Outrage After Tree-Cutting Workers Kill School Dog

2 min read
Rescuers after capturing the second dog in a photograph posted to Facebook on Saturday by animal rescue group Paw Family Cambodia.
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A video posted online on Friday showed a dog hung up by its neck on school grounds, and a man with a large wooden stick striking it on the head three times.

“So cruel,” a voice in the video says.

The video attracted quick attention, and some people went to the school, in Phnom Penh’s Chamkarmon district. Animal rescue group Paw Family raised the alarm.

“We’re so disappointed and heartbroken,” the group wrote in the evening.

Horst Wiegand​ rushed to the school when he heard about the incident. He said he confronted the workers, who alleged the school director had ordered the dog be killed.

He and students gathered again with signs to protest: “I love Cambodia’s dogs.”

A Facebook post by the group on Saturday said two dogs had lived at the school. One was killed and one escaped, it said. They were friendly with people, making them easy to catch, it said.

“Teachers and juniors who work hard to feed these dogs every day felt sorry and shocked by what happened yesterday,” it said.

The men who killed the dog had been trimming trees at the school for the city, the group said.

Officials on Monday acknowledged a team had been trimming trees, but denied knowledge of the dog-killing.

Doeum Thkov commune chief Hem Sophat and the municipal public works department’s head of gardens and plants, Sam Samuth, said there had been municipal workers cutting trees, but said they didn’t know about the dog.

Public Works Ministry spokesman Kong Vimean said the ministry was not involved, as local administrations handled tree-trimming. Chamkarmon district governor Theng Sothal said he hadn’t heard about the incident.

Phsar Doeum Thkov High School director Khath Peth said he was out on lunch when the killing happened.

“I don’t know because I was out,” he said. “I saw it through the child that posted it — I did not witness it directly and I do not know whose side did it.”

He said the dogs were homeless and had bitten a child earlier in the year, and he had to take him for a rabies vaccination. “This is all I know,” he said and hung up.

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