Dogs to be homeless soon

Dogs at the Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) shelter will soon find themselves homeless.

With a temporary occupation licence (TOL) of its site expiring in 2021 and its premium increased by three-fold, ISPCA president Ricky Soong said many of its rescued dogs would soon be forced to become strays again.

He said the animal welfare non-governmental organisation, located off Jalan Gopeng here, did not have the funds to pay RM5,570 for the premium.

“At the end of November, I got a call from the Batu Gajah Land Office saying that the TOL has been approved.

“My happiness quickly turned to despair when informed about the high premium. We only had to pay RM1,500 before this,” he said when contacted.

Soong said the officer had explained to him that it was a new ruling by the state government. The officer then told him to appeal for a discount, he said.

“Even if the premium is halved, it’s still a hefty RM2,750.

“I was made to understand that we were not the only NGO to have to pay such a high premium for the TOL,” he added.

Soong said the ISPCA was already finding it hard to get donations from the public to maintain the shelter and care for the dogs.

“Our annual dinner this year saw us collecting about RM50,000 in donation. Yet it is still not enough to sustain the shelter and care for the animals.

“The medication and treatment expenses alone for the dogs at the shelter is about RM60,000,” he said.

The shelter now has about 50 dogs.

“Some of our members are using their own money to pay for the expenses at the shelter.

“We are thankful that people are donating kibbles for the dogs. Otherwise, we have to fork out more,” he added.

Even if they were offered a piece of land somewhere, he said they would still have to spend money on building new structures and pens for the animals.

“We hope the state government will reconsider the high premium and allow an NGO like ours to pay a minimum amount,” he said.

When contacted, Perak NGO Committee chairman Hasnul Zulkarnain Abd Munaim said he was unaware of the matter and would check with the land office.