Reprieve for Malaysian couple with 900 strays

Reprieve for Malaysian couple with 900 strays

ALOR SETAR - Pak Mie and his wife Halijah Idris, along with their 700 dogs and 200 cats, have been given a three-month reprieve by the city council here from having to move out from their shelter.

The council on Thursday had wanted to demolish the shelter in Tanjung Bendahara, which was built on state government reserve land.

However, following the Alor Setar MP Gooi Hsiao Leung's intervention, the council agreed to allow Pak Mie to continue operating the shelter, but only until December.

"Gooi conveyed the good news to me after discussing the matter with mayor Datuk Mat Nor Ahmad," said the 56-year-old, whose real name is Muhammad Azmi Ismail.

"I'm happy with the turn of events because I don't know where else to go," he said.

Pak Mie said he was looking for a place around Tanjung Bendahara to relocate, hoping that the public would lend him a helping hand.

"The place should be located far away from residential areas to avoid any objection from the locals," he added.

Pak Mie and his 65-year-old wife have been keeping stray dogs and cats since 1990.

At one point, their pet population grew to nearly 900. They spent between RM700 (S$275) and RM800 daily to feed them.

"It did not include the cost of vaccination," Pak Mie pointed out.

He said they depended on public donation to keep their animal shelter going.

They had wanted to move to Kuala Nerang in July, but the Padang Terap district office said the locals there objected to the plan.

The couple's story came to light when a video on their rescue work went viral on social networking sites several months ago.

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