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Authorities confiscate goods from P’pang ‘dog shelter’
Published on: Wednesday, November 10, 2021
By: Sidney Skinner
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The Hope Shelter operator receiving food for the dogs from the council’s health inspector.
The Penampang District Council has given a dog shelter operator in Kg Tuavon a helping hand by providing her with provisions to feed the canines in her care, while a Taman Sindo rate-payer, who tried to pass off his vacant home as a similar refuge, was found out after the dogs in his compound were relocated.

Customs officers and the Police entered the unoccupied residence, shortly thereafter, and confiscated boxes of beer and stout which were being stored inside.

The raid lends weight to the suspicion, held by some of those living nearby, that the house was being used as some sort of warehouse.

They got the impression that the dogs served as “security guards” for the premises as the homeowner was not taking care of these canines properly.

He turned up regularly to give them food and water but failed to clean up their excretions.

Consequently, the stench of this waste became a nuisance to the neighbours.

One of these residents provided Hotline with the location of the house in question, which was forwarded to the Council.

Dogs kept as cheap security for boxes of goods stored inside a vacant house in Taman Sindo.

A spokesman for the agency said Health Inspectors found 10 dogs inside the yard of the premises.

“The canines were guarding an empty unit, with a compound which had not been maintained for some time,” he said.

“There were patches of overgrown grass and rubbish, including empty mineral water bottles and bits if wood, strewn about inside.”

He said the Council’s personnel also noted that that the yard reeked of the dog waste.

“At the time, they managed to intercept the owner who had come to bring his pets some food.”

“The individual apparently informed our inspectors of his intention to turn the house into a shelter.”

The spokesman said the rate-payer was told that he could not operate an animal refuge in a residential area as it contravened the Council’s policy on such matters.

“He was advised to get a private land, with a sizeable acreage at remote location, for this purpose.

“The individual was told to move most of his dogs elsewhere, as only two such pets were permitted per household.”

Additionally, the spokesman said, he was also asked to clean up his compound and to take better care of his canines.

This included hosing down his yard regularly and properly disposing of the dogs’ faeces, according to him.

He said a notice to this affect was later given to the rate-payer.

“Our inspectors returned some time later to find that there were no longer any canines inside the compound.”

WINNY of Penampang said staff from the Customs and Police Departments were seen moving to and from the residence one Friday, a week after the dogs were removed.

“They arrived at 2.20pm and only left the place around 4am the next day,” she said.

“I saw boxes, of what looked like beer and stout, being carried from inside the house onto a convoy of five-tonne lorries outside.”

She said there were between six to seven of these heavy vehicles parked on the housing road.

“There were, maybe, about 30 over officers involved in this exercise. They were accompanied by 10 Timorese labourers and 6 cadet police.”

She said the activity drew a crowd of onlookers from the neighbourhood.

Council staff did not find any canines during a follow-up inspection.

“We were warned not to photograph or take video-footage of what was transpiring on our handphones.”

Winny said, prior to this, lorries had been seen going into the empty house from time to time.

“Workers could be observed, on these occasions, unloading goods into the house. 

“This made me wonder if the place was being used as a warehouse, with the dogs serving as ‘security’ of sorts for the premises.”

A spokesman for the Customs Department confirmed that the agency’s staff had participated in a joint operation with their peers from the Penampang Police Station.

He declined to elaborate on what was confiscated from the house, saying only that boxes of “beer” were among these items.

Meanwhile, the Council’s Health Section provided Hope Shelter in the Tuavon area with five packets of rice, each weighing 10 kilogrammes, recently.

The spokesman said the rice was intended to help the operator in feeding the many canines which she had and was looking after.

“She received two more strays from us just before receiving this help,” he said.

“The pair were found separately wandering about near a noodle factory in Kg Kibabaig.” 

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