By SPCA Selangor
Just like you and me, our companion animals and wildlife also desire to live in a free and harmless environment. Not in cages, chained up or just for the sake of our own entertainment.
This is especially true when it comes to having pets as companions. The SPCA Selangor strongly believes that a caged and chained up pet is NEVER A HAPPY PET. The majority of aggressive dogs or cats that our team had met with were caused by being caged or chained up the entire time. As SPCA Selangor continues to strive for the public to be responsible pet owners, let us see how we can help improve the situation, individually, as a group or a community.
SPCA Selangor adheres to the Five Freedoms for animals when it comes to accessing and confronting animal cruelty cases. Animal welfare indicates the well-being of an animal and is defined by both the physical and psychological state of an animal and the conditions in which it lives in. A good animal welfare would mean that the animal that is under the care of humans is fit, healthy and free from sufferings.
SPCA Selangor assesses the welfare of animals using the Five Freedoms:
1 Freedom From Hunger and Thirst
As an animal care guardian, the first rule when it comes to taking care of a pet is to have proper food and fresh water daily. A good diet, regardless if it is pet food or home-prepared meal will ensure that your pet will live a healthier life and less prone to illness and disease. Make sure to do necessary preparations and research before taking an animal in as a pet. It is important that its diet is not compromised because of negligence or unaffordable cost for proper food.
2 Freedom From Discomfort
Animals need the right type of environment to live in, including having proper shelter from the rain and sun, and also a comfortable area to rest. So the next time you think about having a pet, it is important to know which pet is suitable to your current lifestyle and environment that you have. It would be unfair and also cruel for the animals if you are limiting them from the right habitat and environment.
3 Freedom From Pain, Injury and Disease
When an animal has excessive bleeding, suspected fractured bones or is involved in an accident, it would be best to have the animal sent to a vet as soon as possible. Same goes to an animal that is not behaving in its normal way. Many pet guardians may not be able to tell that when their pets are not feeling well as animals tend to hide their pain and illness. However, there are usually small signs such as being less active or no appetite for their favorite snacks, and that would serve as a big wakeup call that you will need to bring it in for a vet check up.
4 Freedom From Fear and Distress
An animal should not be living in constant fear in any respect, as part of punishment for bad behavior or just due to act of cruelty. Remember, every pet is individually different and may not react the same with others. When it comes to housebreaking or just general training, always use the reward system. Punishments will not only instill fear in an animal but it may cause an animal to attack as part of their way to defend themselves. In the long run, punishment may cause severe mental and psychological damage to an animal.
5 Freedom To Express Normal Behavior
Animals are not meant for cages. They are not exhibiting objects nor are they trophies for your collection. They are part of our world and we rely on them for companionship. Animals do not enjoy being refrained or given limited movement/space to live in, caged or chained. Ensure that the standard requirement is met if temporary caging is necessary. It is also important to have proper facilities for your pets eg chewing toys and a grass land for dogs, scratching poles and cat trees for cats to purge on. Punishing pets for chewing or scratching your properties would only mean that you had either deprived them from proper equipments necessary for their behavior or that you had not done your research/homework before getting a pet!
Remember, a pet is for life and it is your responsibility to provide them the essentials that they need. SPCA Selangor strongly advocates for all animal lovers to be responsible pet owners!
Visit SPCA Selangor or your local animal shelter near you when you are ready to get your own pet. Adopting from the shelters would help them help more animals and give the animals a second chance to live. Let us do our part in creating a more compassionate and caring society by saving the animals, and the first step starts with you!
For more information about pet care protection and against animal cruelty, please call +6/4253 5179, email [email protected] or surf to www.spca.org.my. You can also write to SPCA Selangor, No 2, Lorong Kolam Air Lama 2, Ampang Jaya, 68000 Ampang, Selangor. Visiting hours are from 9am to 4pm daily, including weekends and public holidays.