Photographs from Malaysia show a group of stray dogs protecting a homeless man, despite being surrounded by dog-catchers.
Instead of rushing away from the scene, the dogs can be seen gathering around the unnamed homeless man, determined to defend him. Other photographs show the brave dogs being captured and taken away.
It would appear that the group of dogs love and care for the man, who some have speculated they regard as their master. Others have suggested he had been feeding the dogs to befriend them, earning their trust and loyalty.
In a Facebook post about the incident, Kajang City Council reported that the 6.5-hour operation involved rounding up a total of 20 stray dogs across various areas of Kajang.
The post has since sparked a great deal of anger from citizens, with many suggesting the council would be better off pouring their time and resources into other, more pressing endeavours, for example, looking out for thieves in the community or taking care of the environment.
One person commented:
These dogs are innocent. They deserve to live too just like you. I was never harmed by any of the strays, though sometimes all they need is just some leftover food and a place to stay. But you had to take it away.
The dogs also want to live. Those that protect the human choose not to run means they’re harmless. Why so cruel.
Many of those in the comment section urged the city council to control strays using the more humane method of trap-neuter-release-management (TNRM), which is used in various other countries.
Sadly, Malaysia does not officially practice the TNRM method, with government agencies instead catching strays and locking them up in pounds.
Captured dogs are then put up for adoption, but are given a very short window of opportunity for a new start at life. If nobody adopts them within a seven-day period, they are put to sleep.
This isn’t the first time in recent months that animal lovers in Kajang have spoken out against the poor treatment of captured stray dogs.
In September, residents and NGO workers gathered outside the Kajang Municipal Council building to protest against the alleged mistreatment of stray dogs by council officers.
As reported by Free Malaysia Today, this demonstation came after footage and photographs were shared online which showed dogs being rounded up by officers, who then allegedly left them in lorries without any food or water.
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Majlis Perbandaran Kajang/Facebook
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