By Wendy John
SIBU, Dec 2: A five-year Spaying and Neutering Cats and Dogs Project which began in 2018 is now running out of funds.
Initially projected to run from 2018 to 2022, project volunteers are appealing for public support or else they might have to discontinue this much-needed service.
The project started when a former college lecturer, Wong Siew Tung and a veterinarian, Shaw Yu Tay got together with a few friends to help the local community have a healthy and better environment to live and work in.
But today, Wong and Shaw disclosed at a press conference that they were forced to consider stopping the project next year due to lack of funds.
“Our funds are dwindling. By June next year, we may have to remove this project from serving the wider community. It will be a great loss to us on cats and dogs rescues we are supporting. It will also mean a greater loss to all the animal owners for the communities that we are serving,” he said.
According to Wong, they receive no aid or any form of continual fund from the government and depend on public donation.
Wong explained that each month their expenses came up to about RM2,000, and annually they had spent over RM10,000, depending on the number of dogs registered.
As of December 1, he said they had spayed and neutered 148 stray cats and dogs in the town, incurring RM4,420 in expenses.
Another RM5,000 has been spent on caring for stray animals.
In order to cut cost, they had decided only accept a maximum of 15 stray animals a month from now on.
He said according to an unofficial report it was said that rabies in Sarawak had been largely controlled since the State government, the Department of Veterinary Services and the Police took action to eliminate thousands of dogs and cats which ran about outside the residential premises in Kuching, Sibu, Kapit, and Sarikei areas and so on.
“But, when you examine the actual situation now in Sibu, for example, there are still many more stray dogs around market places, schools and residential areas. It does not show a real picture that rabies has been controlled,” he said.
He pointed out that the number of unwanted cats and dogs is still high, presenting possible dangers to the general public.
“A visit to any such an area at a given specific hours the morning would prove this correct; owners and people rearing these animals enjoy discarding their animals when they feel certain that this is definitely a way to get rid of the animals that they do not want,” he lamented.
He said basic education was needed was to teach people how to rear and take care of their pets responsibly.
Wong and Shaw can be contacted at 016-8941326 and 016-8687671. — DayakDaily