Keeping stray dogs in check

By Loghun Kumaran
Ipoh Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals president Ricky Soong (left) showing the microchips that will be inserted into stray dogs that have been neutered or spayed. — Picture by Malay Mail

IPOH, March 11 — The Ipoh Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals will begin  microchipping dogs next month to control the population of strays.

The society plans to neuter or spay the dogs before inserting a microchip and releasing them to where they were found.

The device will indicate the animal’s neutered status as well as information about the dog and its caregiver — who could be individuals or non-governmental organisations.

Society president Ricky Soong said the programme was the first of its kind in Malaysia, adding that the system had also received the backing of the Ipoh City Council.

The system, he said, starts off as a six-month trial from April to October.

“We will have volunteers looking for strays in Ipoh. 

“But we urge animal lovers and animal welfare groups to bring in dogs as well. We aim to neuter and fix microchips on 500 dogs during this trial run.”

Soong said the microchips and neutering operations would be carried out by six veterinary clinics that had pledged their support to the programme. 

The clinics are Jean Veterinary Centre in Bandar Baru Medan, Ipoh East Veterinary Clinic in Ipoh Garden East, Ipoh Garden Animal Clinic, Pet Care Animal Clinic and Grooming Centre in Taman Perpaduan, Menglembu Animal Clinic, and Animal Republic Veterinary Clinic at Medan Bercham Bistari.

Soong said 10 microchip scanners used to detect the electronic devices will be distributed among the six clinics, council enforcement officers and volunteers.

“Once they are brought in to the veterinary clinics, we will be able to identify if they have already been neutered. The microchips can last for at least 20 years.”

Soong said the neutered dogs will be fixed with a collar, while part of their ears will be snipped.

“Normally there is no way of knowing if an animal had been neutered or not. It will make the job easier.

“At the moment, the city council can only catch stray dogs and release them at a landfill in nearby Papan. The microchip-assisted system is a more effective method to control the stray population.”

Soong said the society had spent RM20,000 on the system, including the purchase of the China-made scanners.

Ipoh city councillor Datuk Mohd Raduan Mohd Kasim, who represented the council at the press conference, said the council was prepared to operate the system if the ongoing trial run proved successful.

“The problem of stray dogs roaming around Ipoh is a big problem, and we will be monitoring the success of this programme,” he said.

“The dogs caught during our enforcement activities will also be handed over to the ISPCA to support their programme.

“This is a new system, and it could be adopted by other councils if it proves to be a success.”