Stop the shooting
There is an urgent need for a Bill to protect animals.
THE senseless and cruel shooting of a therapy dog in Ipoh recently was a big setback for Petpositive, an animalassisted therapy organisation for the disabled and elderly.
The canine, Spunk, was shot dead by the local council (MBI). Spunk belonged to a 75year-old retired teacher living in Taman Merdeka.
The courageous canine lived up to his name in every way. For 10 years, Spunk served as a faithful watchdog and kept his owner company after her husband passed away. Before anyone – or anything, for that matter – could even approach the front gate, Spunk was already there. This kept his owner safe and secure, especially during the night.
Spunk was also the elderly woman’s best defence against loneliness. He provided her with the motivation to exercise as she had to take him for his daily walks.
From what I heard from the owner, Spunk was also very popular with the neighbours. They all loved him.
In spite of her age, Spunk’s owner was a responsible pet owner. She would always bring along tissues to pick up her dog’s poo whenever they were out for walks.
However, on the morning of Oct 30, she forgot the tissues and went back into the house to get them, leaving Spunk at the gate.
Unfortunately, at that time the dog-shooters were doing their rounds. Seeing their vehicle, Spunk panicked and fled for his life.
Instead of exercising discretion in the situation, they hunted down the dog and shot him in cold blood. They showed no mercy even though Spunk had a valid dog licence around his neck.
His death made a mockery of the laws of the land which required that pet dogs be registered.
To make matters worse, the MBI quickly carted off the carcass before Spunk’s owner could see him. All that was left were traces of her best buddy’s blood splattered on the road.
Does the MBI realise what they have done? Not only have they robbed an elderly person of a friend and companion, but by carting the animal away without allowing her to see it, they have also denied her the chance to properly grieve over the loss of her dog.
Now she is left alone in an empty house filled with memories of Spunk.
And to think that we consider ourselves far superior to other living things.
Even animals in the wild take time to grieve over a loss at the risk of being consumed by predators in the process.
This brings me to the second incident: the passing away of Dusty, one of the few service dogs in the country.
Dusty passed away on Nov 6, and was buried in the compound of his home in a centre for the disabled where he had served for the past 10 years.
The Golden Retriever was a source of joy and inspiration to the residents at the centre.
“Dusty was trained to seek help from our neighbours in times of emergency,” said one of the residents at the centre.
Last week, a group of animal rights activists – including the disabled in wheelchairs – met up with Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin in Putrajaya.
Following the meeting, the DG agreed to an immediate ban on dog-shooting in the country.
A protem Animal Welfare Council will be convened next Thursday. It will be chaired by Dr Abdul Aziz, who had mooted the idea.
The council will cover all aspects of animal welfare. Its main agenda is to push for the first-ever Animal Welfare Bill to protect all animals.