Saturday, May 21, 2011

Thanasayan Bites Hypocrites

Animal lover bites the ‘hypocrites’

  G Vinod | May 21, 2011Free Malaysia Today

Instead of throwing stones, Anthony Thanasayan says that animal rights groups should hold discussions with local councils to educate them on proper ways of handling stray dogs.

PETALING JAYA: An animal lover sinks his teeth into “hypocrite” animal rights groups who are quick to condemn local councils but slow in providing a lasting solution to the stray dogs issue.

Anthony Thanasayan, the founder of Malaysian Animal-Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association or Petpositive, said the activists need to reprioritise their mission by working hand-in hand with the local councils rather than simply “throwing stones” at them.

“Learn to see things from their perspective. Remember that a lot of dog catchers from the local councils never owned a dog before,” added the MBPJ councillor.

Last week, a video of Batu Pahat council workers forcefully putting a dog down was widely circulated on Facebook and YouTube, drawing angry responses.

Thanasayan said that animal rights groups should hold discussions with their respective local councils on a regular basis to educate them on proper ways of handling stray dogs.

“And I am not talking about having a one-off meeting. Meet them (local councils) on a regular basis and educate them on how to catch stray dogs in a humane way. But do they (animal rights groups) even allocate budget to conduct trainings for the dog-catchers?” he asked.

He then threw a challenge to the animals rights groups; conduct pet adoption programmes to provide homes to the animals caught by the local councils.

“Let local councils catch them and the activists conduct the pet adoption process. I am sure the local councils will be more than happy to assist them,” he said.

Thanasayan said that in many cases, the local councils were actually kinder towards the animals compared to animal activists and their owners themselves.

Thanasayan recalled an incident in 2009 when he accompanied some MBPJ dog-catchers and an officer from the Veterinary Department to catch a dog that was kept in a temple.

“The dog was very old and sickly. It was filled with ticks and puss was oozing out of it. Even I was apprehensive to be near it and I doubt the animal rights groups would have touched it as well.

“It was the dog-catchers that caught it and they did not even manhandle it. Instead, they were trying their best to coax the dog to come near them,” he said.

The sad part about the entire episode, he said, was that the temple authorities refused to acknowledge that the dog was theirs.

“But the dog kept running to them for protection. Everyone knows that animals will only do that with those they are familiar with. I have encountered many cases such as this. These people just want a cheap security guard by just feeding it. They should be banned from keeping pets,” he said.

‘Romantic idea’

Thanasayan explained that local councils catch stray animals for two reasons; one for being a pest and the other for disease control.

“Even stray cats are caught as well. The animals are seen as pests as they defecate everywhere and some attack people. In fact, there are cases of stray dogs attacking people’s pets,” he said.

As for MBPJ, the council sent all stray animals caught to PAWS, an animal shelter located in Ara Damansara as the council does not have its own pound.

According to Thanasayan, MBPJ pays RM20 per animal to the shelter operator. “And my council catches about 1,800 strays annually,” he added.

While some animals lovers would like to see these animals roaming free, Thanasayan dismissed the notion as a “romantic idea”.

“As much as we respect the rights of animal lovers, we should also respect the rights of those who don’t like these animals. And feeding stray animals is not being kind to them, it’s only prolonging their misery. Who is going to take the strays to a vet when they get sick?” he said.

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Moin from Free Malaysia Today said...

Why it has to be the activists group and not the local councils to initiate such moves? The power to enforce is definitely in the hands of the local councils. They should review current laws, amend or remove them if the circumstances so demanded, and most importantly they must not act alone, any action or suggestions should be done in tandem with interested parties Stray dogs and the associated problems had been around well over 50 years and many don't give a damn about animal welfare in this country.

Anon from FMT said...

Why must the animal rights groups fork out money to train dog catchers? All their funds are from public donations and pretty limited. It doesn't make any sense at all!!!! What about the money allocated to the councils? What are you using it for? Getting in foreign experts to teach our local guys how to catch dogs humanely? Isn't that a waste of money?? As you have mentioned, most dog catchers are not dog owners so no matter how much you trained them, they can't emphatise. Why don't you do some research on how to reduce strays humanely without killing them. It is not a romantic idea if you bother to go educate yourself. Read how Santa Cruz county in California has successfully reduced the number of strays & abandoned pets by implementing compulsory spay & neuter. It has helped them to save money too in the long run. And btw, the dog catchers were probably kinder to the strays because you were there to observe. Sheesh... even a primary school kid can tell you that... said...

Not all dog catchers are cruel and inhumane. I saw a case where the catcher wanted to let an unlicensed dog free, but the owner pleaded the dog to be killed. Who should be blamed?

Sharma said...

This Anthony Thayasan is a dumb chap. How much help has he given out to the human beings in Malaysia. This kind of idiots are there to talk about their expensive dogs and species. They are willing to waste thousands of money on their pets rather than helping the poor.

vaare from FMT said...

It is the duties and obligations of local councils to get rid of stray dogs on the streets for the safety and health of their tax payers. As for animals lovers, if they can affort, just collect these stray dogs/puppies and unwanted cats/kittens before the councils lay hands on them said...

Animal rights activists sometimes are overdo and irrational. A friend of mine sent her injured puppy to veterinary clinic for treatment. Instead of curing the animal, the doctor put the puppy to dead and blamed my friend for careless.

I advised my friend, next time do not send the injured dog to doctor, but send the animal to Vietnamese workers for them to cook and eat the injured animal.

leena from FMT said...

You guys Totally miss the point. local council officers need to learn how to handle strays properly.

It isnt about being an animal lover, it's about being part of an empathatic society.

Clearly you people couldn't care less about the welfare of strays

Raj from FMT said...

Anthony u have proven u r an idiot!

Ginteng from FMT said...

OFFER SOLUTIONS......All those armchair critics {after watching the video} just curse,scream,howl and
We have been bombarded with news about banging here,banging there daily with no end in sight, and all
those empty talks which doesnt even worth two cents.....
Dont just CRITICISE..............OFFER POSSIBLE SOLUTIONS................

Anthony SB Thanasayan said...

Dear Moin, I agree with your points generally. The onus is on the animal groups because local councils have still a far way to go in truly understanding the issues of animal concerns.

Anthony SB Thanasayan said...

Anon, you are right. Animal groups can work together with local councils to come up with the money to train dogcatchers. MBPJ wasn't playing a game. SPCA Selangor vouches that they have never received a single complaint to date re MBPJ dogcatchers.

Anthony SB Thanasayan said...

Anon, most animal NGOs prefer local councils to have their own staff as dogcatchers instead of contracting them in order to prevent animal abuse.

Anthony SB Thanasayan said...

Dear, I do not condone animal cruelty. Eating dogs is animal cruelty and it is not part of Malaysian culture.

Anthony SB Thanasayan said...

Thank you Ginteng for your comments. You understand perfectly what I am trying to raise. Local councils need our help more than our criticisms.