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Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Azmin lends PAWS a helping hand

Sign of relief: Suspension of eviction notice gives new lease of life for these dogs that make PAWS their home.

Sign of relief: Suspension of eviction notice gives new lease of life for these dogs that make PAWS their home.

SHAH ALAM: The 260 dogs and 280 cats sheltered at the Paws Animal Welfare Association (PAWS) have been given a temporary reprieve after Selangor Mentri Besar Azmin Ali suspended an eviction notice served on the organisation by the Petaling Land Office.

The notice, ordering PAWS to vacate the state-owned land, was sent to the animal shelter on Nov 10.

Azmin said he would look into the matter.

“I will speak with the district officer and see how best this matter can be solved,” he said at a Selangor Islamic Affairs Department (Jais) event here yesterday.

PAWS manager Edward Lim went to the event to meet Azmin to plead his case.

Azmin said a meeting had been fixed between PAWS and the Selangor land office on the matter at the state secretariat. It will be held today.

To a question if PAWS would be granted a Temporary Occupation Licence (TOL), Azmin said the details would be scrutinised first.

Lim said he was feeling hopeful after meeting the Mentri Besar.

“We were in a quandary but his reassuring words and suspension of the eviction notice has given us some hope to hold on to,” Lim said.

He said PAWS had been at the current site since its inception 28 years ago.

“We won’t know what to do or where to go if evicted,” he said.

Other animal welfare organisations are also rallying behind PAWS and urging the state to show compassion.

“Please do not allow a situation whereby PAWS has no choice but to euthanise the animals,” said canine welfare project Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) rescue coordinator Irene Low adding that relocating the animals would not be feasible.

“Uprooting and moving almost 600 animals could be disastrous,” she said.

Furry Friend Farm’s Myza Nordin reminded the state government that strays caught by the Petaling Jaya Municipal Council (MBPJ) and Shah Alam City Hall (MBSA) were also taken to PAWS.

“Although we are against euthanasia, we acknowledge that those caught by MBPJ are brought to PAWS and not left in the council van until they are put down,” she said.

Lost Animal Souls Shelter (LASS) president Vignes Chelliah said she was shocked over the eviction notice.

“Being told to pack-up and leave after 28 years is not acceptable at all.”

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