Animal torture chamber
By Darshini Kandasamy
February 05, 2009
Barbaric. There is no other way to describe the inhumane manner in which, if found to be true, animals were allegedly put down at a local council-run animal pound in Setapak: cats were drowned and dogs strangled.
Malay Mail was alerted to the alleged monstrosity taking place at the Kuala Lumpur City Hall pound, located at Air Panas, by a member of the public. She claimed to have seen council staff dunking cats in water to drown them and dogs being strangled to death.
She was present at the premises as she had brought her pet to the neutering clinic of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) which operates within the City Hall premises.
Checks with SPCA yesterday revealed the organisation did indeed receive the same complaint on cruelty on Jan 24 and stated they were in touch with the complainant to gather more details of the alleged incident.
It was also learnt that SPCA received a similar report by someone claiming to have seen a dog being strangled at the premises last November.
In the latest report received by the non-govermental organisation, the complainant claimed that the incident happened before 8am while she was waiting for the clinic to open at 9am.
SPCA stressed the incident in question did not involve any of its staff and that although based within the City Hall premises they were a separate entity.
"Ours is a dedicated, low-cost, highly subsidised neutering clinic set up by SPCA with the support of City Hall as a long-term, cost-effective and humane solution to the growing stray population crisis.
"The City Hall Dog Pound is where the dog (and cats) caught by the council are housed temporarily, before being claimed by their owners or euthanised by council staff," said SPCA public relations and marketing department assistant manager Jacinta Johnson.
Jacinta said SPCA had since written an official letter to City Hall’s health director asking for an explanation over both incidents and was in the midst of investigating the case.
She said all councils have been supplied with the Department of Veterinary Services’
"Guidelines on catching and exterminating stray dogs (2008)" yet SPCA continued to receive reports from members of the public on inhumane practices by local councils.
KL Mayor outraged
Kuala Lumpur Mayor Datuk Ahmad Fuad Ismail was outraged and vowed to investigate the matter thoroughly.
He said a life, even that of an animal, must be respected and the strangling and drowning of dogs and cats was not the way to euthanise them.
“If true, that would be very cruel and City Hall is taking a serious view of the matter. Even for a prisoner on death row, we cannot simply strangle him as there are guidelines to follow. “