DATELINE PETALING JAYA:
PETPOSITIVE, ONE OF THE CLOSEST ALLIES of the Selangor Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has been booted out of an anti-abuse petition by animal activist groups meant for the Prime Minister.
The one responsible for the kicking out of Petpositive, (the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and the Elderly Association), is ironically the SPCA Selangor itself.
The animal welfare organisation located in Jalan Ayer Kerja Lama is accusing the national animal therapy organisation of "justifying dog abuse by the local councils."
The criticism comes after Petpositive President Anthony SB Thanasayan was interviewed by the news portal Free Malaysia Today on the Internet last Saturday.
In the article, Thanasayan who is also Chairman of the Canine Advisory Councils of the Petaling Jaya City Council (MPBJ) and the Klang municipality (MPK) criticised local animal nongovernmental organisations for sometimes being impractical and too critical of local councils instead of engaging with them in meaningful and healthy dialogues.
The local councillor who has been working on stray dog management issues with local councils for over three years went on to challenge NGOs instead to stop being seen as "hypocrites" by local councils and make serious efforts to work for positive change.
That, however, obviously didn't go down well with the Selangor SPCA who is also a partner in Thanasayan's CAT team.
Their participation in MBPJ and MPK came about after Thanasayan insisted on their involvement with the respective local councils.
Thanasayan in responding to SPCA's claims, rubbishes their criticisms.
He also cautions animal welfare groups like the SPCA that unless they broaden their perspectives and change their modus operandi, they risk becoming irrelevant to local councils altogether.
"I am shocked and outraged by SPCA's decision to boot Petpositive out, especially as we were not only invited by them to endorse the document on May 19 but were also commended by them for our prompt support," said Thanasayan to PET+BLOGSPOT this morning.
"SPCA's removal of our names not only smacks at discrimination but they are also extremely silly in doing this," says Thanasayan adding that in order for their petition to be effective, the document needs as many animal NGO signatories as possible.
"What's really their problem? Why were we even invited to participate in the petition in the first place if it wasn't going to be permanent?" Thanasayan asks.
"We gave them our endorsement to everything that was said in the document and isn't that that truly matters?"
"Don't they realise that I spoke to FMT under my capacity as MBPJ Councillor and not as President of my organisation?
"Why should members of Petpositive be seemingly 'punished' for what I said? Don't they have minds of their own just as SPCA's committee does too, I presume?"
Thanasayan says that as far as one's personal motives or intentions are concerned, it is no one's business to judge others but rather be focused on what is at hand.
"I was instructed by SPCA to 'retract' my comments in FMT which I found absurd. Don't I have a right to make my own opinions and assessments?
"Why should I be made a PR tool for anybody?"
Thanasayan said SPCA informed him that Petpositive's endorsement was removed because "members of the public (felt) that (he) had (supported) the councils and (as a result) wanted to withdraw their support and boycott the campaign".
"One wonders who these seemingly 'multitudes' of pet lovers are when it is no secret that a mischievous and vicious hate campaign against me was started on one dog blog to settle her own personal frustrations after she was booted out of the Klang council and I was taken in.
"The dog blog in mention even stoops as low as to allow comments from readers who wish that I be "euthanised" because of my disability and that my pet dogs which are service dogs should maul me soon.
Nothing shows up the hypocrisy of so-called "animal lovers" more than this.
"On the issue of SPCA, I know of scores of people who are not happy with the NGO and other animal NGOs for their what they call 'high-handed moralistic stance' over animal issues.
"It is also a shame that SPCA didn't think of using the opportunity of all the 'protests in wanting Petpositive out' to educate and put right the the myopic views of readers on animal issues and how to best overcome them in the country.
"And where were the 'animal angels' when a dozen disabled people with their crutches and wheelchairs went to protest against the Kuala Langat council for putting down a dozen pedigree dogs?
"The intrepid troupe from Petpositive and the Independent Living and Training Centre were nearly attacked by an angry animal-hating mob that led everyone to the local police station!
"When I called the SPCA, their reply was that they had 'already issued a statement'."
Thanasayan stressed that he was not out to be in the popular books of anybody but rather was interested in only what the animals ultimately thought of him in the end.
"I believe in telling the truth like it is," he pointed out.
"I'm not into witch hunting of local councils.
"The recent abuses happened in the states of Johor and Penang and criticisms against them are well justified.
"But let's not lump all councils together and blame everyone. That is simply not right.
"No I don't think that people in the councils are monsters with a lust to see dogs being tortured.
"But they are people and councils that make mistakes. Action should be taken against the perpetrators, definitely.
"But there should also be time for healing and learning. We should create opportunities for new beginnings too.
"As for animal NGOs, they have a long way more to go in learning how to work with councils.
"Instead of getting rabid with councils all the time, they have to act more maturely and ultimately get to the discussion table.
"They have hardly been effective so far. They also acknowledge this fact in their own rantings and ravings on their blogs.
"It's high time for them to change their strategies.
"Frankly, I'm not at all surprised why councils don't really listen to them.
"And they had better reform quickly because I've been told by many councils and the public, animal NGOs are fast becoming irrelevant.
"Instead of just barking up a tree all the time, for goodness sake try a different approach.
God knows, how our hapless animals need it!" concludes Thanasayan.
PET+BLOGSPOT is the ONLINE BLOG of the Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association or Petpositive. Our stories are CURRENT, ACCURATE and RELIABLE. We offer both local and foreign news on animals, disability and the elderly. PET+BLOGSPOT was first established in October 2007. Our hits since then are now 100,000 and ever increasing! PET+BLOGSPOT is updated daily. Kindly note that views expressed in this PET+BLOGSPOT are not necessarily those of PETPOSITIVE. You may also visit our Webpage by browsing: www.petpositive.com.my You can also find us in Facebook under PETPOSITIVE EMPOWERMENT. Please sign up as a FOLLOWER of this Blog if you haven't done so already in order to show us your kind support for our work. Thank you!