Saturday, May 14, 2011

Deal With Stray Dogs MBPJ Way, Says Councillor

Deal with stray dogs MBPJ way, says councillor

Tarani Palani | May 12, 2011
A MBPJ councillor tells his counterparts in Batu Pahat to be more humane in dealing with strays, and offers suggestions.
PETALNG JAYA: Petaling Jaya (MBPJ) councillor Anthony Thanasayan has offered suggestions to the Batu Pahat local council on how to deal with the problem of stray dogs.

Thansayan, who also operates Petpositive, said an immediate way of handling the issue would be to mimic MBPJ where a committee inclusive of the Canine Advisory Team (CAT) was set up to deal with stray dogs.

“Stray dogs are a problem but you can’t just have a knee-jerk reaction. If the council is saying that it is short staffed, then set up a committee consisting of council members, representatives from NGOs and the Veterinary Department. Then decide how to further tackle the issue,” he added.

He was responding to a video which had been making its rounds on Facebook and YouTube showing Batu Pahat council workers putting a dog down. The video drew criticism that the dog catchers acted in a cruel manner.

Batu Pahat council president Sallehuddin Hassan yesterday told FMT that the stray dog problem was incessant in Batu Pahat and welcomed pet lovers to assist the council as it was short of man power.
Thanasayan said instead of killing the dogs on the streets, the council should set up a dog pound in Batu Pahat and put the dogs down there or offer them up for adoption.

“There needs to be a budget for a pound. It is the humane, modern and caring way,” he added.
Acknowledging that the problem of stray dogs must be dealt with, Thanasayan said: “As much for wishful thinking, we have to respect the rights of those who don’t respect animals.”

Despite being an animal lover, he said stray dogs should be put to sleep if a decent home was not found for them.

Contacted later, Sallehudin said Thanasayan had spoken to him, and he welcomed the latter’s suggestions.

He added that the suggestions would be raised in the next council meeting on May 18.

Change in attitude
Commenting on the issue, Malaysian Animal Welfare Society president Shenaaz Khan said the council’s move to invite NGOs was typical, “whenever they are caught with their pants down”.

“Prior to reported incidents, councils will hardly allow NGOs to assist,” she said.
Conceding that stray dogs were a problem, Shenaaz however said they should be dealt with in a more humane manner.

Shenaaz said “suggestions and policies sound great on paper” but there must be a clear change in attitude with regard to treating animals.

She added that even in pounds, there were cases where the dogs would not be fed simply because these animals were slated to be put down.

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