NGO aims to reduce stray dog population in Ipoh by 50%


Stray dogs seen at Gunung Rapat, Ipoh.

THE Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) hopes to see a 50% reduction in the stray dog population in several areas in Ipoh in three years.

The ISPCA now has a good network of volunteers and non-governmental organisations to help with its trap, neuter and release (TNR) programme, said its president Ricky Soong.

“For this programme, we are working with seven other animal welfare NGOs, 14 veterinary clinics and the Ipoh City Council.

“We also have about 200 volunteers, including community feeders and caregivers, to help with the neutering of the animals.

“Among the areas that we hope to reduce the number of stray dogs are at Klebang, First Garden, Bandar Seri Botani, Menglembu, Taman Ipoh Jaya and locations in the city centre.

“We estimate that we can neuter about 20 dogs daily,” he said, adding that with the opening of the “halfway home” for the animals in Simpang Pulai on May 17, the NGO had a proper place to manage the TNR programme.

StarMetro reported in February that the halfway home was being set up as a temporary shelter for stray dogs that were caught and neutered.

Soong says with the shelter and TNR programme in place, he hopes stray dogs would not be dumped near the Papan landfill.Soong says with the shelter and TNR programme in place, he hopes stray dogs would not be dumped near the Papan landfill.

Dogs would be placed at the shelter for 14 days before being released or rehomed.

He said about 60 dogs could be housed there.

Soong said all NGOs involved had come up with standard operating procedures for the TNR programme that had also been approved by the city council’s enforcement unit.

He said stray dogs would be evaluated.

“The docile ones will be released if they are not adopted.

“We will also limit the number of stray dogs that we release in an area and to ensure there are volunteers to look after them.”

“Dogs that are aggressive or sickly will be kept at shelters or released near some factories or farms,” he said, adding that the last resort would be to put them to sleep.

With the shelter and the TNR programme, Soong hoped stray dogs would not be abandoned near the Papan landfill.

“It is our aim to resolve the issue near the landfill. We will need time to sort out the process and operations.

“We also hope to get the support from the state government to handle the stray dog issue.”

ISPCA, he said, had met with state local government committee chairman Sandrea Ng a few months ago.

“We strongly believe that only by working with the state government can we see positive changes,” he said.

Ng said the number of strays was increasing despite the current TNR effort.

This, she said was due to the actions of irresponsible dog owners and manpower constraints of the enforcement agencies.

“We really need all stakeholders, including dog owners, dog lovers, feeders and government agencies to work together.

“I hope more concerned citizens can play their part in solving this issue.

“The state government is in the process of drafting an action plan to handle the stray dog issue consisting of short and long-term plans.”

Ng said the state had held discussions with several bodies and relevant agencies since early this year.

“I had a few sessions with animal welfare NGOs in the state.

“Several main issues were discussed, including tightening the licensing system. We have obtained the NGOs’ feedback and suggestions to tighten the licensing system to ensure it is practical and effective.

“The use of microchips was discussed, too, and we have also spoken about doing the TNR programme on a larger scale statewide.

“There have also been a few workshops conducted for government agencies, including the Local Government Department, local councils and the Veterinary Services Department.”

Ng said she was also getting NGOs to help set up more groups that would focus on TNR programmes at the community level.

“We will also organise awareness campaigns for the public and at schools to discuss modules drafted by NGOs.”

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stray dog , Ipoh , animal

   

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