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Updates On 23rd May 2015

 


SPCA Penang – Press Release circulated to the media. Statement from the dog’s owners will be posted here on Monday. Download pdf file of press release here http://spca-penang.net/bigel.pdf – text is posted below:

23 May 2015

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

MEDIA STATEMENT: BIGEL

Background

From 13 to 19 May 2015, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) Penang received numerous calls from a family in Batu Kawan. The caller sought the advice of the Society with regards to their pet dog Bigel. The Society advised that Bigel should be sent to a vet for treatment, and euthanasia should only be a last resort. The family finally called the Society on 20 May 2015 at 1:30 P.M. requesting for transportation services, which the Society performed on the morning of 21 May 2015. A service fee of RM200.00 was charged to the family; the animal was removed from the familys home and subsequently transported directly to a veterinary clinic. The fee covers the cost of transportation, toll charges, removal, and veterinary services for euthanasia. Bigel was never sent to, nor surrendered to, SPCA Penang and was not euthanised by our employees.

A relation of Bigels owner contacted the Society to express interest in adopting Bigel. Our staff explained that this was not possible as the animal was never admitted to our shelter for adoption. Furthermore, it is not the Societys position to simply handover someones pet to a third party; especially in this case where the owner had made the difficult decision to have the animal put to sleep.

Another call was received from a Miss Puspa Rani who introduced herself as a member of an NGO, also wishing to adopt Bigel. Our staff explained the same to her as well as highlighted that the decision ultimately lies with the owner. The call was cut short and Puspa Rani made another call, in which she had misinterpreted what was informed to her by our staff.

Puspa Rani proceeded to publish a poster on her Facebook page, accusing the Society and our staff of euthanising Bigel, not allowing the animal to be adopted, and demanding RM1,000,000 for the dog. The Society wishes to express that none of these claims bear any truth whatsoever.

Investigations on alleged cruelty

The Society has conducted investigations on complaints on alleged cruelty towards Bigel. Our ambulance team observed that the dog had sustained injuries from fighting with other animals; the surrounding area of the familys home had at least six to seven dogs roaming about at the time Bigel was picked up. Our staff also noted that Bigel was severely aggressive and has a history of biting family members. The dogs aggression prevented the family from seeking medical treatment for its wounds. With the exception of this neglect, the Society found no evidence of animal cruelty.

Enquiry on alleged misconduct by SPCA staff

The Society has investigated on the alleged misconduct of our employees. In this case, our staff have been reminded to ensure that all calls from the public are handled appropriately, given the nature of our work and mission which causes emotional distress amongst most parties. We apologise if there had been a misunderstanding.

On interference by other NGOs in SPCAs operations

The Society wishes to reiterate that it is not a no-kill shelter and has never claimed to be. As much as the Society wishes to embrace the no-kill concept, it is unfortunately not a realistic and viable option for the time being. Our objective remains to educate the public on responsible pet ownership. Chargeable animal ambulance and transportation services are part and parcel of what we offer to the public in order to help with the sustainability of our shelters operation. We respect the objectives and efforts of other animal welfare organisations; and are open to working together for a common cause. Therefore, we hope that these organisations do not interfere in our work.

The publication of Puspa Ranis poster which bears the logo of Malaysia Independent Animal Rescuers (MIAR) has resulted in very emotional responses from netizens. Many have accused the Society of cruelty, and some have gone to such extremes as bullying and threatening our employee who in this case was merely performing her duty of answering phone calls.

The Society is in the process of lodging a report to the Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC / SKMM) against Puspa Rani / MIAR for the dissemination of false and exaggerated information resulting in social distress. We urge those responsible for the dissemination to retract the publication. The Society will also be making a police report for the threats our staff had received as a result of the poster. The family involved in this case (i.e. the owners of the dog) will be releasing a statement on 25 May 2015.

oooOooo

ISSUED BY THE SOCIETY FOR THE PREVENTION OF CRUELTY TO ANIMALS (SPCA) PENANG

For Media related queries, kindly contact 04-281 6559 or e-mail info@spca-penang.net

About the SPCA Penang

The SPCA formerly known as RSPCA was founded in 1948. It is a non-profit, community based organisation. Despite our heavy overhead costs and low public financial support and with no State aid we have been functioning against all odds. It is solely dependent on public support and the objectives of the Society are to prevent cruelty to animals and to promote kindness by fostering an intelligent public interest regarding Mans duty to animals. The Societys work is not purely destructive. SPCAs services include patrolling the State investigating complaints of cruelty and neglect, visiting markets, pet shops, eating stalls and all areas where animals may be at risk; collect unwanted animals for new homes; provide transport to pet owners who find difficulty in sending their pets to the veterinary clinic for treatment; place great emphasis on the need to guide and educate pet owners; and provide treatment to sick and injured animals at its clinic.


 

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SPCA Penang

SPCA Penang's main objectives are to prevent the unnecessary suffering of animals and to ensure responsible pet ownership. Hence the Society acts to prevent cruelty to animals and promotes kindness towards them by fostering an intelligent public interest regarding Man's duty animals.

Though the Society is sometimes compelled to put down an animal, our work covers a much more wider scope of rescuing, rehabilitating, healing and re-homing the animals.

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