Friday March 15, 2013
Trainer says K9 unit should not have euthanised the canines
PETALING JAYA: A professional dog trainer who had worked with the eight sniffer and detection dogs recently euthanised by the Fire and Rescue Department says the canines should have been spared.
The man who declined to be named said there was nothing wrong with the dogs other than mild age-related problems and declining ability.
“These dogs were still very active and energetic. It is sad that the department chose to end their lives,” he said.
He added that the three Labradors and five Springer Spaniels would have made good pets as they were highly-intelligent, very loving and friendly.
“The department could have re-homed the dogs,” said the trainer.
The incident came to light after the department's K9 Unit announced the euthanasia on its Facebook page and posted pictures of the dogs being put to sleep.
Its corporate management division assistant director-general Sobberi Basiran said the dogs were put down last week based on advice from veterinarians.
It is learnt that the department has 20 younger detection and sniffer dogs at the moment and the veterans were euthanised because they did not want to incur the additional cost of maintaining both batches.
The current batch is aged between one and five years old.
Canine welfare and advocacy project group Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better's Christine Low said we should emulate other countries like Singapore which puts-up K9 dogs for adoption once they are no longer able to serve as efficiently.
“What happened reflects on how dogs are viewed here,” she said.
AnimalCare Society founder Dr Chan Kah Yein said that the authorities should have given the dogs to no-kill shelters or hospices that use pet therapy.
However, MBPJ councillor Anthony Thanasayan who also chairs its Canine Advisory Team said that euthanasia was the right course of action.
“The dogs are not suitable for adoption as they have formed a bond with their trainers, who are the only ones able to care for them properly.
“If given up for adoption, there is no guarantee that they would be cared for, especially with their age and fragile health.
“Therefore, the dogs should only be adopted by their trainers.
“If that is not possible, euthanasia would be more humane,'' said Thanasayan, who is also president of the Malaysian Animal Assisted Therapy for the Disabled and Elderly Association.