PETALING JAYA: Three animal rights activists have expressed outrage over the killing of a pet dog belonging to a resident in Kuala Pilah by local council officers after they rescued it.
The pet dog, belonging to clerk Lily Devan, was put to sleep immediately after Kuala Pilah district council officers rescued it after it was trapped in a drain.
This was despite the pleadings of the owner, who said she had lost the dog’s licence.
Wani Muthiah, founder of Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB), said that if an owner had lost a dog’s licence, the records would still be with the council.
“What the council workers should have done was return the dog to the owner and issue a compound notice to produce the licence,” she said, adding that the owner could then have obtained a copy of the licence from the local council.
“The council can charge the owner for the replacement licence and cost of pulling the dog out of the drain.
“Alternatively, the workers can take the dog back with them and ask the owner to come and claim it from the pound,” she said.
Wani explained that if a dog had no licence, the council could have issued a compound notice to the owner.
“They can give the owner the dog but make the person apply for a licence.”
She also said she was surprised the Fire and Rescue Department had been unable to come rescue the dog from the drain when they were called.
“They have all the right equipment to do so. Did they take a discriminatory stand in this case just because it was a dog?”
Wani also wanted to know why it was necessary to euthanise the dog on the spot.
“Is it because of a bias towards dogs? Is it because they have no pound or a holding place?
“Councils cannot euthanise on the spot even if the dogs are homeless strays. They must be kept for a week, according to local council standard operating procedures (SOP).”
Wani also said it was strange how someone’s pet dog could end up trapped in a drain for five days without anyone noticing or doing anything to rescue it earlier.
Lily, who works at the Negeri Sembilan Matriculation College, explained that her mother had informed her of her pet’s plight while she was away in Johor Bahru.
She said the 11-month-old dog, named Baby, was said to have been stuck in the drain for five days.
Only qualified vets can euthanise animals
Another animal rights activist, Edward Lim, who is the shelter manager for Paws Animal Welfare Society here, also expressed horror over the incident.
“Why did this officer put down the dog when the owner and her family were there and pleading with them not to? Why did they behave in that manner?
“Is he a qualified vet? If he is not a qualified vet, then he is breaking the law,” Lim said of the officer who euthanised the dog on the spot.
“It’s useless to have so many laws if no action is taken about this incident,” Lim added.
Lawyer and Padang Serai MP N Surendran, who is also president of the Malaysian Animal Rights Society, said there was no justification for this kind of brutality.
“There have also been other instances of such kinds of brutal action by the local authorities.
“There must be an inquiry by the council and stern action taken against the culprits.
“Further, the police must also investigate. There may be an offence of mischief committed under section 428 of the Penal Code.”
Surendran said the officers involved in the incident must be suspended as there should be no compromise when it comes to animal cruelty and needless killings.