New year + Thoughts: Canine-human relations

Zoe with ribbon around her head
Photo courtesy of Tan Eng Choo.

Happy new year, everyone! A little late, I know, but over here, Deric and I are making the most of our week-long break so blog posts did take the backseat,  I’ll admit.

But that’s as it should be.  Real life should always be our top priority, and online obligations should be viewed as an activity only to be taken up in our spare time.

Anyway, I’d like to share my thoughts on something else as well…

I awoke this morning to the sound of dogs crying out in heartwrenching tones. Apparently, some guys had come to nab stray dogs around our neighbourhood.

I’ve never heard dogs scream as pitifully as they did this morning. I daren’t imagine what fate awaits those dogs that were caught. Most likely they will be mistreated,  catch deadly diseases from being in close quarters with other sickly dogs at the pound, or die tragic deaths from fights or worse still, be put to death by some human induced scheme.

It’s sad, really. Not only do the dogs lose their freedom when they get caught, most of them experience a deterioration in their quality of life right up till the end of their lives from then on.

I love dogs and feel sad to see them mistreated, roughly handled as though they are the scum of the earth.

But don’t get me wrong. It’s not that I think the problem of stray dogs should be left unattended to. Someone in authority should deal with the issue, just perhaps in a more organised and humane way.

As much as possible,  dogs should be put up for adoption as soon as possible after they are taken off the streets.  Before being given out to willing new owners, they should be given a medical examination, treated for injuries, properly vaccinated and neutered if necessary.

Only in extreme cases where a dog cannot be rehabilitated and is mentally unstable or terminally ill should the issue of putting the dog down be even considered.

However, the more important issue is this: are we dealing with the people who caused there to be strays in the first place?

Many people abandon dogs they have purchased, simply because they find they cannot handle the dog or cannot afford to.

I have visited dog rescue centres such as PAWS before, and was appalled to notice purebreds among the pack of rescued canines. This would not have happened if someone out there hadn’t abandoned their pet.

How would you like it if, as a child, your parents chose to abandon you just because they couldn’t understand you, or because you had messed up their living room or front lawn, or were taking too much out of their monthly expenses?

It would be too much to ask for everyone to cultivate a heartfelt love for dogs and all animals in general, but the least we could do is come up with better regulations to punish irresponsible owners or ex-owners of mistreated or abandoned pets.

There’s plenty of evidence today that shows that more than half the time,  it is us humans that are the root of the problem, instead of the animals themselves.

Remember too that God holds us accountable for all our actions; including the way we treat animals, whom He has also created.

2 thoughts on “New year + Thoughts: Canine-human relations

  1. i dare not imagine the yelping and ‘screaming’ from the doggies… for want of survival…
    a few of us rescued a stray we named Lily once .. we fed her, lured her and gain her trust..
    she was so manged and her skin was like cracked earth in the desert and there was hardly any hair..
    With the help of a vet we gave her food with medication and we began to see hair growing on her.
    when we thought she was well enough, we ‘captured’ her and brought her to be spayed.
    with such poor health she did’t survive.. her stitches opened 3 times. i believe she just could not take any more anaesthesia…
    the poor girl died.. her hairless tail that would wag to greet us whenever we visit her at the vet eventually stopped wagging and she was no longer the dog she was when we first brought her there..
    it was sad… cos i never had the chance to say goodbye..
    to this day i wonder whether it was the kindest thing we had done..
    perhaps it is best to rescue puppies first.. because then… they will have a better chance to survive…
    and the strays.. to capture , spay and release them because for they are so used to being on the streets and will always have the innate desire to escape..
    some strays adapt well when re-homed and are happily settled in..
    yet.. there are some.. that are just passed on from one owner to another simply because they have become an inconvenience…
    if only human would learn to love and appreciate these faithful and loyal beings….
    …. my 2 cents worth of thoughts on strays….


    1. Important thing I believe is to do what we can. Even if you improved Lily’s quality of life for just a brief moment in her life, you did make it better. As for the issue of spaying dogs, I feel it has to be weighed out carefully. It seems to have adverse effects on some, which would be understandably regrettable.

      It’s a risk we take.

      Even for humans, sometimes we choose to go for an operation to improve a health problem but there’s always a chance that things could take a turn for the worse although that was not the intended outcome.

      So it is with these dogs too, I guess.


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