Saturday March 16, 2013
Each sniffer dog cost RM100,000, says officer
PETALING JAYA: A Fire and Rescue Department officer disclosed that each of the eight sniffer and detection dogs which were euthanised cost about RM100,000 each.
The officer who declined to be named said the department acquired the dogs from Britain when they were about two years old.
“There were 12 dogs in total and four died while in service,” he said.
The officer revealed that the eight dogs were suitable to be put up for adoption as they were very friendly and well socialised.
“These dogs are not like the police dogs which are trained to attack. Our dogs do not require retraining before being re-homed upon retirement,” said the officer.
He added that the onus was on the head of the K9 unit or the chief trainer to recommend adoption as opposed to euthanasia.
The department's corporate management division assistant director-general Sobberi Basiran had said the dogs were put down last week based on advice from the K9 unit's panel of veterinarians from the Veterinary Services Department.
A department insider said the dogs were taken to a facility in Ipoh for the euthanasia as opposed to the regular panel veterinary clinic in Cheras.
Canine welfare and advocacy project Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) rescue coordinator Irene Low asked if the veterinarians who had recommended euthanasia might have made a wrong call.
“If the dogs can be put up for adoption, why recommend ending their lives?” asked Low.
Veterinary Services Department director-general Datuk Dr Abdul Aziz Jamaluddin said he would find out the basis of the recommendation to euthanise the dogs.
Animal-assisted therapy organisation Dr Dog Malaysia's coordinator Salehin Ibrahim said the euthanised K9 dogs would have made ideal therapy dogs.