KUCHING: Sarawak government has agreed to support Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SSPCA) in the plan to establish a low-cost spay and neuter clinic that could provide subsidised spay and neuter services.
“We submitted our proposal last year and we had a meeting last week to establish a low-cost spay and neuter clinic that could provide subsidised spay and neuter services to companion animals belonging to (people of) lower income group and free-roaming street cats and dogs brought in by registered community animal feeders,” said SSPCA president Datin Dona Drury-Wee.
Dona told The Borneo Post that the clinic will provide neutering services for pets and strays to reduce the dumping of unwanted litters and to reduce the increasing number of free-roaming strays.
“We are targeting to spay and neuter 70 per cent of the free-roaming strays and registered pets from low income group,” she said.
The service will be offered strictly for the low income group and rescued animals, and will not be a conflict with private veterinary services.
The market price to neuter a cat ranges from RM90 for male up to RM180 for female while to neuter a dog costs around RM200 for male and RM400 for female.
Dona said they have proposed an unused government quarters as the best suited location as it is single-storey without any steps at the entrance.
“ It also seems to have ample space and quarters to house visiting volunteer vets. This house is at Bampfylde Road. It also seems to be in fairly good condition which would reduce any money needed for major repair works,” she said.
Dona said Deputy Chief Minister Datuk Amar Douglas Uggah Embas has indicated that he will support this request for a government quarters to be turned into the low-cost clinic.
“This would be a joint project between SSPCA and the Sarawak Government through the Department of Veterinary Services as SSPCA would not be able to bear the costs of such a clinic. SSPCA will endeavour to seek international donations for some equipment and the services of volunteer vets both locally and internationally.
“SSPCA will formulate a system of vetting the animals brought in so as to ensure that local private veterinary practices are not deprived of any income through the neutering of purebred animals, which will not be allowed at the clinic unless they were rescued off the streets. Details will be ironed out with the relevant parties once the premises for the low cost clinic has been secured,” she explained.
Dona said veterinary surgeons and volunteers could be scheduled to travel throughout Sarawak as and when requested to assist with spay-neuter programmes.
“All neutered and spayed animals to be visibly tagged and microchipped,” she suggested.
The costs for setting up three surgical units and mid-range equipment are estimated at RM45,000 but this does not including renovation costs, which would depend on the condition of premises allocated for the clinic.
Dona said the additional benefits of this programme for the public and the animals themselves are neutering male dogs reduces potentially aggressive incidents both to other dogs and to humans as it has a marked effect on behaviour.
“Spaying eliminates the incidences of reproductive system diseases and certain cancers in stray animals,” she said.
Dona stressed that a properly-implemented Capture-Neuter-Vaccinate-Release (CNVR) programme is a proactive and humane method of controlling the stray population, unlike capturing and euthanising the animals which is generally unacceptable to the sensitive public.
Meanwhile, Uggah confirmed they have received the proposal from SSPCA.
“We are looking at the locality now, we support their programme, the state government will support their programme. We received their proposal for the proposed site. We are studying the site now, that is all I can say for the time being,” he said, adding that they are working with SSPCA and other NGOs to look for long-term solutions to animal birth control that have led to litters and strays, and spread of rabies.