Fri, Jan 15, 2016 - Page 5 News List

TRTC under fire over dog hurt by train

LEFT FOR DEAD:A dog clipped by an MRT train was left unattended for more than 48 hours before it was taken to a veterinarian, where it had to be put down

By Tsai Ya-hua and Jake Chung  /  Staff reporter, with staff writer

A dog hit by an MRT train at Zhuwei MRT station on Jan. 2 is seen in an undated photograph.

Photo courtesy of Taipei City Councilor Chen Li-hui

Taipei City Councilor Chen Li-hui (陳孋輝) criticized the Taipei Rapid Transit Corp (TRTC) for its “inhumane” handling of animals injured by Taipei’s MRT system, adding that the city cannot call itself animal-friendly with such a track record.

The insensitivity of the company toward animals makes it no different from the National Taiwan University student who allegedly killed a cat that had been named “Big Orange” by local residents, Chen said.

Despite being notified by residents that a black dog had been clipped by an MRT train after it ran onto the tracks at Zhuwei MRT Station at noon on Jan. 2, company officials did not help the dog until 12 hours later.

The resident quoted the station staff as saying, “the dog is not on the tracks and is not affecting the operations of the MRT service and it must wait until midnight,” Chen said.

When the same resident made an inquiry the next day, station staff said that the Taipei City Animal Protection Office had taken the dog under its care.

However, Chen cited a notice the company issued on Sunday last week, stating that the staff saw that the dog had a collar around its neck and, thinking that it had an owner, put the dog by the bushes in the hope that its owner would find it.

The company’s action meant the dog lay in the bushes for more than 48 hours before it was finally sent to a veterinary clinic, Chen said, adding that it had to be put down due to the extent of its injuries.

The incident highlights the company’s loose organization, inaction and the bureaucratic way it handles its affairs, Chen said.

Company spokesperson Leo Ling (凌啟堯) apologized on behalf of the company and said it had not received any reports about the incident from station staff.

The company said that it acknowledged that there are flaws in its standard operating procedure and hopes to ameliorate it in the future, resulting in more criticism from Chen, who said that the company should not be speaking of such procedures when it comes to saving lives.

The company promises that animal protection offices would be contacted immediately when such incidents occur, Ling said, adding that MRT services might be suspended to help pick up animals so they can be cared for.

If the animal is hurt and the office is not able to give it immediate aid, it should be sent to the closest veterinary clinic for treatment, Ling said.

The Taipei City Animal Protection Office said it would step up measures to see that the company implements animal rescue measures.

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