KUALA LUMPUR: A Malaysian lawmaker has urged authorities to draw up clear guidelines when it comes to dog-catching operations in order to prevent untoward incidents in the future.
Bentong Member of Parliament (MP) Young Syefura Othman said this following the case of an 85-year-old man who allegedly collapsed and died while trying to protect his pet dog from being captured by dog catchers from the Bentong Municipal Council.
“The Ministry of Local Government Development and the local councils in the country need to issue clear guidelines and procedures when it comes to stray dog-catching operations as soon as possible.
“This is to prevent unwanted incidents such as disagreements that can lead to serious incidents and scuffles between the council’s enforcement officers and residents or individuals who feed the stray dogs,” Mdm Young Syefura said in a statement after visiting the family of the deceased on Thursday (May 25).
According to a report by The Star, Mr Law Sei Kiew, 85, had collapsed and then fell into a drain while tussling with an enforcement officer outside his home in Taman Saga, which is located in Bentong, Pahang on May 24.
The man’s seven-year-old mixed breed dog had allegedly come out of its owner’s compound when a group of council dog catchers visited the housing estate.
A neighbour reportedly told The Star that the canine came out when the dog catchers went near the gate of the house.
According to the report, Law was pronounced dead by the paramedics who had tried to revive him.
Canine welfare project Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) director Irene Low told CNA that local councils must stop treating dog owners and rescuers like enemies.
“Things have gone terribly out of control with the elderly gentleman’s demise and it’s time the relevant authorities relook at all dog-catching activities,” she said.
Ms Low said she could not understand why the council’s dog catchers had to grapple with the elderly man to forcibly remove his pet dog.
This is not the first time that dog-catching operations have made news in Malaysia.
In March, a video of a 69-year-old man who was in an altercation with members of the Petaling Jaya City Council during an operation to catch stray dogs went viral.
According to media reports, the man had tried to protect a pack of stray dogs from local council officers by letting them into his premises.
Patrick Khoo was eventually charged with obstructing public servants from discharging their duties.
He pleaded not guilty to the charge which carries a maximum sentence of a two-year jail term or a maximum fine of RM10,000 (US$2,200).