A year ago when Spunk, the senior therapy dog and companion to an elderly woman was shot by MBI enforcement officers in Merdeka Gardens despite having a license, it raised such a huge hue and cry from animal loving NGOs near and far.
Besides the local NGOs of Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA), Noah’s Ark Ipoh and The Sanctuary Ipoh, SPCA Selangor and the Malaysian Animal-Assistant Therapy for Disabled and Elderly Association (Petpositive) converged at Ipoh City Hall.
The result of all that attention resulted in MBI Secretary Dato Hj Abdul Rahim bin Mohd Ariff declaring that “Shooting of dogs in Ipoh will be banned with immediate effect”.
Rahim also stated that it would form a sub committee and work very closely with the Veterinary Services Department and NGOs on how to handle stray dogs. Some of the measures proposed were to establish a pound for animals that were caught as well as the methods to be used to capture the animals.
Alas all that was declared did not materialize.
Almost a year later at 5.00 p.m. on September 27, Ms Malika, President of Noah’s Ark Ipoh (NAI) received a call from Prima Condominium about dog shooters requesting to enter the compound in search for a shot stray dog that entered its premises.
When the NAI team went to the condominium they found a trail of blood “all round the premises” but did not find the dog which led them to conclude that the dog would die a slow and painful death.
Throughout the year NAI had been receiving reports that MBI were still shooting dogs. However, NAI had always responded that MBI had stopped that practice.
Hence, when the security guard at the condo confirmed the dog shooters were in MBI uniform, NAI called a press conference the next morning to highlight that MBI had reneged on their commitment made a year earlier.
Malika added that NAI had requested for meetings with MBI several times earlier whenever their members reported about MBI still shooting dogs. However, each time the meeting was suddenly postponed.
Ipoh Mayor, Dato’ Roshidi Hashim at a press conference after the council’s monthly full board meeting acknowledged that his enforcement team had shot at the dog.”MBI had earlier received complaints that a dog was barking at nurses going off duty from a nearby hospital.” However, Roshidi explained that although it said that shooting would stop “it had an ‘option to shoot’ dogs as it is allowed to do so based on its local by-laws”.
Further inquiries with relevant MBI officials revealed that shooting dogs has been ongoing since as early as March this year. The official confirmed that it did send a team to study the enforcement methods applied in Selangor. Subsequently they did try the method, that is, to shoot the dogs with tranquilisers, but found it “not practical; the tranquiliser takes 10 minutes to take effect during which time the dog would scuttle and try to escape”.
Tranquilisers are only issued by the Department of Veternairy Services (DVS). When enquired, DVS acknowledged that they were involved but only during the early operations.
Regarding the setting up of a pound to hold caught animals, this too was not set up.
Meantime, Roshidi stated that MBI was planning to outsource this function and indicated it has “identified two potential companies that could undertake this work”. Roshidi did not indicate a timeline when this would happen.