Just found out that my article was published in Malaysia Kini. Didn't expect them to publish it when I sent it in. It was also published in the Star's Citizen's Blog and the Malay Mail (although it was edited quite significantly). So once again I am appealing to everyone to help make a difference for our furry friends. If you feel you can't actively make a difference through rescue or adoption work, then at least write in to the media... every little bit counts!
I was walking Cleo as usual in the morning yesterday - we had to stop a million times to say hello to all her doggie friends that walk along the same track as usual - when we met a new Labrador.
The owner was running with the dog and the dog was just so happy to be with her. We stopped and the two of them said their hellos and then we carried on. I noticed however that the Labrador looked rather old and worn out. And he had lots of chaff marks on his legs and neck. My initial assumption was that he was probably very old.
Then we ran into each other again on our second lap of the track and this time we stopped to chat. The owner was a very nice lady, though I didn' get her name - all of us dog mad people seem to be more concerned with knowing the names of the dogs only. I then found out that she had only recently obtained Wallace (her lab). She had rescued him from a neighbour who actually just left the dog in his very small cage when they moved house.
Apparently this dog has been living in that cage with hardly any room to move for 2 whole years - from when they got him as a puppy. He was only let out for short period of times to go to the toilet. And these people just abandoned him when they decided to move. They left him in the cage with no food or water.
She managed to get into the compound and get the dog out after a few days when she realised that he had been abandoned. Wallace could not walk because his muscles were not developed from being in the cage his entire life. She has had to slowly build him up by feeding him a special diet and also by exercising him a little bit at a time.
He is now doing very well, although he looks 5x his age... He's only 2 and half years old.
How can people be so cruel? I just don't understand it!!!
I really hope that our society will progress and become more aware of animal rights. Owning a pet, be it a dog or cat, is a serious commitment. You must ensure that you can provide your pet with all that it needs, and by this I don't just mean food. Your pet needs companionship, exercise and adequate veterinarian care!
I would like to appeal to everyone to please think carefully before getting a pet. It's a lifelong commitment! If you can't treat your pet right, then don't get one!
I would also like to appeal to the government to impose stricter rules and harsher penalties towards all those who are cruel to animals. The current penalty is a mere slap on the wrist! I think that a minimum jail term of 5 years should be imposed on those who are guilty of mistreating animals. A fine just won't do the job!
And to all of you out there reading this, please help make a difference. You can make a difference by writing to the newspapers, and to various organisations. Send your letters to:
Prime Minister Y.A.B. Dato' Seri Abdullah bin Haji Ahmad Badawi
Prime Minister’s Office Malaysia
The Malay Mail and Weekend Mail News
Hotline e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Star Newspaper
New Straits Times
WSPA-World Society for the Protection of Animals
Your voice counts, and together we can make a difference!!!