Forum on stray dogs

No place to go: One of the forum’s speakers said that looking into the problems of strays is the responsibility of all.

THE Ipoh City Watch conducted a forum titled “Strays in Ipoh” recently.

The topic attracted the attention of many animal lovers, with more than 60 people attending, including members from Noah’s Ark of Ipoh, Fur Kid’s Shoulder, Kiko Food Bank, Ipoh Companion Rescuer and KJAS Ipoh.

One of the forum’s speakers, Dr Jean Teoh, stressed that looking into the problems of strays is the responsibility of all.

“Shooting them is rather cruel as they may not die instantly.

“Sometimes, dogs with owners are even shot inside the compound of homes.

“This is probably because of many pet owners allowing their dogs to run free and they tend to cause more problems than stray dogs,” she said during the forum at SK La Salle in Ipoh.

Dr Teoh stressed that neutering or spaying animals when bought or adopted as pets is highly encouraged, as this would reduce excessive breeding.

“Animals cannot speak for themselves and it is up to us humans to speak on their behalf should they be ill-treated and randomly put to death,” she said.

Also speaking at the forum was Victor Chew from Ipoh City Watch, who explained that they wish for Ipoh to become the most liveable city in Malaysia and possibly the world since Ipoh is already the third most affordable city for retirement in the world.

“However, there are many issues that need to be corrected before reaching that status.

“One of them is the way we treat and control stray animals,” he said.

Chew suggested for further meetings to be arranged among all animal-care societies in Ipoh and those who are interested so that a common policy on how people should deal with strays could be agreed upon.

“I would also suggest for the licensing of pets to be given to a recognised animal-loving non-governmental organisation.

“This is so that they could check that all animals licensed by the city council are inoculated, neutered or spayed, and come from proper breeding places.

“It would be wonderful if a law could be passed that all pets licences are equipped with a micro chip so that they can be traced back to their owners,” he said.

Chew also pushed for licensing fees to be increased so that only people who truly wanted to keep an animal could do so and thus, reduce the number of abandoned pet cases.

“The increase in fees will also enable the city council to have more funds to support all of Ipoh City Watch’s programmes to ensure that stray animals are not mistreated,” he said.

Taking note of the recent poisonings of dogs and cats in large numbers, Chew said the city council and the police must view these cases of animal abuse seriously.

“Restaurants have killed animals in a cruel manner. Individual owners have chained animals from the day they were taken home till they die.

“Some are even used for hunting or as fighting dogs.

“Many animals are starved and kept in filthy cages or cages that are too small,” he said.

The third speaker at the forum was expected to be from either the Ipoh City Council or the state Veterinary Department, but neither turned up, much to the disappointment of the participants.

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