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Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday September 14, 2013 MYT 9:25:18 AM
by embun majid
ALOR SETAR: The couple who made news caring for hundreds of stray dogs and cats at a makeshift shelter in Tanjung Bendahara here hopes to be allowed to remain at the site until a new location is found.
Pak Mie, whose real name is Muhammad Azmi Ismail, 56, said that he and his wife, known as Mak Intan, have until Sept 19 to vacate the government reserve land which the shelter is squatting on.
However, up to yesterday, they still had no idea on where to go.
He said that they had earlier intended to move to a new location in Kuala Nerang in July but had to abandon the plan after the Padang Terap district office issued a letter stating that the locals objected to him operating a shelter for the animals there.
“Where else can we go? On Thursday, I went to look at a location in Jalan Lamdin, Naka, but found that it was unsuitable for the shelter,” he said when contacted yesterday.
Pak Mie said that he hoped the Kota Setar district office and landowner, Indah Water Konsortium, would allow them to remain at the location until they found a suitable site to relocate to.
He said that they had squatted on the reserve land since 2000 and never thought that their action would cause any harm to other people.
“I thought that we would not be a nuisance to anyone since the site is empty and far from any housing areas,” he said.
Pak Mie said that he spent more than RM200,000 to clear the land in Kuala Nerang as an alternative site for the shelter but after he had to abandon the plan, he has no more funds to develop a new site.
“There are only a few days left until the eviction.
If we have to vacate, where will the animals go? Must they go back to the streets or are the authorities planning to put them to sleep?
“I was not seeking acknowledgment, but isn’t what my wife and I are doing helping to solve the stray dog issue in the city?” he asked.
Pak Mie said that all the animals at the shelter were rescued from the streets and he had treated them and provided them with food and medicine.
He said that he would write to the Kota Setar district office appealing for an extension period. He hoped for some understanding from them.
Pak Mie and Mak Intan’s story came to light when a video on their rescue work went viral on social networking sites a few months ago.
Tags / Keywords:
Lifestyle, Family & Community, Pak Mie, Mak Intan, shelter, strays
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