SEREMBAN: Animal rescue groups have been asked to assist local authorities here to trap and relocate stray dogs particularly in Malay majority areas to ensure the problem can be dealt with effectively.
In making the call, Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Aminuddin Harun said local councils should also abide by the standard operating procedures and be considerate with the canines during such operations.
"It is my hope that these non-governmental organisations can assist local councils as I too have experienced being chased by strays when on my way to perform subuh prayers at Masjid Negri on my motorcycle previously.
"There are people, including older ones, who have also been bitten or fallen off their bikes after being chased by these dogs.
"We must understand that Malays are not used to dogs and are terrified of them, especially when they attack in packs.
"So, when action is taken, we need to understand because there never seems to be an end to this issue. We need to be sensitive to one another's needs," he said when met after chairing the state exco meeting on Wednesday (June 7).
Aminuddin was asked to respond to a claim by an animal rescue group that the Seremban City Council (MBS) had euthanised some dogs in a residential area here even though they had a contract to use a trap-neuter-release method to control the canine population.
Furrykids Safehaven, which currently houses some 2,000 stray dogs at its shelter here, claimed MBS had previously decided against putting stray dogs to sleep.
A recording of the alleged operation has since gone viral. However, there was no visual of the canines being euthanised.
Repeatedly appealing to the people for their understanding, Aminuddin said the authorities have received many cases regarding strays and action was taken to relocate them.
"But after a week or two, you will see strays in the area again and this has become a perennial problem.
"The other problem is that we also have some owners abandoning their pets and this has worsened the situation," he said, adding that the local councils were then left to deal with the problem.
Aminuddin said when the authorities act, they did not do so out of their disdain for dogs.
He said dogs have helped save lives and the recent landslide incident in Batang Kali in Selangor was a fine example.
Aminuddin said his administration has also helped in the management of strays in the state by providing funds to trap and relocate them.
State housing, urban wellbeing, local government and new village committee chairman Teo Kok Seong, who was also present, said the operation was an isolated incident.
"We have set up a task force to deal only with aggressive dogs.
"However, the state government's stand remains clear that we will continue to handle this issue humanely," he said adding that although the priority was public safety, the councils would ensure the welfare of the animals was taken care of.