Making neutering compulsory for getting dog licenses – good, but…

The news:

Following the announcement by Negeri Sembilan, animal activists are calling for all states to impose neutering as a condition for the issuance of dog licenses.

Yes, it is a good move.


  1. How effective is the enforcement going to be? How will the authorities check if household dogs have licenses? Are they going to run door-to-door checks? A quick check around revealed that some districts in Selangor tried it but ran into problems with the enforcement.
  2. If the enforcement isn’t effective, then what measures will be taken to motivate and encourage dog parents/owners to get their dogs neutered in order to obtain licenses? Or will it come to a point where dog owners will not even bother to get the licenses because they do not understand the importance of neutering?
  3. Will there be stricter rules over the abandonment of dogs and especially of puppies?
  4. And what about the conditions imposed by certain districts whereby the dog owner has to get the consent of both sides of their neighbours in order to apply for a license? Recently, a dog owner reached out to me for advice because her neighbours complain that her dogs barks and this is not incessant barking, but barking at strangers. The neighbour refused to tolerate it and because of this, she could not get a license for her dog. What mediation can the authorities do for such cases? Barking comes naturally to all dogs.

Photo credit: Pledgecare

It is very sad that dogs have always been given the rough end of the stick in our country due to our culture. And yet, when it comes to search-and-rescue, we have no qualms using dogs for their undying loyalty, obedience and trainability. It is so, so unfair. Dogs are used in the security forces and also by differently-abled people. No other animal can do this service; only dogs can. Because only dogs will obey and perform what is required of them.

And yet, our country treats dogs so badly.

Personally, I’ve often felt that if only our ancestors from way, way back knew how badly their descendants would treat dogs, they should never have domesticated the wolves who eventually evolved to become present-day dogs. Our ancestors domesticated them as companion animals, then later, used them to guard their property and protect them. The same goes for cats. They were domesticated from the wild cat and later used to ward off vermin from farms and storage places. They were used by humans. Later, they migrated to live amongst us, but dogs and cats do not menopause, so they will breed uncontrollably.

Humans don’t know what to do with the population explosion and enact laws that classify street dogs and cats as “nuisance”. These laws allows humans to lodge complaints about them, then the law acts to catch-and-kill them, to get rid of them from the streets.

For these ignorant humans, killing is their easiest way to solve their problems.

Now, even with so much appeal and persuasion from those who know what to do, ie. neuter-and-return, do these lawmakers even listen?

But this will be a story for another day.

Neutering in order to get license? Sure…find ways to enforce it first, then only talk.