People have reacted different to the plea from Lilongwe Society of Protection and Care of Animals (LSPCA) that the public should refrain from buying dogs from the streets.
LSPCA, which breeds and takes care of stray dogs, said such animals sold along the streets are not checked by a vet; are very dangerous and have a high likelihood of rabies, parvo, ticks and fleas as well as unpleasant behaviour issues.
“Be informed that the LSPCA is working closely with the vendors and all other stakeholders to find a long term lasting solution that benefits the vendors and the animals,” said a statement posted on Facebook
“All dogs that come to the LSPCA undergo a 30 days quarantine. Only dogs that show no behaviour issues are then put up for adoption.”
But one commentator, Lisedi Mcfarlen called such statement as “trash”, saying “LSPCA dogs are picked from the streets [and there is] no way of ascertaining temperament.”
He further claimed LSPCA dogs most likely already traumatised [and] therefore dangerous.
“With mongrels there is no telling what you are getting for starters. These are mixed willy nilly. When I buy a certain breed, at least there is a greater chance of controlling and training as dogs were bred for specific purposes.
“While on this, how come your focus is only or mostly on pets. People carry pigs and goats hours on end and chickens too on bicycles. Chickens transported upside down at every market in this country. How come you never harass them also?,” he said.
Other said LSPCA pets are very expensive prompting Kennedy Satumba Banda and Ephraim Jere to suggest that dogs can be bought from the street and have them examined by a qualified vet.
Edison Sabola hinted that since the 1 million jobs promise hasn’t been met by the Tonse Alliance, these vendors have opted to sell pets on the streets.
He alluded to the fact if these pet vendors are not supported they will end up breaking into peoples houses.
“The best way is to tell everyone who buys such pets to consult vet expert — otherwise, LSPCA pets are so expensive for an ordinary Malawian from the area, say Ntandire,” he said.
Joy wa Anatembo said his main worry for such pets is that they are mostly stolen and sold along the roads.
“Imagine being separated from their owners, imagine the pain the owners feel [when they lose their pets]. And then they are these guys who paint brown dogs black and pin their ears with super glue to make them look like they are a special breed!
“I wish there was a better way of addressing this so that we stop the habit of stealing pets, subjecting pets and animals to harsh treatments whilst they await to be bought.”
In her response Michelle Webb was saddened that “there really is so much resistance to trying to change mindsets”.
“Animals at LSPCA are inoculated, dewormed, healthy, rabies and pest free. The poor creatures sold on the roadside are none of these things.”
On their website, LSPCA says it has a purpose-built rehoming shelter for dogs and cats, where it cares for animals that have been surrendered, rescued, or confiscated from roadside sellers by the police.
“After medical examination, each animal is quarantined for 30 days to rule out any possible illness such as rabies. After that, our animals are looking for loving forever homes.
“The fee for adopting a cat or a dog with us is only at MK6,000. This will get you a cat or a dog that has been vaccinated, dewormed, treated for ticks, and has been sterilized.”
LSPCA contends that there has been a rise in the malpractice of selling young puppies and kittens; are exposed to extreme weather conditions; suffer from severe dehydration and malnutrition.
“They are taken away from their mothers before they are even capable of opening their eyes. This in turn leads to medical and behavioural implications later on in life.”
It is a cruel practice
“Buying dogs from the streets helps to perpetuate this cruel trade and needs to stop,” says LSPCA. “When you buy a dog from the side of the road, you are supporting an illegal operation that thrives on poor animal welfare.
“Animals that are sold on the side of the road are housed in poor conditions with improper medical care, are often starving and thirsty, and are often very sick and behaviourally troubled as a result.
“The mothers of these puppies are continually bred under pitiful circumstances until they are of no use to the breeder, then, they are inhumanely disposed of.”
LSPCA says it has embarked on a project to stop the roadside sale of pets that focuses on creating awareness about the suffering of such animals and the risks for humans to buy these animals from the streets.
“LSPCA is working with the community police who are also working with vendors to stop the roadside animal trade. Besides, LSPCA is working with the Malawi Police Services-Criminal Investigative Department officers who are tasked with confiscation of animals sold on the streets.
The danger to humans
Dogs sold on the streets usually do not get any veterinary attention and when humans buy such dogs they risk getting one that has a high likelihood of rabies, which is a very dangerous disease and 99% fatal to humans.
And the trade is also illegal because such pets are subjected to cruelty which is illegal according to the laws of Malawi, Animal Protection Act of 1970 (66).
“The Act clearly prohibits any person to ill-treat, torture, infuriate, terrify or cause to procure or permit unnecessary suffering to any animal.
“Further to that, section 3 (1) (b) of the same Animal Protection Act forbids carrying or conveying, or permitting in a manner or position as to cause unnecessary suffering to any animal.
LSPCA further says people should call Toll-free number 172 on TNM to report the roadside animal sales; to donate on LSPCA National Bank account 1006516428 to assist them help the animals and to stop buying from the streets.
“Do not get involved in confiscating the animal from the vendor — it is dangerous and only Malawi Police is mandated to do this.”Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :