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Abuse and Neglect: Who Should I Call? SPCA?

 


As I watch conversations both in the PetFinder.my Forum and on the social media pages of various animal welfare NGOs, I realise that there is a great deal of misunderstanding concerning the role that SPCA Selangor plays. I spoke with one of the staff in the SPCA Inspectorate division about what her group does and, equally important, what it does not do. Having a clearer understanding of who to call when you witness cases of animal abuse and neglect can only result in getting more rapid and effective help for the animal, so please do take a few minutes to read this.
 

  • My neighbour doesn’t care properly for his dog. What should I do?

Well, the best thing is really to talk directly with your neighbour, if possible. Express your interest and concern for the animal. Ask about what’s troubling you, or volunteer to help. Sometimes pet owners simply don’t know any better and are quite receptive to well-meaning advice.

If speaking cordially with the pet’s owner is not an option, you can file a report with the SPCA Inspectorate. They can send a staff member to investigate the situation and may make suggestions to your neighbour on how better to care for the dog, telling him that they’ll return in a certain time period to follow up on the animal’s well-being.
 

  • I just saw someone badly abusing a dog, or keeping a pet in horrific conditions, and I want someone to go rescue the animal as soon as possible!

SPCA does not have authority to confiscate pets, or to forcibly enter a property to free a trapped pet. Only the officials with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) can do those things. If you feel that an animal needs urgent attention or needs to be removed from the home as soon as possible, you should contact DVS directly. (See all contact details at the end of the article.) If the SPCA inspectors do visit a site and find that an animal is not kept well, they can either offer the owner suggestions for improvement, or in more severe cases, they can call DVS to intervene. That is the limit of SPCA’s authority.
 

  • My neighbour is neglecting his cat. Can you send someone to Kuala Terengganu, please?

No, unfortunately, the Selangor SPCA covers only in the Klang Valley, although they occasionally travel a bit farther in special cases.
 

  • Help! I just saw an injured dog near the highway. SPCA, can you send someone as soon as possible?

SPCA receives very many such requests every day. There are some important things to think about before you make a call like this. First, try to determine if the animal is still alive. If it has already died, it is the responsibility of the local council to remove the body. Next, is the animal able to move around, despite its injury? SPCA staffers have often gone to a location only to find that the terrified dog has run off and is no longer anywhere in sight. This is a waste of staff time and resources that could be helping other animals. If the dog is immobilised, however, they can bring it back to the SPCA clinic for evaluation. Please provide as much detail about the animal and its location as you can when calling SPCA to report an accident victim.  A photo of the animal is most helpful.
 

  • There are some stray dogs in my area, and I worry that they will come to harm. One of them just had puppies, and they’re really cute, but they’re at so much risk. Please come and save them!

This is quite possibly the greatest misconception of what the SPCA can and cannot do in the animal welfare arena. The SPCA shelter holds 160 dogs at the most, and the shelter is always filled to capacity. Every day people surrender pets that they no longer want. The adoption rate is about 20%. Look at these figures, and you see the tragic reality — SPCA has only two options:  Euthanise the animals that don’t get adopted after a long time, or refuse to accept any new animals when the shelter’s capacity is reached.

The sad but simple truth is that SPCA does not have either the space or the resources to trap, shelter and re-home strays – the staff is overwhelmed with the number of surrendered and abandoned pets. If you are able to foster the stray animals while looking for adopters, however, there are a couple of ways in which SPCA can help you:  They can send staff to help you catch the strays if you need it, and they can offer you discounted vaccination and spay/neuter services at Klinik Kembiri.

Like every NGO, SPCA Selangor has its range of services and its limitations. It does not have bottomless funding or shelter capacity, and it does not have any law enforcement authority. It does have deeply dedicated, caring and knowledgeable inspectors, and if we understand clearly what services they provide, we can work with them most effectively to benefit animals.
 

Contact Details:

SPCA Inspectorate:  Phone:  03.4256.5312 or 03.4253.5179 (9am-4pm daily)

You can also file an abuse/neglect report on-line by completing this form:  http://www.spca.org.my/v51/reportacase.php
 

Here is a very useful list of DVS contact details by state. Again, if you have an urgent case of abuse or neglect, or a case of animals trapped inside a property, or anything outside the Klang Valley, these are the authorities to call:

http://www.dvs.gov.my/negeri

 

 

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Amanda Coffin

Amanda is a long-time resident of Kuala Lumpur. She lives with two cats and is PetFinder.my's Forum Moderator. She also owns her own freelance writing and editing company, Stylus Inc.

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