City Hall’s animal-control unit back in operation
Published on: Wednesday, May 20, 2020
By: Sidney Skinner
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The pack (circle) has become a bother to those living on the stretch.
Kota Kinabalu: City Hall’s animal-control unit is back in operation after being on a two month-hiatus due to the implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO).

A spokesman for the agency’s Health and Environment Department said the unit’s efforts had been put on hold since March 18, when the first stage of the Order began.

He explained that only some of its Departments were operating during the MCO-period, even though City Hall was listed among those government bodies which provided essential services.  

“In the Health Department, priority was accorded to disinfecting the public spaces around the City, he said.

“This work has been done on and off in different areas under City Hall’s jurisdiction since March and is still being carried out.”

Nevertheless, he said, as of May 18, the agency’s personnel involved in animal-control had resumed efforts to deal with grievances related to dogs and birds.

“Our vector unit has also begun tackling rat problems around Kota Kinabalu.

“Numerous complaints about these different nuisances have been recorded since March. Both units will gradually begin attending to each of these reports.”

The spokesman said these included canine problems separately referred to Daily Express Hotline from three Kepayan readers.

“Dog-owners will be reminded not to allow their pets to roam about unsupervised on stretches in these neighbourhoods. 

“If need be, flyers will be placed in the post boxes of homes here, asking rate-payers to ensure that their pets were licensed and kept within their compound.”

He said City Hall workers would not hesitate to catch any dogs found wandering unsupervised on housing roads and other public areas.

DION, who lives in Taman Selesa, bemoaned the nuisance created by the dogs roaming about in the public areas in front of her home.

“The dogs defecate on the road and topple our bins in their search for food,” she said.

“We are fed up of having to clean up the mess left behind by these animals.”

When asked if the dogs were strays, she said they belonged to another homeowner living on the same road.

“The family opens their front gate in the morning and allows their pets to wander about so that the canines can use the verge as a toilet.

Dion said she had related displeasure about these goings-on to her neighbour but her pleas had, so far, fallen on deaf ears.

“I have nothing against the dogs, but I feel that the owner should at least keep an eye on his pets when they are outside his house before the situation gets out of control.”

She said he hated to imagine what would happen if an innocent passer-by, including any of the neighbourhood children or an elderly pedestrian, was bitten or mauled by the canines.

She said she had, once or twice, seen the dogs chasing cars and even motorcycles which used the housing road.

Dion expressed her concerns to City Hall at the beginning of March and was assured that the agency would check on the goings-on in the neighbourhood.

“I phoned them almost a month later and received the same assurance from the staff who took my call.

“I am at a loss to understand why City Hall has failed to address my grievance.

“Isn’t the agency supposed an essential service-provider while the MCO is being enforced? As such shouldn’t action be taken to crack down on these canines? ”

A Taman Tasik home-owner, one FONG, said his neighbour reared as many as seven dogs. 

He said the sound of the dogs barking and growling prevented him and his family from getting a restful sleep at night.

“It is difficult to doze off again after this, especially when the canines fight,” he said.

“We have spent too many nights being awoken by our sleep in this manner.”

He said the dogs barked on and off even throughout the day.

“It is especially trying on those nursing or looking after babies, as these young ones start crying because of the noise.

“Some of my neighbours are ill and infirm. They complain that it is difficult to take a nap during the day.”

Fong said he had spoken to the dog-owner about this nuisance, but the situation had yet to improve.

“I was made to understand that Kota Kinabalu rate-payers are not allowed to keep more than two dogs in their compounds at any one time.

“If this is so, I don’t know how my neighbour can be getting away with looking after so many canines.”

He wanted to know whether City Hall had issued licences for all these pets.

STELLA, who lives in the Kepayan Low Cost Housing area, packs of between seven to eight dogs wandered on the housing road in front of her home.

“These canines can generally be seen on the stretch after 6pm, when the weather becomes cooler,” she said.

She said the presence of the canines on the road had caught her attention several months earlier.


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