Seremban Hospital denies killing stray dogs, says it’s only catching them

One of the captured dogs kept in a cage under the hot sun. (Facebook pic)

PETALING JAYA: The Tuanku Jaafar Hospital in Seremban has denied claims on social media that its management and medical solutions provider Medivest Sdn Bhd had killed and poisoned stray dogs on its premises.

In a statement today, hospital director Dr Jazari Jamaluddin said the management, through Medivest, only caught the canines, who he said had been a nuisance, using the standard protocol for catching stray dogs.

Jazari said this followed complaints from staff, patients and visitors to the hospital about the stray dogs, which he said often posed a security and health threat.

He said these dogs often chased and bit strangers. He also said if the strays were not vaccinated, they could bring about parasites, viruses and bacterial infections to humans.

Last year, there were 93 cases of dog bites. As of May this year, there had been nine such cases, he added.

So the hospital management decided they would, through Medivest, start catching the dogs, following the standard operating procedures (SOP) set by the housing and local government ministry.

In the SOP, stray dogs can be caught in a few ways. They include using a rope that will not harm the dog, using a bait and cage to attract the dog, or a net.

A tranquiliser gun can also be used but only if the police and Veterinary Services Department give the green light. Those who use this on the dogs must do this in a prudent fashion, the SOP states.

On May 16, at 9.30pm, Medivest carried out the operation by using the bait catching technique stipulated in the SOP.

The dogs were waiting to be transferred to the local council but an NGO intervened, Jazari said.

“The FurryKids Safe Haven NGO stopped Medivest and opened the cages of the dogs by force. They took away these strays,” he said.

“We want to stress that statements that have gone viral on social media that Medivest has killed and poisoned these wild dogs is not true,” he added.

A hospital worker, who didn’t want to be named, told FMT the caged dogs were placed in the hot sun without any food or drink. She claimed she saw one dog kept like this for two days and one night.

“These dogs would have died after being tortured like this,” she said.

“All I could do is give them food ‘curi-curi’.”

On Facebook, netizens were just as alarmed, with one “Fied Fied” sharing pictures of the caged dogs and claiming that the hospital management had hired private dog catchers to kill all stray dogs in the vicinity.

She also referred to a case of one such dog being dragged for 500m. She said the dog was badly injured, but was not given any food or water.

“Is this what humanity is all about? Or is this how the new administration of the country is going to act?” she asked.

She also reminded the hospital management that a doctor’s oath is to save all lives and this included animals as well.