What have we, as a society, become?

This was the question I asked myself upon learning about how puppies were supposedly used as live bait in crocodile traps in Tutong District, about an hour’s drive from the Brunei capital.

According to Care & Actions for Strays (CAS), a local charity, two puppies – one brown and one black (*Neue has refrained from uploading this photo, as some readers may find it distressing) – were found at two separate traps.

The black puppy, which was hooked to a trap, was found dead when volunteers from CAS arrived at the scene. The other puppy was found alive inside a trap besides a dead chicken.

“Both puppies must have gone through an unimaginable ordeal,” CAS said in its social media post.

Although the NGO said it would never condone the use of such methods, CAS said this was “not the right time to name and shame”.

Two Sundays ago (on December 16), a picnic outing of a family at Sungai Kuala Tutong turned tragic when a local 9-year-old boy went missing at the riverbank. It is believed that a crocodile had taken the boy.

Public Voices Outrage!

Here are some of the public’s reactions to the news posted on CAS’s Facebook page:

(Photos courtesy of CAS)

“I know that some of us are not dog people but come on! This is beyond cruelty! Unacceptable!”

“Humans are worse than animals!”

“This is just cruel and inhumane. Sorry to say but whoever did this has failed to realise that animals are living things too. They do not deserve to be put in this situation.”

“Wow … so many heartless people here. They seem to care more about the puppies. It’s as if they have zero sympathy for the grieving family.”

“A human strung up innocent animals to lure in a crocodile for revenge? Do you think that crocodile even knows what it’s being killed for? Do you think those dogs did? … Hurting animals like that shows a psychological problem.”

What If It Were Kittens?

“It is downright painful to see animals not treated in a humane way,” one Neue reader said. “Domestic pets should never ever be used as bait. Had it been kittens used as live bait, the public’s outcry would be a whole lot worse!”

Truth Hurts!

However, there was one comment that caught my attention, which went: “Since everyone is crying about stray dogs now … Why don’t you all roam the streets of Brunei and start saving them?”

That last comment struck me like a slap to the face.

Why, you ask? Well, it’s because the truth hurts.

I honestly wonder how many people, especially those who are commenting on the CAS Facebook post, would actually take concrete steps to save the strays across Brunei.

A Monstrous Task!

I have 3 dogs at home. One of them was rescued from the Brunei capital a few months ago. The malnourished dog was found hiding underneath a car. A group of children were seen throwing items such as plastic bottles to scare it. I know that the children did not know better, but I could not help but wonder if it was because of their family upbringing. After all, hurting domestic animals shows a lack of compassion and empathy.

The rescued dog is now living the good life in my home.

However, as much as I would like to open up my home to every single stray in the country, I know that this would not be humanly possible. It’s just too monstrous of a task!

Fortunately, we have dedicated individuals like Ada Ang, the co-founder of CAS, and other caring volunteers, who are doing their best to improve the quality of life of strays in Brunei. You can support them by making a donation to CAS.

What’s On Your Mind?

Do you have anything to add to this article? Drop us a line in the comments section below or reach out to Neue on Facebook or Instagram.