Much Ado About Lay Fung in Peru

The case of “Lay Fung,” [often written “Lay Fun”] a 4-year old Rottweiler watchdog that had been accused of murdering a suspected car thief in the parking lot he was entrusted to watch over, quickly turned into a media sensation throughout Peru and the country's bloggers were eager to voice their opinions.

As Wolfgang Becker described July 16 on Living in Peru:

Since last Tuesday “Lay Fung” sits behind bars. He is accused of causing the death of a man entering a parking lot he was ordered to guard. His future remains up in the air. Some think that he should be put to death, others maintain the Rottweiler dog was just doing his job. A judge will have to decide his destiny within the next days. In the meantime he remains in his narrow A-46 cell at an anti-rabies center in Chacra Ríos.

The 4-year old Rottweiler is currently undergoing medical tests to determine if he has rabies. If the tests turn out positive, it will be his sure death sentence. In either case, the director of the dog center Mónica Villanueva said that he will be injected with a supersaturated toxic which will keep him asleep

Many legal experts believe that the law protects the animal in these cases, therefore it is unlikely that Lay Fung is executed. Although the Peruvian law dictates that all dogs who kill or injure people or other animals must be sacrificed, there is also the exception from the rule: different measures apply when dogs are defending their owners or private property.

Franco Cedillo Crisosto is among the many supporters of the watch dog:

Por email circula una cadena con una intención muy noble. La vida humana siempre ocupará un primer orden y nuestra lucha en la vida debe ser por nuestra especie. Pero los animales han existido sobre la Tierra por mucho más tiempo sin dañarla tanto y es por eso que casos como el que hoy les cuento causa real indignación.

Como muchos sabemos las autoridades pretenden mostrar una imagen de defensores de los derechos de los ciudadanos pero nada más falso ya que su negocio en juzgados y estudios de abogados siempre ha sido defenser a la lacra de nuestra ciudad: ladrones, asesinos, sin vergüenzas… el buen ciudadano que se quede callado.

La vida de mi perro vale más que la de todos esos delincuentes y ampones juntos. Muerte para los que no aportan a nuestra sociedad y destruyen lo que tanto nos cuesta construir. Un país del tercer mundo no peude mantener más a estos elementos en centros penitenciaros y la ciudadanía no está dispuesta a dejarse arrebatar la vida de un ser querido más.

Here is a chain email with a very noble intention that has been circulating. Human life always will occupy the first order and our fight in life must for our own species. But animals have existed on earth for much more time without damaging so much which is why cases like this cause real indignation.

As many of us know, the authorities try to show an image [of public defenders] as defenders of the rights of citizens but nothing is more false since their business in courts and law schools has always been to defend that which damages our city: thieves, assassins, shameless hoodlums … while the good citizen remains mute.

The life of my own dog is worth more than all those delinquents and hoodlums together. Death for those who do not contribute to our society and those who destroy what costs us so much to construct. A third world country cannot support these elements in penitentiary centers and the citizenry is not willing to let itself take the life of another loved being.

Tinta Fantasma, a blog that typically focuses on web and tech related issues also took time out to lend support to Lay Fung in the post “Let us Save Lay Fun, the Rottweiler,” which has attracted over 225 comments:

Disculpen que me salga del tema de este blog, pero es que cuando uno ve injusticias como esta, pues ve la única forma de opinar este medio. Desde hace dos días un rottwailer está haciendo noticia. Lay Fun, como se llama el perro, asesinó un hombre, el cual había entrado al edificio a robar. Ahora la polémica está en si dejar al perro vivo o darle sacrificio. No puedo creer como se ignora la vida de quien decimos es “nuestro mejor amigo”. Lay Fun protegió bien el lugar que estaba cuidando, y solo cumplia con su deber al defenderse ante el ladrón. ¿Castigarlo solo por defender su propio local?

No tiene rabia y esta completamente sano, según los analisis realizados, sin embargo solo tiene 10 días para saber su destino. No se como se pueden olvidar de un ser que por muchos años, nos dió no solo alegrías en nuestras vidas, sino también nos protege, uno de los animales más fieles al hombre. Este perro solo protegía a su amo y a su propiedad. Y ahora pretenden sacrificarlo solo por defenderse.

Forgive me for straying from the theme of this blog, but it's just that when one sees injustices like this, the only way of voicing opinion is this medium. Over the past few days ago, a rottweiler has been making news. Lay Fun, as the dog is called, assassinated a man who had entered the building to steal. Now, the controversy is over whether they should let the dog live or sacrifice it. I can't believe how the life of of who we call “our best friend” is ignored. Lay Fun protected the place that he was watching over and merely fulfilled his charge of defending against the thief. Punish him for defending his own business?

He doesn't have rabies and is completely healthy according to analyses, however, he only has 10 days to learn his destiny. I don't know how one of the most loyal animals to humans, a being that doesn't just give us joy, but also protects us, can be forgotten. This dog only protected his master and his property. And now they're trying to sacrifice him just for defending himself.

