Follow the law or bear the consequences, SMC warns dog owners

SIBU, Dec 9: Sibu Municipal Council (SMC) will take stern action against those who continue to disregard the law on dog licensing.

Its chairman Clarence Ting today asserted the council had enough of it and could not continue to let dog owners be so lax with their responsibilities.

“We have to consider the greater good of the public and will take stern action according to the law,” he added.

Ting revealed that the council will fully enforce the Local Authorities (Dog Licensing & Control ) By-Law 2018, where each household with landed property is only allowed to have three dogs, or one small breed dog for those living in flats or apartments.

Those caught violating the law, would be compounded RM50 per day. They would also be fined not exceeding RM2,000 for letting their dogs roaming free without a licence.

“Any person who obstructs council officers carrying out their duties will be charged under Section 162 of the Local Authorities Ordinance 1996 which provides for a fine of RM1,500 or imprisonment not exceeding six months or both,” he added.

Separately, Ting expressed disappointment that the local press had carried public views on its dog catching service without giving them the opportunity to respond.

“I was surprised that no reporter called me regarding this front page news on multiple newspapers about SMC’s dog catching service. Instead, they aired public views on the cruelty of catching stray dogs,” he revealed, adding that all SMC actions were in response to neighborhood feedback.

“There is no civil way to catch a dog. The municipal ordinance on keeping dogs is clear. Dogs must be with a dog restraint when outside of the house compound. Think about public fears when you let your dogs loose on the street. If you want to keep pets, SMC is all for it, but you must be responsible. Do your part to make it safe for the rest of us,” he urged dog owners.

Ting also highlighted the prevalence of rabies cases and cautioned that if dog owners continued to let their dogs out on the street, their dogs contracting rabies is a definite possibility.

He urged residents to spare a thought for SMC dog catchers who are putting their lives on the line for the public every single day.

“When you are emotional seeing dog catchers at work, don’t be mad at them. Be angry at those irresponsible dog owners. Go tell them,” he said. — DayakDaily