The Edakkara police in Kerala's Malappuram district has arrested a man for tying a dog behind his scooter using a rope and dragging it along the road. The arrested man has been identied as 53-year-old Xavier, native of Karunechi near Edakkara.
Though Xavier's version is that he kept the dog standing on his bike, a video shared by animal rights activist Sally Varma shows that the dog was tied to the scooter with a rope. The video was shot by Ummer Valappan, who is a native of Edakkara and witnessed the incident. The video shows the dog struggling to run as Xavier rides his scooter, later when Ummer rescues the dog, the tired animal is seen lying on the road.
"The incident happened on Saturday evening at West Perumkulam. The dog was taken to a hospital and is under safe custody now," a police personnel at the Edakkara police station told TNM.
"The dog was at Xavier's home for over a week. He decided to abandon the dog when neighbours complained that the dog had stolen chappals and killed their chickens," the policeman added.
"I was going back to my home in Edakkara when I happened to see this cruelty. I tried to stop him at once, but he continued riding the vehicle and I followed him on my scooter. Finally, I was able to block him by ovetaking his vehicle after a 200 meter distance, the dog was lying down and he was still draggging it. I couldn't shoot the entire distance as I was also riding," Ummer told TNM. Ummer, who is a daily wage labourer and a public activist, then put a post on Facebook about the cruelty.
"The crimes towards animals that we see around us keep on increasing day by day. In this case, the dog was dragged in this horrific way by his owner because he wanted to abandon him," Sally Varma told TNM.
She is an honourary animal welfare officer of the Kerala Animal Welfare Board and also a senior campaigner of Human Society International. The organisation has been doing a campaign named 'no more fifties'. "It's extremely important that an amendment is made to the PCA Act 1960 and the penalty for animal cruelty is increased. It's a thin line between crimes towards animals and crimes towards human beings. People who show cruelty towards animals will in most cases do it to people as well," she added.
A similar incident of cruelty occurred in Ernakulam in December 2020. A dog owner was arrested for tying a dog to the boot of a moving car using a rope and dargging it on the road for about 500 meters.