Police have extended the detention of 30-year-old oleh (new immigrant) Alan Ross Morrison after he was arrested for abusing his dog to get back at his ex-girlfriend.
The dog, named Taylor, is confirmed to be in good condition after it was examined in an Agriculture Ministry facility, according to KAN. Though cautious and upset at first, he is in a good mood and is sociable, according to an Agriculture Ministry statement.
Video of the abuse circulated on social media and went viral Tuesday night. After just an hour of going viral, a mob of 200 people gathered on Tuesday night outside Morrison’s private residence in
Morrison was eventually "smuggled" through a window by police officers who then arrested him and took him in for questioning, and the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court extended his detention by five days and ordered him to receive a psychiatric evaluation on Wednesday morning, according to a police statement.
His attorney Keren Blass said that Morrison expressed "sorrow and remorse" for his actions, according to The Jerusalem Post
's sister publication, Maariv
Morrison was eventually “smuggled” through a window by police officers, who then arrested him and took him in for questioning. The Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court extended his detention by five days and ordered him to receive a psychiatric evaluation on Wednesday morning, according to a police statement.
His attorney, Keren Blass, said that Morrison expressed “sorrow and remorse” for his actions, according to The Jerusalem Post’s sister publication, Maariv.
Upon Morrison’s arrest, police officers were also able to rescue Taylor alongside a team from the Agriculture Ministry, who had been notified of the incident by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals in Israel (SPCA), from where the dog was originally adopted. He was then brought over to an Agriculture Ministry facility, from where he will be given to one of the country’s animal welfare groups and placed up for adoption.
“The dog is receiving lots of care, pets, warmth and love in our facility,” Dr. Dagnit Ben-Dov, an Agriculture Ministry veterinarian who had accompanied the dog throughout the ordeal, said in a statement.
“It turns out the dog has a very good and strong character, and he’s very grateful.”
The incident provoked condemnations from politicians and animal rights organizations, as well as calls to make harsher punishments for animal abuse.
One such condemnation came from Yisrael Beytenu leader Avigdor Liberman, who urged for stricter punishments for animal abuse and taking enforcement more seriously.
“I witnessed this morning the horrific abuse suffered by a dog in Bat Yam that united the entire country, as well as the efforts of many good people to save him,” Liberman wrote on Facebook alongside a photo of the dog.
“This time there was a happy ending, but the punishment for animal abusers must be made stricter.”
נחשפתי להתעללות הקשה שעבר הכלב בבת ים שאיחד הבוקר מדינה שלמה, ולהתגייסות של אנשים טובים ורבים להצילו. הפעם יש כאן סוף טוב, אך חייבים להחמיר את הענישה כנגד מתעללים בבעלי חיים. צילום: משרד החקלאותPosted by Avigdor Liberman - אביגדור ליברמן on Tuesday, October 6, 2020
These sentiments were also echoed by Yisrael Beytenu MK and proud dog-owner Yulia Malinovsky. "Animal abuse is not a new thing, but yesterday we all saw what it looked like in reality," she wrote on Facebook on Wednesday alongside a picture of her walking her dog, adding that "As a mother and a citizen who has a dog in her home that has long become a member of my family, I am shocked by the terrible abuse we all saw yesterday in Bat Yam."
She continued, stating that "in times like this, we must show our compassion and humanity to those who depend on us." Malinovsky also announced that she filed a bill in response to the incident, which would extend the punishment for animal abuse from three years to five years in prison. The bill, which was included in its entirety in the reply section of her post, has supporters from across the political spectrum, and she called on her fellow members of Knesset to "put politics aside! Join me and support the proposal."
אין יותר טוב ממראה עיניים התעללות בבעלי חיים היא לא דבר חדש, אבל אתמול כולנו ראינו איך זה נראה במציאות. הגשתי היום...Posted by ח"כ יוליה מלינובסקי - MK Yulia Malinovsky on Wednesday, October 7, 2020
Another law was also proposed by the Knesset Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee chairman and dog-owner MK Zvi Hauser, which would also force animal abusers to pay punitive damages, which would be used to compensate animal welfare organizations, as opposed to the state treasury, where such finds are currently sent. Hauser said in a statement that he will bring this bill to the Knesset when it resumes next week.
Hauser also uploaded a video to Twitter alongside his dog, Nina, thanking those who helped save the dog in Bat Yam. He encouraged people to go out and get a dog, just as he did two years ago.
The Knesset Interior and Environmental Affairs Committee is also set to convene next week to discuss the incident.
Israeli animal rights groups also came out to condemn the abuse, and expressed hope that the courts take this as a sign that punishment for animal abuse should be stricter and enforcement taken more seriously.
"Animals are innocent creatures and their abuse should never be tolerated. Unfortunately, there is under-enforcement in cases of animal abuse," the animal rights organization Animals Now said in a statement to The Jerusalem Post
"Often, the Agriculture Ministry fails to prosecute abusers of animals, either institutionalized abuse in factory farms or abuse by individuals such as the severe case in Bat Yam. We call on the authorities to act in accordance with the guidelines of the attorney-general, who determined that punishment in cases of animal abuse should be aggravated and to bring the offender to justice."
"We are in a stressful and challenging time, and unfortunately there are many reports of animal abuse," the SPCA said in a statement to
. "Everyone is talking about a sharp rise in injuries to women and children, but we can certainly say that the cries of distress also concern the helpless creatures whose voices are not heard. Just last week, we received a report of cat poisoning, another report of a passerby kicking a cat and of tied dogs being left without water and food. We hope that the law enforcement system and the courts will [punish] the abusers severely."It is time for the courts to increase the punishment," the SPCA concluded, adding that it hoped the dog would not be returned to its abusive owners.The SPCA encouraged the public to report any suspicion of animal abuse or neglect to the police, or to the SPCA's hotline *4553.
Bat Yam Mayor Tzvika Brot
thanked the police officers who first responded and reached the scene for their professional handling of the situation.
"I was shocked to see the horrific videos that recently circulated social media, and I would like to thank the Bat Yam Police for a good job. We will do everything in our power to punish the culprit for his horrible offense," Brot said.
"The police condemns all forms of animal abuse
and will hold the suspect accountable for his actions," a police statement read.
The posts began spreading hey were shared on Facebook by Israeli entertainer and influencer Dennis Charkov. The post quickly drew hundreds of comments – some expressing shock, others, anger.
In one video, the suspect is seen dragging a dog around after tying its legs and repeatedly beating its stomach. In another video, he's seen beating the same dog with a belt.
On Thursday morning, the State Attorney announced that it will submitting a bill of indictment against Morrison the same day, Israeli media reported. Morrison is being charged with violations of animal abuse.