Animal shelter hounded by woes and has nowhere to go

Asia's Tech News Daily

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today The road, which is the only access to the shelter, has been blocked by contractors laying sewer pipes. (Badirol Hisham pic)

ALOR SETAR: There appears to be no end to the woes of the Pak Mie animal shelter. It now faces eviction and vehicle access to it has been cut off.

Worse, attempts to relocate it have been met with howls of protests.

The shelter was started by contractor Muhammad Azmi Ismail at his home here in the 1990s.

He later found a site near a river reserve along Sungai Kedah and decided to reclaim it. After spending more than RM100,000 on the reclamation, he finally built an 11-cabin shelter in 2013.

Authorities soon began hounding him and his wife and did not stop until both had died.

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Badirol Hisham feeding dogs at the kennel. (Badirol Hisham pic)

Their children, Badirol Hisham and Roslida, are now in charge and the problems have not stopped.

The shelter, which cares for more than 300 dogs and cats, is now largely inaccessible to donors because the road to it is closed to cars.

Early this year, authorities told Badirol and Roslida they had to move the shelter from its 4.4ha site to make way for a utility project. However, it remains there after two attempts at relocation drew protests from locals.

Badirol, a retired Royal Ranger Regiment major, said the Kedah government told him in March that the shelter could relocate to state land in Pendang, but nothing has come out of it.

© Provided by Free Malaysia Today Some of the 200-odd dogs at the shelter. (Badirol Hisham pic)

He said he and his sister were sometimes forced to walk for close to a kilometre to haul kilos of dog and cat food.

The shelter survives on donated food and funds. At least RM10,000 is needed every month for food, medical costs and diesel to keep two generators running.

“Whenever the state offers us a piece of land, people object to it,” Badirol told FMT. “This is the Kedahan mentality when it comes to dogs. When they hear about pig farms being set up nearby, you don’t hear much.

“The real issue is that I’m a Malay and I’m taking care of dogs. If I were of another race, there would be no issue.

“Now, I understand what my parents went through.”

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