a fine ranging from 10 to 50 for their initial offence. To report cruelty on animals/pets, call +91 98201 22602, or the local police station.

Siddhartha's pup Leela(Instagram)
Siddhartha's pup Leela(Instagram)

Siddhartha Menon, from Bangalore, recently lost his 15-year-old pup, Leela, and has a cat, Kajri. However, he has never taken his pets to a spa or groomer, instead, he says, “We groomed them at home. Put in a lot of sweat and tears, and in the case of the cat, some blood too.” A animal lover, Menon says, “Anyone who assaults animals, whether because of lack of patience or purely a mean streak, doesn’t deserve to remain in the animal care business. Like us, animals suffer trauma, and how we interact with them shape their state of mind. I can’t even imagine what the dog must be feeling at this point. Cruelty against any animal should be met with serious fines/imprisonment not only for the staffer who did it but the employers as well.”

Sensless actions

While Rahul Bamane, a senior copywriter from Mumbai, was desvastated to see the video, he was also baffled (but in a good way) at people’s reactions. With many people sharing, commenting and posting about it, the video received a lot of traction and even got celebrities like actor Varun Dhawan’s attention. This lead to Mumbai police being able to nab the assailants quickly.

Rahul's goodest boy, Simba(Instagram)
Rahul's goodest boy, Simba(Instagram)

“I dont understand why he did what he did — was it just for fun, did he get some joy out of it? And there was another person who was recording it. It was shocking that someone who cares for animals did this. Imagine if someone did this to my dog, Simba, which is a Rottweiler and is known to be an aggressive breed, things wouldn’t have turned out the same,” he shares.

Rachna and her doggo, Oreo
Rachna and her doggo, Oreo

The “vicious people in the horrific video” scared Rachna Valia from Mumbai, who has a dog named Oreo. “My heart almost stopped when I saw it. But I don’t know why the dog wasn’t reacting [to them punching him]. The basic reaction would be fight or flight, and I could only hear him bark much later. I am not sure if they fed the dog something.” Valia sends her dog to the grommers atleast once in two months and has “had a really good experience” with them. She pays them Rs1,800 for the entire session, which includes shampoo, conditioner, drying, trimming hair and nails.

Shiromani and Ginger
Shiromani and Ginger

Pet grooming services isn't a cheap affair. Shiromani Das from Mumbai takes her pet dog, Ginger to the groomer every three months. “Pet grooming My pet is comfortable and in safe hands at our favourite salon. Pets need to be handled with care and what’s happening in the video is disturbing and so cruel.”

Anjalika and her best bud, Mojo (Instagram)
Anjalika and her best bud, Mojo (Instagram)

Agreeing, Anjalika Mukesh Jhangiani from Mumbai has been sending her Golden Retriever, Mojo, to the same pet salon for the past eight years. She pays anywhere from 1,500 to 2,000 per bath for her dog and it takes around two to three people about 60 to 70 minutes to give him a bath. And while she has never had a bad experience, she once sent her dog to a different salon when her usual place was closed. While they had a good experince, the place shut down a month later as another dog had died due to the shoddy serivces they had provided. Jhangiani says, “After hearing about this, no matter what, we make sure to wait outside the spa throughout the entire service. We don’t leave him unattended to avoid such an incident.”

Pet parents: Be vigilant

Hailing from Panchkula, Haryana, Mukta Nagpal has three cats — Joey, Nina and Nico. “I have personally never experienced this kind of a situation, but that may be because I’ve always accompanied them to all vet visits.”

Mukta and her cats
Mukta and her cats

Sharing a “strange incident” that took place at a government animal hospital in Chandigarh, she says, “I had taken a rescued kitten for a check up and the staff asked me to handle the kitten muself while they injected her or weighed her. They even told that they will only take her X-Ray if I hold her in position. It was bizzare to see the arrogance, neglect and lack of empathy towards the animals.”

Niall the best boy, Delta
Niall the best boy, Delta

While unprofessional, this incident may make pet parents grow hesistant about sending their pets to boarding centres or grooming centres, feels Mumbai-based Niall Reynolds, who isn't a big fan of sending his dog Delta to such places. H explains, “They will naturally be worried about what’s going on behind the scenes. I have only sent my dog, Delta, once the groomers but I was with him the entire time while he was being groomed. These services can be expensive and we wanted to see if it made sense for us to send him to a groomer on a regular basis or not. That was only a one off.”

Disha with her puppy Sasha(Instagram)
Disha with her puppy Sasha(Instagram)

For Disha Shethia from Mumbai, sending her golden retriever, Sasha, to the grommers is always an uncomfortable time. “A lot of clinics and groomers ask parents to wait outside their facility while they examine/groom the dogs as they are much calmer during the process when we aren't around. I had kind of made my peace with it. But now, with what happened, I’m never going to leave her alone. I will change the facilities if I have to, but I just cannot get myself to trust strangers after this. This clinic had a great social media presence and good reviews overall. If something so gruesome can happen at a facility like that, I think my fear is fair.”

Tips for people to choose best care for their pet

Inputs from Yamika Damani, Pet Parenting Coach

1. Level of transparency of the facility: As a pet parent, you have every right to watch your pet being groomed/trained/boarded. If the pet care professional declines this, then 99.9% of the time, this mean that they are not trustworthy and have something to hide. In this day and age, where technology is highly accessible to everyone, you can ask pet care business owners to share live footage/surveillance of your pet at their business. If they can't or refuse to share, make sure that they have properly running CCTV surveillance across every nook and corner of their facilities.

2. Qualifications of the pet care professional: Look for groomers and trainers who have professional training and certification from reputable institutions. Just being a “pet lover” and “self-learned” does not give someone the necessary qualification to take care of your pet.

3. Gut feeling: Many times pet parents will have a natural instinct that something is amiss before they hand over their pet into the hands of a pet care personnel. If you feel something is off or even have the slightest doubt then I would strongly advise you to take your dog and run for your lives!

SHARE THIS ARTICLE ON
Share this article
SHARE
Story Saved
Live Score
OPEN APP
Saved Articles
Following
My Reads
Sign out
New Delhi 0C
Wednesday, April 24, 2024
Start 14 Days Free Trial Subscribe Now
Follow Us On