IN PERIL: Senior citizen, who takes care of the canines at an abandoned shop lot, has been told to vacate the premises by tomorrow
SEVENTY-four-year-old Wong Choon Pan knows what it is like not to have a roof over one's head. While he himself may not have a home, the former construction worker has a heart big enough to provide shelter for 65 stray dogs.
The dogs, which he refers to as his "babies", have been well cared for over the past 10 years at an abandoned shop lot in Pekan Ampang.
"When I see these dogs wandering around, my heart goes out to them as I know they're not cared for.
"Now, under my care, they have a roof over their heads and enough food," he said, adding that the dogs are given leftover food which he collects from restaurants.
Wong communicates with the dogs in Cantonese and addresses them as "baby".
"My babies are nicer than people who have insulted and beaten me for nothing.
"These dogs also help me cure my toothache by just licking it," he added.
However, the shop lot, about the size of a badminton court, smelt of dog poo and urine.
It was also dark and dingy and we had to use a torchlight to look inside.
The shop lot owner had lodged police report about the illegal occupancy and has given Wong until tomorrow to vacate the place.
"My dogs are good and smart animals as they don't bite people. I am willing to 'pay a million ringgit ' as long as they are left undisturbed," he told Streets.
Non-governmental organisation, Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue, is asking help from the public to provide temporary shelter for the dogs.
Its vice-president Shalinee Fernandez said the dogs may be put to sleep if they are not removed from the building.
"If the public helps us by providing shelter, we will find a way to get the dogs adopted and provide them with medical treatment," she said, adding that they found out about the dogs two days ago.
Shalinee also added that some of the dogs were in poor health, judging from their appearances.
Those interested to help can call Puspa at 012-399 2021 or Bob at 014-947 7407.