Petpositive president: ‘Ban the owners, not the dogs’

The plan to launch a guidebook on banned and restricted dogs by the Department of Veterinary Services has been criticised today by Petpositive president Anthony Thanasayan.

Thanasayan, who is also a Petaling Jaya councillor, said that the book reeks of ignorance and that irresponsible pet owners are the ones who should be banned for their actions.

“A dog is like a knife, you can use it to protect yourself or you can use it to hurt another person. Its behavior depends on how the owner trains it,” he told Komunitikini today.

However, Thanasayan conceded that the Department of Veterinary Services has good reasons to implement bans and restrictions.

“Instead of books such as these, councils can issue guidebooks to new pet owners on how to take care of their pets. And I’m not only talking about causing disturbance to neighbors, by this I also mean how the pet should be cared for,” he said.

“The owners are the ones giving the dogs a bad name,” he added.

Thanasayan was referring to a recent incident in Penang where a 16-month German Shepherd reportedly attacked a woman and her Shi Tzu dog in Simpang Ampat.

The dog is now placed at the state veterinary services’ quarantine at Bukit Mertajam, where it will be under observation for ten days.

Anthony also emphasised the need to give the pets proper exercise, taking a swipe at local councils at the same time.

“They are like humans too, they need exercise. If you leave them indoors all the time, the frustration is bound to build up in them, and when they finally get some action, they might do some nonsensical stuff. But many councils don’t allow dogs in parks. How will they get their exercise then?”

Thanasayan, who is disabled and a wheelchair user, recounts from personal experience that German Shepherds are the best animal guides.

“They help people who are disabled. I am disabled and I mainly work with German Shepherds, so I know them well. They help those who are lonely and those who are suicidal as well,” he added.

Cases of dogs being abused, said Thanasayan, far outweigh cases of dogs biting humans in this country. “What is the punishment that is being dished out for irresponsible pet owners in the first place?” he asked.

He also quelled the myth that bigger dogs are more dangerous. “The fact of the matter is that the smaller the animal is, the more they bite. In fact, cats bite more than dogs,” he added.