IT is noteworthy that the Fire and Rescue Department’s request for 12 more tracker dogs has been approved. This is a timely boost for the department as they have been involved in Search and Rescue operations, such as the recent tragic Batang Kali landslide and earthquake in Turkiye.

Photos on social media of the tracker dogs joining their counterparts, such as the Civil Defence Force, show how hard they and their handlers worked against time to locate victims in the Batang Kali incident.

One can only sympathise with these dogs, knowing they have only one concern, which is to locate as many victims as possible. The weary look on their faces serves as a reminder for us to appreciate the sacrifices of these dogs. I am not only holding a flag for the K9 unit, but for all tracker dogs who have served alongside Malaysia’s best, from the Armed Forces to the Civil Defence, and other uniformed force or agency.

I would also like to call on everyone to respect animals. Any form of animal cruelty has to stop. It does not matter which breed or species that animal is from. Malaysia has laws against animal cruelty and yet there are people who are ignorant or callous and vile, with little regard for the well-being of other creatures.

The torture, abuse and neglect of pets or strays must cease. There are instances where individuals have argued that they had to take matters into their own hands for safety and health reasons. However, they should bear in mind that there are vector control units under the purview of our town councils that have the expertise to deal with such matters. Display kindness and compassion for all animals.

Yeap Ming Liong

Subang Jaya