Council: No tags for dogs in high-rise homes but it’s okay

Tan (right) with applicant Ooi Keng Hooi (left) as veterinary assistant (second from left) Asrul Rizal Ayob, Mohd Emeel Zaki Mohamad Rafi and Nurzam Izati Ayu Abd Aziz look on. — LIM BENG TATT/The Star

DOGS living in high-rise homes will not be issued tags by the city council.

Penang’s by-laws forbid their owners from getting dog licences if they live in flats, apartments and condominiums as they are not allowed to rear dogs there.

City councillor Connie Tan said the Penang Island City Council (MBPP) was aware that many high-rise homeowners keep dogs nonetheless.

“We do not interfere in this or enforce the law as long as their management committees are okay with it.

“We are not harsh about it nor do we do enforcement rounds into strata properties to check.

“However, we do not give out licences to dogs living in strata properties. Dog owners must show proof of a landed property by submitting a utility bill when applying for a licence,” she said at MBPP’s Veterinary Unit in River Road.

When applying for licences, dog owners may show officers a soft copy of the photo of themselves and their pets if they are unable to print the image.

Tan, who is the MBPP stray and abandoned dogs sub-committee chairman, said MBPP would not catch stray dogs unless there were complaints.

“It does not matter if the dog has a tag or not, the council will catch the dog if it is found roaming around after we receive complaints.

“If the dog has a tag, we look for the owner and inform them that we have their dog.

“If the dog does not have a tag, we keep the dog for three days for it to be claimed.

“If unclaimed within those three days, we follow our standard operating procedure, which is to trap, neuter and release.”

Under by-laws enacted in 1977, it is compulsory for dog owners to have licences.

Tan said veterinary officers would go house-to-house regularly to advise dog owners to obtain licences for their pets.

These visits are done on weekends and public holidays.

“We find that this has made a difference as the number of applicants has increased.

“In 2021, the number of dog licences issued was 1,309 and last year, it increased to 2,309.”

MBPP also has booths in various locations for dog owners to get licences on the spot.

“We hope to see more dog owners get their licences. As of Jan 16, there have been 387 applications,” she said.

Tan called on dog owners to ensure that their dogs were vaccinated against disease and also to neuter them to prevent unwanted pregnancies.

She urged the public to work with MBPP’s Veterinary Unit to make sure their dogs had licences.

“Sometimes people think our officers are scammers when we contact them to come collect the licence if they have applied online. We’re just informing them the tag is ready for pick-up.”

Online dog licence applications can be made at

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