StarMetro, Friday June 19, 2009
Educating public on pet care
By CHRISTINA LOW and TIMOTHY LIM
ABOUT 150 stray dogs are caught by the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) each month and the number continues to grow.
Catching the dogs may be a short-term solution but it is the ongoing education by its very own Canine Advisory Team (CAT) that the council will be looking into to curb the problem of strays.
“Some people keep dogs but they do not bother to care for the animals.
“They don’t even know that they need to apply for a licence for their pet,” said councillor Anthony Thanasayan, who followed MPBJ health department officers on their dog-catching operation recently.
During the two-hour operation conducted in Section 18, Petaling Jaya, the council caught three dogs and visited homes to check dog licences and the animal’s kennel.
“We will provide tips and advice to guide residents in caring for their pets,” Thanasayan said.
Those who did not have licences for their pets were issued a warning letter and given seven days to apply for one, failing which the council would issue a compound of up to RM250 per dog.
He said the council could not afford to let the stray dogs multiply as the situation could become a health hazard.
Also present were councillor S. Ramakrishnan, MBPJ environmental health department assistant officer S. Poobalan and Selangor Animal Services Department veterinary officer Dr Thiba Rajoo.
After watching how the dogs were nabbed, Thiba said she, like Thanasayan, was satisfied with the way in which the dog-catchers carried out their job.
“They acted sensitively towards the dogs, speaking to the animals to keep them calm before loading them into the trucks,” said Thiba, who was witnessing such an operation for the first time.
However, she said catching the canines would not solve the issue of stray dogs and suggested that MBPJ might, in future, make it mandatory for residents to neuter their pets to control the dog population. Special licences could then be issued to breeders.
As the MBPJ does not run a dog pound, the dogs were sent to Paws Animal Welfare Society (PAWS).
The Canine Advisory Team also plans to hold forums and talks to educate Petaling Jaya residents on caring for their pets.
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