Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Punish Irresponsible Owners; Not Dogs!

Petpositive president: ‘Ban the owners, not the dogs’

The plan to launch a guidebook on banned and restricted dogs by the Department of Veterinary Services has been criticised today by Petpositive president Anthony Thanasayan.

Thanasayan, who is also a Petaling Jaya councillor, said that the book reeks of ignorance and that irresponsible pet owners are the ones who should be banned for their actions.

“A dog is like a knife, you can use it to protect yourself or you can use it to hurt another person. Its behavior depends on how the owner trains it,” he told Komunitikini today.

However, Thanasayan conceded that the Department of Veterinary Services has good reasons to implement bans and restrictions.

“Instead of books such as these, councils can issue guidebooks to new pet owners on how to take care of their pets. And I’m not only talking about causing disturbance to neighbors, by this I also mean how the pet should be cared for,” he said.

“The owners are the ones giving the dogs a bad name,” he added.

Thanasayan was referring to a recent incident in Penang where a 16-month German Shepherd reportedly attacked a woman and her Shi Tzu dog in Simpang Ampat.

The dog is now placed at the state veterinary services’ quarantine at Bukit Mertajam, where it will be under observation for ten days.

Anthony also emphasised the need to give the pets proper exercise, taking a swipe at local councils at the same time.

“They are like humans too, they need exercise. If you leave them indoors all the time, the frustration is bound to build up in them, and when they finally get some action, they might do some nonsensical stuff. But many councils don’t allow dogs in parks. How will they get their exercise then?”

Thanasayan, who is disabled and a wheelchair user, recounts from personal experience that German Shepherds are the best animal guides.

“They help people who are disabled. I am disabled and I mainly work with German Shepherds, so I know them well. They help those who are lonely and those who are suicidal as well,” he added.
Cases of dogs being abused, said Thanasayan, far outweigh cases of dogs biting humans in this country. “What is the punishment that is being dished out for irresponsible pet owners in the first place?” he asked.

He also quelled the myth that bigger dogs are more dangerous. “The fact of the matter is that the smaller the animal is, the more they bite. In fact, cats bite more than dogs,” he added.

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Ram Anand
Ram Anand writes and reports for KomunitiKini, and is a an occasional videographer. In his private cyberspace, he is an independent writer who has his own website, and is also an aspiring novelist and film-maker.
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Anonymous said...

Although it is logical to ban the owner rather than punish the dogs but this is not practical in Malaysia because here we don't have the comprehensive law. We can't just ban the owner only after EACH incident happen. So it is better to ban the dogs from being ended with irresponsible owners.

Devaraja said...

I strongly agree with the writer.Owners should be punished rather than the dog.
German shepherd often used as guard dogs.They are courageous,alert,fearless and off couse obedient too.This breed needs his people and should not be isolated for long period of time.
Attacks on people are usually due to poor handling and training.They must be trained in obedience from an early age.Like us they too need to go for refresher course.I have seen some owners overdo,they treat this dogs as if he were human.
Physical daily excercise needed.The question is how often this owners do.
This breeds have proven track records in various fields such as guard,police work,guide the blind,rescue servises and off course the disabled.