German becomes shepherd to 250 stray dogs

German becomes shepherd to 250 stray dogs

GEORGE TOWN - When she arrived in Malaysia seven years ago, Barbara Janssen did not know what "street dog" meant.

Today, the 68-year-old retired businesswoman from Germany is living on a 0.6ha land in Teluk Bahang with 250 dogs that were rescued off the streets.

Janssen said when she first stumbled upon two puppies by the roadside here, she was puzzled as to why they were there.

"I was horrified when told that they were abandoned puppies," she said, adding that there were no stray dogs in Germany.

"I then adopted the puppies but the apartment I was staying in at that time did not allow pets. So, I moved to another place which was more pet-friendly," she told The Star yesterday.

Janssen, who is living here under the Malaysia My Second Home Programme, said she leased the Teluk Bahang land and adopted more strays four years ago.

She eventually started taking in dogs that were given up by people who could not care for their pets anymore, like those who had moved into houses with a "no pet" policy or owners who had died.

Due to her hectic schedule, Janssen's initial plan to retire and spend some relaxing time in Penang has been put on hold - indefinitely.

However, she is not complaining.

"My dogs are my life and I feel healthy and happy being with them," she said, adding that she uses her pension and rental from her German property to take care of her canine friends.

Those wanting to adopt a dog can contact Janssen at 016-342 0703.

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