When I was 12, I had a dog named Blacky that I absolutely adored. She had a jet black coat of short fur, pointed ears, lean tone muscles and snow white feet. I fed and sheltered her despite protests from my mum who feared dogs. I remember stealing slices of ham and chunks of chicken from the fridge to feed her as often as I could.
I even brought Blacky on my daily evening runs where we would terrorize the neighborhood cats. We worked out this system whereby I'd spot the slunking cats then pointing in that direction I'd shout: " GO GO GO GO!!" Blacky would then start barking and charging enthusiastically in the direction I was pointing regardless if she saw a cat or not.
The poor innocent cat seeing a crazy barking dog charging in it's direction will flee trying to escape revealing it's position. This is the moment Blacky would be waiting for. She would run even faster chasing after the cat and nipping it at its heels. The cat would be chased up a tree or somewhere inaccessible then Blacky would come trotting proudly back to me with her head held high, tail wagging so fast she looked like she had 9 tails. These were the moments she lived for.
Unfortunately, on days I couldn't bring her cat chasing, she would become restless, chasing anything or anyone passing my house. This posed a threat and danger to the public so long story short, my dog was shot by the Malacca City Council in front of my eyes. I was devastated by the death of my dog and hated dog-catchers passionately!
|The scene of my dog being shot replayed in my head for many years|
The year 3 medical cadets of UPNM recently started our Community Medicine posting. My group was attached to the Pest Control Department of Kuala Lumpur City Council. One of the many jobs of the Pest Control Department is dog-catching. Thus, we tagged along a team of dog-catchers to round up stray dog in Kuala Lumpur area.
The Kuala Lumpur City Council uses the looping method to catch dogs. A few men armed with long iron poles that has a loop of rope at one end will corner the dog and try to loop the dog around the neck. It is like a lasso but with a iron pole instead.
Driving around Kuala Lumpur in vans, the dog-catchers start their hunt for dogs.
Once a group of stray dogs is spotted, the hunt begins! The dog-catchers will alight the van at different locations surrounding the dogs. Once everybody is in position, they will then systematically close in and capture the dogs. At least that is what the plan is..
The stray dogs are no fools I can tell you that. Throughout the years, they have learn to look out for the coming of the dog-catchers. I don't know if they memorised the smells of the dog-catchers or they watch out for men carrying sticks or maybe they recognise the van's engine frequency. But once a dog spots these dog-catchers, a long howl is heard: "AAAWOOOOOOOO!" And as if that was the warning call, all the dogs would suddenly start running in all direction.
The dog-catchers will then choose one dog and chase after it. If the dog is lucky, it gets away. Else the poor thing would be caught and compounded.
But with so many men chasing down one dog, capture is most of the time inevitable.
After 3 days, if no one adopts the dog, the dog will be put down in the most humane way possible that ensures the dog dies without any suffering.
|Death by lethal injection|
The carcass will then be incinerated with temperatures of 850˚C leaving only ashes to be buried.
Most of the captured dogs won't be reclaimed and will eventually face death and I think the dogs realise it too. You can see it in the way the dogs react when people approach their cage.
Some look at you with the most adorable eyes, pleading to be adopted!
Some start barking and howling: "Let me ooouuut"!!
Others snap and snarl, determine not to beg for mercy and would rather die with pride.
But there are some that will undergo transformation as people approach their cage. They literally transform to a devil, eyes flashing green, teeth bared and hackles all raised up. The message is clear: If I'm going to die, you are going to die too.
I know it looks cruel killing all these stray dogs, I too initially thought so. How dare these bloody bastards kill my dog?!!
According to World Health Organisation (WHO), the definition of health is the state of complete physical, social and mental well-being and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.
These uncared and uncontrolled stray dogs cause lots of social problem. Damaging property, threatening safety of the public and can even spread diseases. These stray dogs make people anxious and worried all the time and even cause many a sleepiness nights due to the barking.
Therefore, to ensure a city is clean, healthy and suitable for human habitation, you now see why rounding up all these stray dogs are essential?
If and only if the definition of health included political well-being.... rounding up corrupted politicians would have been so much more satisfying.