All is well: Pak Mie standing next to one of his newly-built dog shelters at Tanjung Bendahara in Alor Setar.
ALOR SETAR: A man who runs an animal shelter here which houses some 700 dogs and 200 cats that he rescued from the streets has denied accusations that the animals were suffering under his care.
Muhammad Azmi Ismail, 56, better known as Pak Mie, said he loved the animals as if they were his children.
He said he was not surprised by the accusations since he had been operating the shelter for more than 10 years.
“I was accused of mistreating the animals, putting them in cages and tying them to poles. I put them in cages because they are sick and need more attention.
“I tied them because they might wander off or hurt themselves,” he said in response to an e-mail sent to the media by a person who claimed that the animals at the shelter were suffering and that he had misused the money donated for the shelter.
The writer also claimed that Pak Mie was hoarding the animals and refused to give them up for adoption.
Pak Mie said he was willing to be investigated over the money donated to the shelter, adding that he used the funds to buy food and medication for the animals.
He also said he was in the midst of upgrading the shelter, which included the building of new fences, sheds and a proper sewerage system.
“The upgrading costs more than RM100,000 and I am using all the savings that I have for it,” he added.
Pak Mie said he had been allowed to stay at his current site in Tanjung Bendahara here provided that he upgraded the shelter.
He plans to apply for a temporary occupation licence (TOL) to enable him to stay put at the site, which is on river reserve land.
On claims that he was hoarding the animals, Pak Mie said he did not save the animals to give them up for adoption.
The Kedah Veterinary Department has also inspected the shelter after receiving a complaint and found that Pak Mie provided good care for the animals.
A source from the department said Pak Mie and his wife, Mak Intan, also provided medical care to the injured and sick animals, including isolating those that needed treatment.
A check by The Star yesterday showed that the shelter was being upgraded and that the animals there were well fed.