IPOH, Jan 16 — The Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (ISPCA) has advised pet owners to take their pets to be vaccinated against rabies following an outbreak of the disease in Taiping.
ISPCA president Ricky Soong said that was the only way to protect their pets from contracting the disease.
“We do not know when the virus would make a return after this round,” he told Malay Mail when contacted today, urging pet owners to practice responsible ownership and not dump their pets following the outbreak.
“If owners dump their pets, it will lead to uncontrolled breeding,” he said, adding that a bitch could give birth to at least 100 dogs in three years.
Soong also said to control rabies, trap-neuter-release of strays was the only option.
His statement came as Veterinary Services Department (DVS) director-general Datuk Dr Quaza Nizamuddin Hassan Nizam said 51 strays had been put down since the outbreak was reported last month.
“We took 45 brain samples and four came back positive for rabies,” he added.
Malay Mail had reported on Monday that Taiping and Bukit Gantang have been declared as rabies-infected areas after a resident of Taman Sri Kota Fasa 2 in Taiping reported that two family members were bitten by their pet dog on December 25.
The dog tested positive for rabies and was put down by its owner on January 3.
The public have been advised to contact the department at 05-8072703 if they find strays.
Meanwhile, Health director-general Datuk Dr Noor Hisham Abdullah said the two who were beaten by their dog have been vaccinated.
“The victims, a 50-year-old woman and a 25-year-old man, were admitted into Taiping Hospital on Dec 25 and discharged the next day,” he said, adding that their health status was being constantly monitored.
“As of now, they have yet to show any signs of being infected by rabies,” he noted.
In July 2017, two sisters, aged 12 and 11, from Kuala Sepetang in Taiping were vaccinated as a precautionary measure after they were bitten by their rabid pet dog.
The dog, which was put down by a private veterinarian, was confirmed to have had rabies based on samples taken from its brain.