Independent rescuer Joanne Low handing over an abandoned Shih Tzu now renamed Jasmine to her new owner. Jasmine was previously dumped by her owner at Manjung, Perak. — Photo courtesy of Joanne Low
Independent rescuer Joanne Low handing over an abandoned Shih Tzu now renamed Jasmine to her new owner. Jasmine was previously dumped by her owner at Manjung, Perak. — Photo courtesy of Joanne Low

IPOH, June 30 — If you think only humans are affected by the enforcement of the movement control order (MCO), think again.

Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (ISPCA) president Ricky Soong said aside from having to rescue animals, it also also had to deal with pet abandonment during the MCO.

“What is more disheartening is pets that were abandoned are of pedigree breeds,” he told Malay Mail.

On average, the society receives one call weekly to pick up pedigree pets during MCO.

“The highest number I got was four calls to take in four poodles in one week,” he said, adding that the dogs were picked up by the Ipoh City Council during its stray catching rounds.

“At a glance, we know these are house pets and will never survive if allowed to roam outside.”

After the society takes over the pedigrees, it is taken in by volunteers while waiting to be adopted.

He said with MCO, many pet owners are finding it hard to make ends meet let alone look after a pedigree pet.

The abandoned beagle rescued by Mutts and Mittens (M&M). — Photo courtesy of Chong Choon Kit
The abandoned beagle rescued by Mutts and Mittens (M&M). — Photo courtesy of Chong Choon Kit

“It is not cheap to upkeep a pedigree pet. Just the grooming will cost you hundreds,” he said, adding that the amount would burn a hole in the pockets of wage earners.

Independent rescuer Joanne Low said she had picked up two pedigree dogs since MCO.

“Luckily both have been rehomed to new homes,” she said.

She appealed to owners to think twice before abandoning their pets as the pets would be confused.

“All the familiar faces it recognises previously are gone.

“Put it up for adoption through proper channels if you really cannot cope rather than just dumping them.”

Mutts and Mittens president Chong Choon Kit said since the start of MCO, the society had picked up five pedigrees.

The pedigrees, said Chong, are two poodles and one beagle, german shepherd and cascade each.

“Of the five, the poodles had been rehomed while we are in the process of interviewing prospective owners for the german shepherd,” he said, adding that the society wants to ensure the animals go to a good home and not end up being abandoned again just because the new owner has financial difficulties.

One of the abandoned poodles found at Bercham, Ipoh. ISPCA president Ricky Soong says the dog later died at an Ipoh Garden veterinary clinic. — Photo courtesy of Ricky Soong
One of the abandoned poodles found at Bercham, Ipoh. ISPCA president Ricky Soong says the dog later died at an Ipoh Garden veterinary clinic. — Photo courtesy of Ricky Soong

Chong said the society was sure the dogs were abandoned as it had tried looking for its previous owners by sharing photos and details on social media but to no avail.

“We had no choice but to put them up for adoption as the cost to keep them is not cheap.

“Their chances of getting adopted are also higher compared to the local breed,” he added, appealing to owners not to abandon their pets just because the going is tough.

“Pet ownership is for a lifetime.”

Malaysian Animal Welfare Association (Mawa) founder Mukunnan Sugumaran said the association saw a spike in pet abandonment following a report that Covid-19 could spread through dogs and cats.

To owners contemplating abandoning their pets, Mukunnan has these to say to them.

“Whatever problems you are facing, abandoning your pets will not solve it.

“If caught abandoning your pets, you will be fine or jailed under the Animal Welfare Act.”