The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.” – Mahatma Gandhi.

Education (particularly of Youth)

Promoting kindness towards animals has been an ongoing effort taken by SPCA Penang. It is through education whereby we teach the public about prevention of cruelty, pet ownership and responsibility. We have posters, banners, pamphlets with the appropriate message distributed to the public. It is imperative that our next generation be taught about prevention of cruelty to animals. We hold educational talks in schools to educate and teach children. We also hold various educational activities for children too.

We do accommodate school children to visit our compound. Such educational field trips provide an excellent experience for the children to learn about animals. We provide a briefing to the children, they are then guided to take a short tour in our compound. The kids will have an opportunity to interact with the animals. There are some school children who make arrangements through various organizations to participate as volunteers during a day trip to our shelter too. If you are keen to get your school or organization to be part of this program, give us a call (04 281 6559) or email ( to make the arrangement.

Just complete this form if you would like us to email these neutering details to you or scroll down to read:

When adopting a female pet, you must agree to perform the neutering of your pet. This is COMPULSORY. Whenever possible, this will be done before an animal leaves the Shelter, but in cases where animals are too young, a date for the operation will be arranged at the time of adoption. A minimum deposit of RM200 will be required for the operation. This deposit of RM200 will be refunded to you through your veterinarian when your pet is due for neutering. Neutering is to prevent unwanted litters. If a female bitch is not spayed, at the end of 10 years she and her offspring could have produced a total of 4,372 dogs. This is only calculated at 6 puppies per litter, twice per year when the bitch is in season. For cats, the figure is more as cats litter three times a year. There’s nothing cruel about being sensible. And unless there are very strong reasons for wanting your cat or dog to have a litter, the kind and sensible thing to do is to have it neutered. This operation is simple, painless and safe. In the long run it’s better for everybody, including the animal. Before you decide however, you’ll want to know some more about it. This section gives the answers to the sort of questions people ask about neutering their pet.

The reasons for having an animal neutered:

Why should I have my pet neutered at all?

Firstly, because it’ll make your life easier. Amorous cats and dogs can be a real handful and no-one enjoys having to confine their pet. Secondly, there are already too many unwanted kittens and puppies who have to be destroyed and the least we can do is not add to their number. Thirdly and simply, neutering is kinder to the animal itself. The necessary frustration of hormone activity in a pet often leads to mental and physical ailments. Neutering removes the source and hence the problem.

What problems would I have if my MALE DOG wasn’t neutered?

Male dogs cannot resist going courting when the opportunity occurs and in the process, all sorts of disasters can befall them. They get into fights with other dogs; they wander about in traffic and either hurt themselves or cause nasty accidents; and in the country they’re liable to take to sheep and cattle worrying. On the other hand, if you keep a hot-blooded dog indoors, he can turn his amorous attentions to pieces of furniture, or even people. Barking and ill-temper are symptoms of frustrations.

What problems would I have with a FEMALE DOG that wasn’t neutered?

A female dog comes on heat twice yearly, each time for a period three weeks. This not only makes her somewhat messy, it also means scores of visiting dogs cluster around your front door. What’s more she’s likely to escape and become pregnant no matter how much care is taken. Even if she doesn’t, a bitch can go through a phantom pregnancy, which can lead to all sorts of odd behaviour and possibly veterinary attention to correct.

Would I have problems with an un-neutered TOM-CAT?

Yes, because tom-cats have one of the most unpleasant habits of “spraying”. This means that they mark out their territory by urinating upon it, and the unpleasant smell can be extremely difficult to get rid of. Male cats are also some of the greatest wanderers and well-nigh impossible to keep indoors. Their constant escapades nearly always lead to cat fights and these in turn can produce infected wounds, abscesses and serious illness.

What about the problems of a FEMALE CAT?

As with a female dog, a female cat in season will attract a continual host of admirers, Romantic cat-calls in the middle of the night, which even the most dedicated sleeper would be hard-pushed to ignore, are a prelude to almost inevitable pregnancy. A cat can have three pregnancies a year and up to five or six in each litter.

It obviously makes my life easier to neuter my pet, but how will the animal benefit?

A domestic animal can really suffer from the effects of its biological urges. As explained above, the desires themselves lead the males into all sorts of aggressive behaviour (even towards people) and in both sexes frustration can actually result in illness. Since there’s no possibility of these animals returning to the wild and indulging all their impulses, by far the kindest thing is to save them from these violent feelings altogether by having them neutered.

How about the problem of over population? Will it really help to neuter my pet?

Of the many thousands of puppies and kittens born every year, about two thirds are unwanted. These eventually have to be destroyed. Yet if every pet owner would assume a responsible attitude towards their animals and stop them producing litters, the problem would be dramatically reduced.

