Friday, October 21, 2005
CRUELTY BY HUMANS.
Owner ‘tossed out dog’s food, water’
October 18, 2005.
"He wanted Sheena to die." These were the stinging words of the person who tipped off the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) on the neglect a German Shepherd had to endure for at least six months. Wishing to remain anonymous, she told the New Straits Times today the dog’s owner, Lien San Chong, had no compassion for the canine.
"He wanted Sheena to die, and this dog endured a long and horrible death.
"I fed her dog biscuits and gave fresh drinking water every day, but when the owner turned up every three to five days, he would just toss the food and water away," she said.
Lien was fined RM100 by a magistrate’s court yesterday after he pleaded guilty to neglecting seven-year-old Sheena. The dog was found abandoned at a house in Subang Jaya and her body was full of fleas.
When Veterinary Services Department officers went to the house on Aug 18, they put Sheena to sleep as she could not be saved.
Investigations showed that Lien left the dog behind when he moved house.
CRUEL DEATH: Sheena, after she was taken away by Veterinary Services Department enforcement officers from her home, in August.
The woman who reported the case to the SPCA said on Aug 17, she saw Lien emptying the dog’s food into a plastic bag and hanging it outside the house.
"At one point, the dog tried to stand up but it lost its balance, whimpering in pain and just lost consciousness," she said.
"I will never forget that sight of its owner just standing there looking and not doing anything. It still haunts me to this day."
She was outraged that Lien was fined only RM100 under the Animal Ordinance, which carries a maximum fine of RM200 or a maximum six months in jail, or both.
The woman also rapped the Selangor Veterinary Department for its indifference.
"I called at least three times and they never cared," she said. "It is a travesty that this dog had to die like this in a society like ours."
2,400 animal neglect cases reported annually
At least 2,400 cases of animal neglect are reported every year in Malaysia.
These statistics may be sobering but the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) believes they represent but a fraction of the abuse taking place.
There is also the problem of hauling the offenders to court. Many witnesses are prepared to report cases but are unwilling to give evidence.
Sabrina Yeap, a Selangor SPCA inspector, said the most common cases of neglect involved dogs being chained and exposed to the elements. Often the animals are also not given food and water.
Sabrina says many owners abandon the animals when they show signs of illness.
"The trend of animal neglect is increasing, and the onus is on good Samaritans out there to give us exact locations and help to be witnesses in court.
"We need the public to be more responsible and take up the baton of civic consciousness," she said.
She also felt that authorities had to buck up, in particular the Selangor Veterinary Department.
The SPCA will try to appeal against the RM100 fine which the magistrate’s court levied on Lien Chong San, the owner of the German Shepherd which suffered neglect for months before being put to sleep on Aug 18.
The public can call the SPCA at 03-42565312 or 03- 42535179 or email the details and pictures to firstname.lastname@example.org.