Keeping stray numbers down

  • Metro News
  • Saturday, 07 Dec 2019

The Sarawak government embarked on a mass stray removal operation as it intensified efforts to curb the rabies outbreak. — Filepic

SIBU: Volunteers in a Five-Year Spaying and Neutering Cats and Dogs Project in Sibu are appealing for public support so that they can keep going until 2022.

The project started last year when a former college lecturer, Wong Siew Tung and a vet, Shaw Yu Tay, roped in a few friends to form a group to help tackle the burgeoning stray animal population.

They aim to help local communities to have a healthy and safe environment to live and work in without fear of stray animals.

At a press conference, the duo said they were now considering stopping the project next year due to lack of funds.

According to Wong, they receive no financial aid or any form of contribution from the government. All funds are from public donations.

“Our funds are dwindling. By June next year, we may have to stop serving the wider community. It will be a great loss as we also rescue stray cats and dogs. Animal owners in the communities we serve will also lose out, ” he said.

Wong (right) with Shaw. They are appealing for public support to continue with the volunteer-based spaying and neutering of cats and dogs.Wong (right) with Shaw. They are appealing for public support to continue with the volunteer-based spaying and neutering of cats and dogs.

He said their expenses each month was about RM2,000. Annually, they spend over RM10,000, depending on the number of dogs they neuter.

As of last week, Wong said they had either spayed or neutered 148 stray cats and dogs in the town, at a cost of RM4,420.

Another RM5,000 was spent taking care of stray animals.

To cut cost, the group has decided to only accept a maximum of 15 stray animals a month from now on.

Wong said rabies in Sarawak was reportedly under control since the state government, the Veterinarian Department and police took action to curb the stray dog and cat population near residential premises in Kuching, Sibu, Kapit and Sarikei.

“But when you examine closely the situation now in Sibu, for example, there are still many stray dogs around market places, schools and residential areas.

“Unwanted cats and dogs dumped on the streets could still pose a danger to people, ” said Wong.

He said basic education was needed to teach people how to keep their pets healthy.

Wong and Shaw can be contacted at 016-894 1326 and 016-868 7671.

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