Aug 7, 2004, 2:06 AM
Post #1 of 13
It seems that some local authorities are bent on giving dogs and dog owners a dog’s life, or else on sending dogs to the afterlife. Some time ago we read about the Majlis Bandaran Shah Alam paying private dog catchers, effectively heartless bounty hunters with RM signs in their eyes and no compassion for animals, the sum of RM 60 for every dog’s tail that they turned in. Quite likely more than a few innocent dogs died to line to pockets of these poor excuses for human beings.
Is this happening to you also?
There are many dogs in the country, and most townships have their own rule and regulations regarding licensing of these animals. These may differ widely from one place to another, and some people in positions of authority seem to take delight in devising intricate rules to the detriment of dogs and their owners. We once had the Majlis Bandaran Subang Jaya (MBSJ) requiring dog owners to obtain neighbours’ permissions when applying for dog licenses. This must have caused considerable consternation to dog owners whose neighbours are either unneighbourly (not everybody who live next door to each other are on intimate, palsy-walsy terms, mind you!) or are dog haters. This can cause quite a lot of problems and hardship to dog owners as these regulations and the ease of obtaining dog licenses vary considerably from city to city. In Penang, we can just talk up to a counter, pay RM 10 for each licence, and walk away with just about any number of license tags we want; while in Shah Alam, we have to go to the MBSA to apply for a licence which is not granted to the tenants of middle terrace houses. Presumably, the rationale, if any, for this is that middle terrace houses do not have the space to accommodate dogs, or that dogs in middle terrace houses are likely to disturb more neighbours.
This disparity in dog regulations causes problems for dog owners who relocate from once place to another. For example, a dog who moves with her owner from Subang Jaya to a middle terrace house in Shah Alam will not be granted a licence. Then what is the owner supposed to do? It is not easy to give away a dog, not many would want a second-hand dog anyway, and it is much,much worse to have to hand the poor hapless animal over to PAWS or SPCA or to have her put down – not if one is a genuine dog lover who feels for these innocent, loyal and beautiful creatures.
I am one of those who have been at the receiving end of the disparity of regulations regarding dogs. When my wife moved over from Penang to Kemuning, Shah Alam after our marriage, we brought her dogs over here. Within less than a month we had the people of MBSA on our heels, frequently coming to our street in small groups using one or at times even two vehicles as though some great felony had been committed. We were issued with a fine, and informed that our dogs were not licensed, thus we promptly applied to the MBSA for two licenses. After two and a half months, we are still awaiting a reply. A neighbour faced the same difficulty, and after not getting any news from the authorities, had to go to the MBSA office repeatedly. Surely, when an application has been received the authorities will act upon in rather than wait for the applicant to go to plead for an answer? Have they heeded our Prime Minister’s call to improve the civil service? To make things worse, some conditions are laid down by the MBSA for dogs owners, including vaccination certificates for dogs (quite unnecessary as any responsible dog owner who ensure that their pets are property immunized), having a kennel for the dog within the compound of the house (but my dogs won’t stay in a kennel; they prefer being indoors, upstairs if the opportunity avails, thank you!), and a “Beware of dog” signage outside the house (is that necessary even if you have a little lap dog? Beware then of the little poodle?). With all these hassles in mind, and the fact that we will very likely not get any response from MBSA anyway, is it any surprise that the vast majority of dog owners in Shah Alam do not bother to obtain licences for their dogs? It is not that we want to break the law, but because too many unreasonable conditions and obstacles have been imposed on dog ownership. The way the MBSA goes about it leaves a lot to be desired; whole posses of their personnel heading our way as though a drug bust is being conducted. Imagine how much tax payers’ money goes into these “raids”, while more pressing issues like pollution, the deplorable state of public amenities, incompetence of some civil servants, etc. are glossed over. In the process, otherwise law-abiding, responsible citizens are treated as though they are criminals who harbour illegal dogs; horrid, noise-making, dangerous, unclean animals that they are. We have been issued with warnings of fines, threats of stern action being taken against us, being asked for our identity cards, letters and words to the effect of “get rid of your dogs or see you in court”. All very well, MBSA, but I wish you would take the real felons, criminals, polluters, vandals and law-breakers to court; not the housewife who keeps a Cocker Spaniel in her terrace house, and not the law-abiding citizen who loves and cares for his mongrels.
(This post was edited by graceyeelim on Aug 7, 2004, 2:49 AM)