Just complete this form if you would like us to email these commitment details to you or scroll down to read:

Please kindly go through the guideline on the adoption of animals before you consider adopting an animal from SPCA Penang. Adopting an animal or owning a pet is a great responsibility as it is a commitment one needs to have for the entire life time of the animal. Remember that to you it is only a pet. But to him or her, you are everything.


  1. Prospective owners must have at least some knowledge about animals.
  2. Pet owners to be must satisfy the Society that they will provide suitable home for the animals and look after it to the best of their ability.
  3. Owning a pet is fun and it can bring you a lot of joy. They need the love and attention that people like you can give. Think carefully before you adopt an animal and ask yourself these 3 questions:

  4. Upon adoption, an adoption agreement must be signed.
  5. The SPCA PENANG reserves the right to refuse any application for adoption.
  6. In cases of illness or injury etc., the owner must provide veterinary treatment for his/her pet.
  7. The SPCA has the right to visit the premises of the pet owner. This is to ensure that the animal is happily settled.
  8. The SPCA has the right to repossess the animal if, in the Society’s opinion that the Agreement is not reasonably adhered to.

Please think carefully before you adopt an animal. Their life is in your hands. It is you who makes the difference. Be Kind to Animals!!

A Guide for New Pet Owners

Pets make good companions for people, as they are intelligent, playful and fun. However, this mutually benefiting relationship takes up time and energy plus pets can be expensive to look after and they need space. A dog is not a good pet in busy households or for owners who are out all day. Cats are more tolerant of an owner's absence. Having a pet is a long term commitment and pet owners must be prepared that their pet can live up to 10 years or more. Owning a pet is a lot of fun and it can bring a lot of joy to the owner, but prospective owners should have some knowledge about the animals that they are going to keep.


This depends on the size of the animal, usually 12-14 years.


All pets should be alert and responsive. A pet’s temperament depends on its upbringing and environment; it is a product of its home life, handling, socialization and heredity. Dogs can be aggressive towards strangers; therefore control must be exercised when a dog meets unfamiliar people. To reduce a dog’s human-aggressive trait, walks in the park and other socializing activities can be carried out.


The dog is a pack animal and will be upset if left on its own for long periods of time. Different breeds have different temperaments and abilities, but all dogs need the company and attention of their owners. Basic training is important and puppies should be house trained and behavioural training from 8 weeks of age. Formal training should begin at three to four months.


Lift a puppy by scooping it up gently with one hand under its chest. Lift a dog by standing sideways to it and taking its weight at the chest and hindquarters. Dogs may bite when surprised or when teased so they need to be handled gently. There are also some dogs that, as a result of bad experience, behave unnaturally or even bite in fear, or due to pain. Anyone who adopts an adult dog should first get some information on the dog’s background and peculiarities.


Thousands of unwanted puppies and kittens are born every year and the SPCA strongly advises that dogs and cats be neutered to stop them from reproducing. Neutering is a simple operation that can be arranged through a veterinarian. The operation is done under general anesthesia and it is a simple, safe procedure, from which the pets recover quickly. The neutered pet also has the added benefit of lowered risk of suffering from uterine infections, mammary tumours. Female dogs that have not been neutered come into season up to twice a year and they can have up to 12 puppies in each litter. Female cats that have not been neutered come into season up to three times a year  Puppies and kittens should stay with their mother until they are at least 8 weeks old.


Puppies and kittens must be vaccinated against certain serious diseases and given regular boosters throughout their lives. Your veterinary surgeon will be able to advise you on this. Many pets suffer from external parasites such as mites or ticks or internal parasites such as worms. Treatments for these conditions are available from your veterinarian. A good diet and exercise is also important for proper growth and maintenance of the pet at its optimum weight. Generally if you have any concerns about your pet’s health, ask your veterinarian for advice. So, if you want to own a pet, you need:

  1. Commitment – a pet’s life is likely to last 10 years or even longer.
  2. Space – you have your work, friends and other commitments but your pet only has you. Don’t tie or cage your dog the whole day. Dogs need exercise. Leash your dogs when they are out with you.
  3. Budget – provide your pets with adequate feed and you should take them for annual visits to the veterinarian.
  4. Welfare – pets don’t need to reproduce and unwanted litters are a nuisance to the community. You should avoid dumping pets anywhere.
  5. Time – Care for your pet. Talk to your pets, even though they don’t understand your words. They know your voice when you speak to them. Make sure you give them time to understand what you want from them.
  6. Be Aware – Before you scold pets for being lazy or uncooperative, ask yourself if something might be bothering them. Perhaps they are not getting the right food, or they are unwell.
  7. Companionship – No matter how busy you are, your pets need a little of your time, company, love and attention.
  8. Consideration – Never let your pet be a nuisance to your neighbours. Never let them foul in public places.
  9. Observation – It is the law that dogs should have a collar with identification when they are in public places.
  10. Be Humane – When your pet is sick or pain, do not leave it to suffer and die from starvation or disease. Take it to the veterinarian if it is ill.

