New shelter for stray dogs near Ipoh

IPOH, March 21 ― Over 3,500 stray dogs located at a landfill area in Papan face a new lease of life as animal lover groups plan to build a shelter nearby.

The landfill area about 17km from Ipoh town, where the Ipoh City Council captured and released strays since about a year ago, was considered unsafe due to lack of food and shelter.      

Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) said about 300 stray dogs have been relocated to the dumpsite each month over the past year, but some might have died from starvation.

“These animals are suffering as they don’t have food and shelter there.

“Some of the strays which go out from the place to find food eventually got into accidents as the area located next to the busy Ipoh-Lumut highway,” Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA) president Ricky Soong told reporters at a press conference.

ISPCA and Mutts and Mittens (Persatuan Pencinta Haiwan Daerah Kinta Perak) are planning to build a shelter in the expanses of 0.405ha of land near the landfill area. 

Soong also added the migration process could also harm motorists who uses the highway.  

Soong said the Ipoh City Council was left with no other choice than releasing the strays at the landfill area as most of the dog shelters in Ipoh were fully occupied.

Soong pointed out that building the shelter there could save the lives of many dogs and would eventually create a new home for them.

“The idea of building a shelter near the landfill was suggested by Mutts and Mittens president Chong Choon Kit.

“However, the land which was identified by Chong is belongs to the state government. We will seek the local council to help us get a temporary occupation licence for the shelter,” he said.

Soong said if everything went right, they would start building fence around the area and the shelter would be managed by Mutts and Mittens.

“With the shelter we can take care of the dogs and provide them food.

“We will also be able to find owners to adopt the dogs from the shelter under the Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programme,” he said.

TNR is a system where the stray dogs and cats will be neutered or spayed before fixing a microchip to their ears.

The device would indicate the animal’s neutered status as well as information about the dog and its caregiver ― volunteers or adopters.

Meanwhile, a spokesman from the local council said that the land which was identified by the group to build the shelter was gazetted for waste disposal. 

“We will discuss about the dog shelter in our committee meeting, which will be chaired by the Mayor Datuk Zamri Man.

“If the council approves the plan, then the groups can start building the shelter there,” he said.