Police investigating footage of dogs being molested at Eindhoven dog show

The police are investigating footage made during a dog show in Eindhoven this weekend that shows men touching female dogs on their genitals. The footage was recorded by animal protectors from House of Animals, who went to the dog show undercover and gave the footage to the police and RTL Nieuws.

The video shows at least three men touching three different English bulldog bitches on their genitals. "These are sexual acts and it is bizarre that this is done to calm a dog for such a show", Karen Soeters of House of Animals said to the broadcaster. 

RTL showed the video to several veterinarians, who explained to the broadcaster that the men are massaging the dogs' vulva. "The owner's hand and fingers are placed where the dog's genital is. It seems that the man puts his finger in the vulva and moves/stimulates it. Anyway, we think this is very inappropriate in any situation and this is not customary during a dog show", one vet, who asked to remain anonymous, said. Another vet from Amsterdam called what happened on the video "not okay", according to RTL. "This is very peculiar. It is possible that they discovered within the dog club that it calms the animals, that can be assumed, but I think it is very crude."

Dog expert Sacha Gaus viewed the video at RTL's request. "I find this really objectionable and sick", she said to the broadcaster. "The question, of course, is how far you can and may go with sexual contact with your dog. In my view this is really going too far."

House of Animals submitted the footage to the police. "We will investigate the footage and assess whether there are criminal offenses", a spokesperson for the Oost-Brabant police said to RTL. 

The Netherlands has a law that forbids lewd acts with an animal, with a penalty of up to 18 months in prison. According to Soeters of House of Animals, that is certainly what is happening here. Animal law lawyer Iaira Boissevain is less certain. "It is a gray area in which the judge ultimately has to decide whether this is allowable or not. I at least think it's perverse and crossing a line."

RTL also showed the video to Maurice Peperkamp, chairman of the dog show in Eindhoven. He responded:  "What that gentleman does can not be allowed. It is absolutely undesirable behavior. We have a dog welfare team running around such a show that checks everything. We did not see this ourselves and it is therefore unknown to us who this man is. This kind of incident can happen, but we do not approve of it. If we had seen it, that man would have been sent away. If a report was indeed filed and the police are investigating, we will provide all the assistance required."