Four pitbulls to be put to sleep

GEORGE TOWN: All four pitbull-type dogs belonging to organic farm owner Joseph Teoh, 42, and his wife Teoh Bee Eng, 56, will be put to sleep, Penang Municipal Council president Patahiyah Ismail said.

She said the council would put down the dogs as per the magistrate court's decision on April 4 when it fined the couple RM4,000 each for owning the dogs without licences.

"Any appeal is to be made to the court as it is the court's decision and not the council's. The council cannot go against the court's decision.

"As for the licences for the four dogs, they were only applied for on April 6 which was after the court's decision," Patahiyah said after chairing a full council meeting yesterday.

She said the information on the dog type and their owner's address in the application forms for the licences were also inaccurate.

She said the dogs would be put to sleep by May 31.

It had been reported that the dogs were to have been put to sleep on May 20 but the council decided to postpone the move to May 31.

The Teohs had requested that two of the dogs, Yin and Kang, be spared as they were not involved in the fatal mauling of Irish tourist Maurice Sullivan, 51, at their farm on Jan 9.

They sent legal letters to MPPP and the Penang Veterinary Department in their bid to save the two dogs.

In the letter, the law firm representing the couple said Section 15 of the Minor Offence (Dogs) Penang Municipal Council 1977 and Section 38(6) of the Animal Act 1963 did not authorise any local authority to destroy the dogs as both were properly licensed.

Sullivan, a volunteer worker, had gone to the farm with a Polish friend to photograph organic plants when he was attacked by two of Teoh's dogs.

Patahiyah said a check by the council's lawyer revealed that the couple had not appealed to the court.