No need for tug-of-war over dog that led to death of senior citizen, say rescuers, activists

KLANG: There was no need for Bentong Municipal Council (MPB) officers to get into the tug-of-war over a dog that led to the death of an 85-year-old man, say animal rights activists.

Rescuer Joanne Low said the incident, in which dog owner Law Sei Kiew died while grappling with the group, should not have happened at all.

ALSO READ: Elderly man dies saving pet from dog catchers

"If Law was found to have broken local council by-laws pertaining to dog ownership, he should have been compounded. There was no need to have a tug-of-war with him to forcibly remove his dog," she said.

Low called on the MPB to initiate action against the personnel involved in the struggle with Law on Wednesday (May 24).

Law collapsed and died after the MPB team caught his dog, which he had grown attached to since it was a puppy, according to a neighbour.

People's Legal Team founder Dinesh Muthal agreed that the MBP's dog-catchers should only be allowed to compound and not get physical with the public, and questioned MPB's silence on the matter.

Dinesh urged the authorities to take immediate action to prohibit dog-catchers from being rough with animal lovers, owners and rescuers.

He added that there was an incident involving a senior citizen and dog- catchers from the Petaling Jaya City Council (MBPJ) in March of this year.

ALSO READ: Cause of death for elderly man who died trying to save his dog was respiratory failure, say cops

In the March 22 incident, Patrick Khoo, 69, suffered bruises to his face in a scuffle with the MBPJ team members who looped and dragged some dogs that were under his care.

He was then charged in court in March with obstructing a public servant from discharging his duty. No action was imposed on the dog catchers.

ALSO READ: Clear guidelines on procedures needed, says Bentong MP after elderly man dies in dog catching incident

Meanwhile, former Department of Veterinary Services deputy director Dr Saravanakumar S. Pillai, said what had happened was uncalled for, even though local councils have the authority to catch dogs to exercise depopulation.

"Since this dog has an owner, the catchers should have used their common sense and when the elderly man said the dog was his, they should not have even attempted to remove it,’’ said Dr Saravanakumar.

He added that if Law was found to have breached any by-laws in regard to dog ownership, they should have advised him to rectify the matter and given him time to do so or issued him a compound on the spot.

"They should not have used force," he added.

In the incident that happened at 5pm on Wednesday, the MPB team had caught the mixed breed dog which was standing at Law’s gate with a long-poled noose.

Law is believed to have held on to the pole to resist the catchers when he collapsed, fell into a drain and died.

His family has declined to speak to the media and said it wanted to be left alone.

When contacted on Thursday, MPB's Public Health Department head Norizam Saad said the council had made a police report on the matter.

He declined to elaborate, saying he was attending a course and had not received full information about the incident.

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