Miguel Zegarra created a popular badge (ES) with Lay Fung's photo that simply read “Lay Fun is Innocent.” iDioteca writes of a blockade that was organized on July 15 in front of the anti-rabies center where Lay Fung was detained. El Útero de Marita posts a photo of Lay Fun alongside a portrait of Peruvian commentator Dennis Falvywho reportedly threatened to kill his wife and son – with the caption, “they both ask for pardon, but … who really deserves it?

Jimena Sanchez Velarde, however, believes the guard dog has attracted far too much of the nation's mental bandwidth. In a post titled “In Peru the Life of a Dog is Valued more than the Life of a Judge” she regrets the shallow coverage of the homicide of a Peruvian judge that had been prosecuting drug dealers linked with Mexico's Tijuana Cartel.

Lay Fun es un perro guardián que en el cumplimiento de su deber atacó a un ladrón que murió por causa de las mordeduras. Fue detenido en un centro antirrábico y corría el peligro de ser sacrificado si se comprobaba que había atacado sin expresión de causa al ladrón. Por supuesto que nadie conoce el nombre del ladrón pero todo el Perú conoce el nombre y rostro del perro héroe. Al margen de los derechos del pobre animal, es una triste ironía.

El can Lay Fun tiene un foro en Peru 21 donde la ciudadanía ha colmado el espacio con expresiones de solidaridad a un perro. El vocal asesinado no genera mayores reacciones de una sociedad acostumbrada a convivir con la violencia. Una sociedad que se indigna ante el posible sacrificio de un perro pero que se mantiene indolente ante el asesinato de un magistrado del Poder Judicial, que evidentemente fue un hombre honesto, razón por la cual lo acribillaron.

¿Qué tenemos en la cabeza los peruanos?

Lay Fun is a guard dog that, fulfilling his charge, attacked a thief who died from bite wounds. He was detained in an anti-rabies center and it was in danger of being put to death if it were verified that he had attacked the thief without cause. Of course, no one knows the name the thief but all of Peru knows the name and face the canine hero. Aside from the rights of the poor animal, it is a sad irony.

The dog has a forum on Peru 21 where the citizenry has overwhelmed the space with expressions of solidarity for the dog. The murdered [thief] does not generate stronger reactions from a society accustomed to coexisting with violence. A society that gets infuriated by the possible execution of a dog but remains indolent when faced with the murder of a magistrate of the judicial branch, who evidently was an honest man; the reason for which they murdered him.

What do we Peruvians have in our heads?

In the end, supporters of Lay Fun had reason to celebrate. According to Wolfgang Becker:

Lima's most famous animal of the last days, a Rottweiler named “Lay Fung”, left his prison cell at the “anti-rabies” center as a free dog. The trained watchdog became the center of attention days ago after biting a presumed car thief to death while safe-guarding a parking lot. He will now join the K-9 division of the National Police.

Or as Lay Fung writes on his very own weblog (who knew!):

I AM FREE, I AM KING OF THE WORLD!!!!!!¡Me liberé, me liberé, gracias al cielo me liberé! Por fin soy libre y muevo mi colita al viento. Gracias a todos los que me han apoyadado, los ladridos no me alcanzan para decir lo que siento. Lamento no haberles escrito amiguitos, pero con toda lo que ha sucedido hoy, fue imposible hacerlo. Mañana les contaré mi día.

I AM FREE, I AM KING OF THE WORLD!!!!!! I am freed, I am freed, thank heavens, I am freed. Finally, I'm free to move my tail to the wind. Thanks to everyone who has supported me, barks don't sufficiently express all that I feel. I lament that I have not been able to write to my little friends, but with everything that has taken place today, it was impossible to do. Tomorrow I will tell you about my day.

5 comments

  • Okay, I might sound out of touch, but an animal has been accused of murder? I never even thought animals could commit murder, since I’ve always thought murder was more of a human…activity. You can’t expect a trained watchdog to stop itself from pouncing on a prowler and to think of the consequences of its actions first before making the leap, or think about the nature of right and wrong or what is just or cruel. *scratches head*

  • That first sentence is admittedly misleading. It’s not that Lay Fung was accused of murder so much as Peruvian law dictates that any animal that kills a human must be sacrificed. However, as Alex Celi notes (ES), “Law 27596” makes an exception for dogs guarding their owners or property of their owners, which is why Lay Fung was ultimately set free.

  • Karl-Gerhard PETZL-GOLDSTEIN

    Dear Colonel GALLARDO-PERALTA, General-Chief of the peruvian Canine-Police, in Lima, Peru, who protect the life of Ly-FUNG: Thank You for adopt and help to save this Dog! Take him as MASCOT for the K-9, Canine-Police of Lima!: FREEDOM For LAY-FUNG! This admirabel Dog is the national Heroe of Peru. Take care, save him!
    Karl-Gerhard PETZL-GOLDSTEIN, Vienna, Austria

  • Help

    I’m looking for Mr. Karl-Gerhard PETZL-GOLDSTEIN, my father’s old friend.
    His email is not more avaliable.
    Could someone help me.

    Thanks

  • Robert Levy

    Dear Mr. Pedro RUIZ,
    You are looking for Mr. Karl-Gerhard PETZL-GOLDSTEIN
    Try it by the mail: macarena@aon.at

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