Awareness: (From left) Wee with Joris at the community event in Kuching.
KUCHING: There has been a slight increase of stray animals over the years in the state capital, according to the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA).
In a just completed survey conducted with Kuching north and south councils, SSPCA found a general increase of stray dogs and cats in and around the city.
Association president Dona Drury Wee said increasing numbers were mostly at areas where there was a consistent source of food like commercial centres.
“Areas around coffee shops are a common ‘hotspot’. Another is places around markets. In the survey, we tried to focus, not just on the number of stray animals, but number of kittens and puppies, because that is a better indicator,” Wee told reporters.
She said exact figures of stray animals were harder to estimate accurately because some animals were pets without collars or tags. “We can say there are more stray animals, but also that there weren’t as many as we expected. The stray population is not as large as in Kuala Lumpur.”
Wee was speaking to reporters at a Kuching City North Commission (DBKU) and SSPCA organised “Subsidised Pet Neutering Campaign” community event.
A SSPCA shelter currently accommodates between 250 and 270 animals, of which more than half are cats.
“We don’t have enough space.
The shelter was built to house 150 animals. Space aside, operating cost is about RM28,000 a month, even if we move to a new and larger shelter, because the cost will just go up,” she added.
DBKU environmental health chief Rudzaimeir Malek said the council’s stray animal unit would catch between 50 and 70 monthly.
“It’s quite a lot when you think about it. We only have one team, one driver and two catchers, and we only respond to complaints,” Rudzaimeir said.
The council’s regulatory service deputy head Andrew Joris Noyen said its campaign with SSPCA, which is in its third year, would continue.
“The council spends about RM5,000 on neutering subsidies in this campaign.
“We feel it’s important for pet owners to do the responsible thing as stray animals cause problems, including road safety.”
SSPCA can be contacted at
082-618 200, or send emails to firstname.lastname@example.org.