Important Advise to Pet Owners

Animals have as much right to live as we do. Have respect for them and give them these 5 freedoms. They should be entitled to:

  1. Freedom from hunger and thirst – enough good food and water to keep them healthy.
  2. Freedom from discomfort – comfortable cages or resting areas.
  3. Freedom from pain, injury and disease – rapid veterinary treatment if they are ill.
  4. Freedom to express normal behaviour – so they have enough space and company.
  5. Freedom from fear and distress – treatment that avoids mental suffering.

Before getting  a pet, you should ask yourself:

  1. Do I have the time?
  2. Do I have the space?
  3. Do I have the means?

Just complete this form if you would like us to email these vaccination details to you or scroll down to read:

Common terms used for cat & dog vaccinations at SPCA and what they mean:

For dogs: When a puppy reaches 8 weeks-12 weeks we give Distemper, Leptospirosis & Parvovirus (6 in 1)
At age 12weeks – 16 weeks we give Distemper, Leptospirosis & Parvovirus & Coronavirus (7 in 1)
At age 16 weeks and above we repeat (7 in1)
An adopter should repeat the 7 in 1 annually thereafter


For cats: When a kitten reaches 8 weeks-12 weeks we give Feline Distemper (4 in 1)
At age 12weeks – 16 weeks we give Feline Distemper (4 in 1)
At age 16 weeks and above we repeat (4 in 1)
An adopter should repeat the 4 in 1 annually thereafter


When you adopt a pet from SPCA, you will given the list of vaccinations that have already been given to the animal plus advice on the booster shots that will be required and when.It is up to you to follow this up with your chosen veterinary clinic. For a list of clinics in Penang, check here. Puppies have natural protection against disease until they are weaned from their mother’s milk, at which point they need vaccinations. In the first 24 hours after birth, it is critical that a puppy nurse its mother in order to get the necessary colostrums or first milk. Colostrums contain the special proteins and antibodies to protect the young dog against infectious diseases to which the mother is immune. Feeding on this first milk will ensure the pups protection for as long as 14 to 16 weeks. Of course, if the mother is unhealthy, her colostrums will be effective for a much shorter period of time, or not at all. If you would like to reduce all risks of infection, begin shots for your puppy at 6 weeks old, and repeat them every 3-4 weeks until it is 16 weeks old. Until the full series of vaccinations is complete, be sure to keep your puppy isolated to reduce exposure to infection. From thereon, your pet will need revaccinations annually. Remember, these vaccinations are very important to the health and happiness of your dog in later life.

What are the vaccinations needed?


Dogs with this disease will have the following symptoms : fever, conjunctivitis, rhinitis (nasal discharge), and may develop pneumonia, diarrhea & vomiting and seizures (change in behaviour (eg. pacing, circling), apparent loss of balance (ataxia), muscle twitches. This is a great killer of many dogs, if not vaccinated against. There is NO ANTIVIRAL TREATMENT for Distemper virus; therefore treatment is symptomatic. Prognosis is poor and euthanasia is often recommended for patients with progressive neurological signs.


The canine version of this disease (known as canine adenovirus type I) usually causes only mild liver or blood-vessel disease in dogs. One of the side effects is an opaque, blue eye, which involves a hardening of the cornea that may result in temporary or permanent blindness. In some rare cases, the disease is severe and may be fatal. The vaccine is an effective preventive measure.


Adenovirus type II infection produces a cough and bronchitis. It is also one of the causes of the contagious syndrome known as kennel or infectious bronchitis. The vaccine for type I protects against type II as well. Para influenza virus and another bacterial infections caused by Bordetella bronchiseptica also contribute to kennel cough. The Bordetella bacteria normally live in the air passages of the lungs. Stress can recipitate the disease


This disease is caused by a spirochete, a bacterial organism that affects the liver and kidneys. It is spread by the urine of infected dogs or rats. Symptoms are depression, lack of appetite, high fever, and abdominal or back pain, due to inflammation of the liver and kidneys. The vaccine is effective for 6 to 12 months.


