Animals can learn, but it is not by learning that they become dogs, cats, or horses. Only man has to learn to become what he is supposed to be. - Eric Hoffer
Who was she?
Born seven years ago, Sheena was a beautiful German Shepherd who died in August this year. The hope and happiness of a puppy were dashed when Sheena ended up in the hands of a cruel owner.
The photo above is of Sheena in the last days of her life. This photo splashed across the national newspapers with her ribs sticking out and stomache bloated sitting by her rusty bowl of contaminated water broke hearts all across the country. Her owner, an engineer from Subang Jaya had kept her tied up and starving.
Based on the post-mortem report, Sheena was infected with ticks. She also suffered brittle bones due to malnutrition from young and the malfunction of all her major organs causing water retention which resulted in a bloated abdomen, empty bladder and stomach.
According to newspaper reports, a neighbour had trice telephoned the Selangor Veterinary Department, but nobody went to save the dog. Finally, she called the SPCA and they rushed to the scene to find her still tied and sleeping in her own faeces.
The rescue came too late. Sheena had to be put down on August 18, 2005. The post-mortem revealed that she had suffered neglect for years.
Ironically, it is likely that Sheena, the very same dog starved by her owner, would still lick his hand today if she were alive.
Reports that came in just days after Sheena’s story broke
Soon after Sheena’s ordeal was highlighted in the Press, the Star carried on its front page, the story of a Malayan Tiger that was butchered into four pieces. The perpetrator was apprehended and brought before the court, but set free after he paid a RM7,000 fine. The parts could easily fetch much more on the market than the fine he had paid.
And only days later, another story appeared in the Star of a breeder who kept his cats in such deplorable conditions that even the published photographs of one cat did not look like a cat at all.
Why we should remember her?
Sheena stands for all the abused and neglected pets in Malaysia. The 21st century has seen an increase in reported abuse of domestic animals. Many of these pets are returned to their owners after the case is investigated, and prosecution takes place. The Animal Ordinance 1953 has a maximum of RM200 fine and/or 6 months imprisonment as penalty for abusing an animal. In Sheena’s case, her owner admitted guilt, and was fined RM100, not even a quarter of the price of a German Shepherd puppy, and definitely not even close to the price of her precious life. Sheena must be remembered, so that other animals won’t suffer.
For every animal SPCA rescues, there are many more out there who are still waiting to see the light of day. The only way forward now is to educate people on how to treat animals.
Please do not think that this cruelty will end with the animals. When we allow an environment which is conducive for abusive pet owners to breed, we can rest assured there will be other social problems that will arise along with animal cruelty.
So please help us give a voice to the voiceless.
Please support our Remembering Sheena Campaign. In addition to signing the petition forms to amend the laws in Malaysia for harsher penalties on irresponsible animal care at www.spca.org.my, PLEASE DOWNLOAD THE FORMS AND COLLECT THE SIGNATURES MANUALLY. THEN HAND IN YOUR FORMS PERSONALLY AT OUR SPECIAL RALLY AT SPCA SELANGOR AT JALAN KERJA AYER LAMA, 68000 AMPANG JAYA, SELANGOR (NEXT TO THE INTERNATIONAL SCHOOL KUALA LUMPUR) ON SATURDAY, JANUARY 21, 2006 AT 4:00 PM
You may follow the trail of this campaign by clicking this link below:remembersheena.blogspot.com.
Contact friends of Sheena at: firstname.lastname@example.org