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The action of the Seremban Municipal Council (MPS) in shooting dead in cold blood 13 harmless dogs can only be described as barbaric. Such an action has no place in a civilised society which we aspire to be and should be roundly condemned. What did the dogs do that they deserved to die? Was it wrong for them to exist, albeit in poor and cramped conditions? Is it a crime for them to bark, which is their only means of communicating their deplorable plight?

The MPS president said that the dogs were a nuisance. But think again. Was it the dogs or the owner of the dogs who is the real culprit? So now the dogs are dead while the owner lives to continue creating a nuisance to his or her neighbours. Mr President, are you still proud of what you have done?

On further reflection, this brutal episode is but a reflection of the more general attitude towards the weak, the poor and the marginalised in our society who are viewed as 'nuisances'. Perhaps that is why we frequently find the authorities victimising women, victims of human trafficking syndicates, migrant workers, the poor, refugees and other such helpless persons.

As we move towards being a more caring society, we should strive to cultivate more humane ways of dealing with problems. Dogs are universally known for their unconditional love and loyalty to their masters. If we condone the cool and calculated killing of such innocent animals, simply because of the irresponsibility of their master, we stand guilty of failing to confront a brutal and dastardly action by our fellow men.

The writer represent the Malaysian Association For Responsible Pet Ownership (Marpo).