UTP's Response After Euthanising Stray Dog Causes Even More Friction On Social Media

"It is despicable for a university to act in such a cruel manner with complete disregard to animal rights!"

Cover image via 9GAG

Earlier this month, a 9GAG post about a stray dog being poisoned and killed inside Universiti Teknologi Petronas (UTP) campus for simply wandering around the cafeteria went viral on social media

Image via 9GAG

Following which, an online petition was launched on Care2 to alert relevant authorities about the incident and UTP's act. At the time of writing this story, the petition had crossed over 3,400 signatures.

Image via Care2

According to the details provided in the petition:

UTP has a strict policy against pets inside its hostels and hangs a notice in the school noticeboard. However, cats and dogs are frequently seen inside the campus and are often spotted around the school cafeteria.

The presence of dogs, however, does not sit well with Muslim students, claims the Care2 petition, and they have often complained to the school management. The authorities then call in the government agency in charge of dealing with stray dogs, many of whom have been shot on broad daylight and night.

The case that angered people on social media is that of a female dog being poisoned inside the campus, who, according to the Care2 petition, was only looking for leftovers from the cafe.

The petition claims that one of the Muslim students reported about the dog to the Masjid Committee which gave out a memo regarding why Islam likes and dislikes dogs. However, they failed to mention about cats, which is also against the law of the school. The dog was then poisoned by UTP authorities and was thrown away.

Several people took to Twitter to express their shock:

However, there were few who found it otherwise:

A couple of days later, on 8 July, UTP issued a Press Statement regarding the handling of stray dogs inside its campus

According to the press statement, which was uploaded on its Facebook page here, the health and safety of students and staff in the campus area is UTP's utmost priority.

It added that UTP would like to clarify, as per their policy, the task of handling stray animals such as dogs, cats, monitor lizards and monkeys that may pose a threat to the population is given to the relevant government authorities.

Referring to the case that blew up on the Internet, UTP said that a report was made to the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia for their further action and according to their standard operating procedure, the dog was captured, tranquilised and subsequently euthanised by their staff.

However, UTP's Press Statement did not sit well a lot of its Facebook fans. Some of them openly criticised the university and voiced out their concern with how the stray was handled.

Image via UTP
Image via UTP
Image via UTP

And when one of the Facebook users asked as to how exactly was the dog identified to be a threat to the safety of students and staff in the campus, pointing out that the dog had no signs of being rabid, the social media person handling UTP's page had this to say:

"Dear [name reducted], we shouldn't assess this issue based only on a fantasized story of a stray dog named Benzie. Even after the operation by Jabatan Perkhidmatan Veterinary, you can still see 3-4 dogs within 100m radius in the campus. Neutering may be a good solution to stop overpopulation. However, in our case, it is already uncontrollable ​unless someone really want to adopt them outside the campus."

In short, more than how the dog was killed, UTP's handling of the situation on social media is what seems to have become a fiasco:

Image via UTP
Image via UTP
Image via UTP