Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Fire And Rescue Dogs Were Responsible In Putting Down Their Canines

 aNt's aNgle: Here is Sahabat Alam Malaysia's letter in The Star today on the sniffer and rescue dogs put down recently.

Here, also, are my comments regarding the letter which is okay on the whole but rather confusing in some parts:


Tuesday March 26, 2013

Sanctuary for retired service dogs

SAM: JUDGING from the uproar by animal groups over the putting to sleep of the eight K9 unit dogs of the Fire and Rescue Department, Sahabat Alam Malaysia (SAM) understands the sentiments felt by these animal groups.

aNt: Hmm. Uproar over put downs? What's so wrong about euthanasia when it warrants it? Malaysian animal lovers must grow up to realise that euthanasia has its indispensable role to play in a certain part of their pets' lives and that death is never cruel, only suffering is - to quote something I learnt from the Selangor SPCA years ago.  

SAM: This is understandable for it shows the utilitarian approach mankind adopts towards the lesser species.

Service animals are only here to be used and later destroyed when they no longer prove their worth.

aNt: Hey, this is a leading statement. I wouldn't quite make a general statement like this. Especially the part about "when they no longer prove their worth."
SAM: In the United States, sniffer dogs who have completed years of service in the army usually go to live with their handler’s family.

Service animals would best be adopted by the trainers, handlers who understand the temperament of the animal well.

Rehoming may not always be an option.

aNt: Okay, I have no problems with the above comments.

SAM: The concern is that while new owners are obliged to take in a service dog, its age and ailments are factors that needs serious consideration.

Owners may not be prepared to give it the much needed after care and expenses incurred for its various ailments afflicted on an older dog.

aNt: Excellent SAM. This is one of the biggest issue which the sanctimonious animal groups seem to have a blind spot on. 

SAM: While it would be best to consider establishing a retirement sanctuary for service dogs, the question is who will be responsible for the management and upkeep of the place.

aNt: Hmm. . . Animal sanctuary for retired dogs - with geriatric problems? Sounds like it should be more like a hospital setting to me. Let's not also forget that these dogs really need to be with humans on a one-to-one; not other dogs!

SAM: Is the Fire and Rescue Department prepared for the maintenance, upkeep and the financial running of the place?

aNt: Obviously not as they have clearly indicated. 

SAM: It should not be another rundown animal pound where dogs are subjected to lives in misery.

aNt: Agreed totally. Some so called "animal shelters" run by NGOs are in deplorable conditions where rescued dogs are kept in cages and poo all day without even an opportunity to be walked daily. So leave the dog pounds aside. In the Klang Municipality (MPK) the pound dogs are exercised at least once a day even though they may be on death row. A court action against one such "shelter" by a local council is imminent.

SAM: If the department chooses to train these animals to assist in search and rescue then it is their responsibility to take care of them after their usefulness is over.

aNt: And euthanasia is also one of their responsibilities which the department carried through under the professional advice of the Department of Veterinary Services. 

SAM: They may be the nation’s living assets, but instead of putting them down the department should seek the cooperation and consultation of animal groups to publicise the plight of these service animals which have outgrown their usefulness and seek the best options for these animals.

aNt: Err. . . we are rambling again over here and contradicting its previous statements again. Sam, you're not mentioning the DVS at all when it was stated on day one that they were a deciding factor on the fate of the dogs. Trying to say something to be on the good books on both sides are we?
Lastly, SAM would like to know how these service dogs, which are supposed to be kept in the best condition, could end up contracting incurable diseases.

Sahabat Alam Malaysia

aNt: Hence proves your main ignorance my dear Uncle SAM. Hey, these dogs are frequently exposed to thick smoke like fire, chemicals and even poisons. It's called hazards of their specific jobs. What do you expect? The DVS had already confirmed respiratory illnesses, liver, heart and kidney damage. Even cancer. They are not fluffy toys meant as ornaments to be put on top of a showcase.

Check out Wheel Power tomorrow in The Star.  

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