A group of dogs in Penang have made history by becoming the first strays in the Malaysian state to be neutered, as part of a programme introduced by a UK charity.
IAPWA (International Aid for the Protection & Welfare of Animals) is working in partnership with the Penang Council to transform the way strays are treated in the region. Under the previous regime, the animals would have been caught and killed, but IAPWA’s new agreement with officials meant they were neutered and provided with the additional veterinary care they needed.
Around 25,000 strays live in the state and with no neutering system in place, many were caught and destroyed every month. However, after hearing about IAPWA’s work in Borneo to provide care for dogs and cats, the authorities in Penang asked to visit the charity to discuss bringing an end to the crisis. IAPWA became the first partner of the Penang Council to establish and manage a humane programme for strays.
Nicky Stevens, founder of IAPWA, says, “The vet who treated the very first dog in the programme fell in love with him, so he has actually found his forever home now! Since then, many more dogs have been neutered, not only reducing the number of puppies born on the streets, but also saving their lives.”
An IAPWA Centre, which will house 60 kennels, a veterinary clinic, staff quarters and an office, is currently being built in Penang. The charity’s team are working out of temporary facilities in the meantime, to ensure they can make an immediate difference to the lives of strays in the area.
As well as neutering and vaccinating stray dogs and providing the extra care they require, the team will also support local sanctuaries and groups with dogs they rescue, find forever homes for dogs, and organise awareness sessions in order to create long-lasting change in Penang.