JOHOR BARU - These strays dogs were supposed to have been rescued, kept safe and fed in a shelter. However, some 30 of them housed at a shelter in Taman Delima 2 here were found to be malnourished and living in a deplorable condition with ticks all over their bodies.
Volunteers from the Homeless and Orphan Pets Exist (HOPE), who came to know about their condition, were unable to rescue the dogs as the shelter owner refused to let them take the animals.
A war of words erupted between the volunteers and the woman, in her 50s, during an hour-long commotion yesterday.
The canines were seen lying in their own waste while a strong stench wafted through the air. Some were even chained in cages.
The volunteers immediately fed the dogs with dried food and clean water.
Landowner Kenny Tan, 52, said he allowed the woman to use a portion of his land when she approached him three years ago.
It was learnt that the shelter operator got into trouble with the local authorities several times previously, including in 2012 for keeping about 80 dogs inside a double-storey house.
The woman, who declined to be named, defended her shelter, saying that she fed the dogs daily and the animals were vaccinated and had no diseases.
After two hours of persuasion, HOPE volunteer Iris Leong said the woman finally allowed them to clean up the shelter and send the dogs for neutering and medical attention.
JB City Council public relations officer Mohd Firdaus Abdul Hamid said the woman had been warned and given advice repeatedly.
"We view this seriously and will issue her a notice to clean up the area," he said, adding that the council would also rope in the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals for help.