Thursday, April 15

Increasing number of stray animals a constant headache


KUCHING: Stray animals in towns and cities have always given rise to scores of problems for a long time.

One of the worst consequences of having too many strays on the loose is the frequent sight of their carcasses on our roads after they are hit and killed by vehicles.

Sometimes, their rotting carcasses can be left for days on end in clear public view before they get squashed into nauseating horrific messes.

Eventually the repugnant scraps would gradually disintegrate and dry up to remain only skins and fur and then disappear into thin air on their own.

Such a situation certainly should not be left to carry on, according to Padawan Municipal Council chairman Lo Khere Chiang.

He said these animals should not have become homeless in the first place as he believed they were once pets to their owners.

“Why do they become stray animals in the first place? I believe they were being ignored or dumped by their owners.

“Other reasons for the increasing number of stray animals include uncontrolled birth, which actually can be prevented if each of us has a sense of care, love and responsibility to our animals or our pets, to send them for neutering programme to control birth,” he said.

Among the places where homeless animals were often spotted, he added, are Third Mile Bazaar and Seventh Mile Bazaar.

Pointing out that stray cats would sometimes jump up on tables at eating outlets while stray dogs would urinate to establish their territories, with some often seen scavenging rubbish bins and creating a mess, Lo said this is an unpleasant sight and creates an unhygienic environment.

He revealed that the council is actually working together with the Sarawak Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) to collect stray animals and on the disposal (cremation) of carcasses as well as neutering programme.

He also said the council gave the society RM3,000 to the society for neutering programme and other activities.

As such, he encouraged owners to send their pets for neutering at the society which charges a very reasonable subsidised rate.

“I strongly encourage people to send their pets for neutering programme to avoid uncontrolled birth which eventually would lead to the increasing number of homeless animals.

“We as human beings must have the responsibility to protect and take care of animals because they too are living creatures,” he said.

Lo said last year, a total of 448 dog carcasses were collected from road sides, and 443 stray dogs were impounded while the council gave an average of RM2,000 a month to SSPCA last year for impounding stray dogs and disposal of carcasses.

From January to June this year, a total of 277 stray dogs were impounded while 311 dog carcasses were collected, he added.

On the amount spent monthly, he explained it would depend on the number of animals impounded and collected, saying in January this year alone, they had caught 81 stray dogs and gave RM3,075 to the society for their upkeep.

He said they often received calls from the public on dogs killed by moving vehicles, after which the council would immediately collect their carcasses and bury them at the roadside or send them to SSPCA for disposal if there are no open spaces available.