This is an acute, highly contagious enteritis of dogs. Dogs of any age are affected, but there is a higher incidence of clinical disease in puppies between weaning and 6 months of age. Certain breeds appear to be at higher risk and susceptible to a more severe form of the disease. These include Rottweilers, Dobermann Pinschers, and possible Pit Bull Terriers and black Labrador Retrievers. Infection occurs by the faeco-oral route (ingestion of infected faeces).During acute illness, and for about 1-2 weeks thereafter, massive amounts of parvovirus (over one billion virions per gram of faeces) are shed in faeces of infected dogs. Because the virus can survive and remain infectious for several months in the environment, environment contamination plays a major role in transmission. Symptoms of the infection are severe diarrhea(can be profuse and haemorrhagic), vomiting, fever, depression and rapidly progressive dehydration. Hypothermia, icterus (jaundice)may develop terminally. Death is usually attributable to dehydration, electrolyte imbalances, endotoxic shock or overwhelming bacterial sepsis. If the disease is detected in your pet, be sure to disinfect bedding areas and food dishes with a solution of one part chlorine bleach and 30 parts water.


Coronavirus invades and destroys cells in the intestine causing a syndrome known as CANINE CORONAVIRAL ENTERITIS. It is an acute and contagious disease that affects dogs of all ages. Dogs present with an acute onset anorexia and depression followed by vomiting and diarrhoea. The diarrhoea varies from soft to watery and sometimes contains mucus and fresh blood. Dehydration, weight loss and death is reported.


Rabies is a virus that is excreted in an animal’s saliva. The virus causes an encephalitis (an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord) which is invariably fatal in all species. How is rabies spread? Rabies enters the bodies of both humans and animals mainly via a bite wound or possibly by contamination of an existing open cut or through contact with the moist tissues of the mouth, nose or eyes. All mammals can be infected by the virus, however wild animals are the main carriers of the disease with dogs and cats acting as the most common vector between the wild reservoir and humans. People may get the disease by being bitten, licked or scratched (saliva is often found on claws). Recognizing the signs In humans pain appears at the site of the bite, followed by burning, tickling or numb sensations. The skin becomes sensitive to temperature changes. Drinking causes spasms of the larynx, hence the victim avoids drinking and the term hydrophobia (fear of water) is another term for the disease. The patient becomes restless and shows extreme excitability; muscle spasms; laryngeal spasms; convulsions and paralysis. Extreme salivation (foaming at the mouth) is also common. This is followed by inability to walk, eat or drink properly followed by death after 7 days. In the furious form of the disease animals become more excitable and aggressive. Animals may react excessively to even a mild stimulus such as a puff in the wind. In the furious form animals may attack humans and other animals. Treatment and survival rate Approximately 24 hours after the virus enters the body, it enters the nervous system via peripheral nerves. Once this stage has been reached it is incurable, and death eventually results. Therefore if left untreated rabies is 100 per cent fatal. However, if rabies vaccines is given within the 24 hour initial exposure period, the disease can be prevented. As soon as possible after an animal bite, scrub the wound with soap and water for 15 minutes. Report all bites to the proper authority in your area immediately. Prevention is better than cure If you work in an environment where you are at risk of contacting rabies you should have a course of rabies vaccination. The old preventive treatment requires a long series of injections, to be given into the abdomen, and are extremely painful. The only side effects being a sore arm and fatigue following the vaccine. Regular booster vaccination is required to maintain immunity. Stray animals should only be collected by people with knowledge and experience of correct animal handling techniques. Steps to be taken when your dog bites someone.

  1. Do not put your dog to sleep
  2. You will be required to remove your dog for quarantine for at least a period of 10 days for observation at the State Veterinary Department. This is to ensure that the dog is rabies free. This procedure will only be carried if a police report is made by the other party.

What you should do when you get bitten by a dog. Make a police report and seek medical assistance.



Feline distemper or Cat flu is caused by a number of viruses affecting the upper respiratory tract, with symptoms of sneezing, running eyes and nose, and excessive salivation. Prompt veterinary treatment can usually cure feline influenza but cats frequently become carriers. This is one reason why vaccination is essential to protect your own and other cats. An annual booster will ensure your cat stays flu-free – as well as immunizing against FeLV(Feline Leukemia Virus).


This is a serious disease in cats caused by a virus infection. It is also a complex disease, of which leukemia(cancer of the white blood cells) and cancerous tumors are only a small part. Various others related but non-tumorous diseases are also involved. This disease is spread by direct contact with infected cats. It is usually transmitted in the saliva, but now low levels of the virus can also be found in urine and feces. Licking, biting and sneezing are common means of transmission. Food and water dishes and litter boxes are likely sources of infections, if healthy cats share them with infected cats. Once a cat has been infected with leukemia virus, there are 3 possible outcomes:

  1. About 40% develop immunity and become resistant to future infections.
  2. About 30% become ‘latent carriers’ of the disease, neither fully recovered nor seriously affected. They may be susceptible The remaining 30% of exposed cats are persistently infected and, of these, about 83% die within 3 years of the time of infection from leukemia and/or the associated diseases. Death can be sudden or lingering and painful.

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Here is our pamphlet on responsible Pet Ownership:

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