IT ALL started in 2008 when my friend, Joanne Low, told me that a dog in Subang Jaya had been brutally handled by local council dog catchers.
The animal had run through a rubbish chute into the car porch of an empty house, when the dog catchers gave chase.
The dog catchers went through the same chute but instead of bringing the dog out the same way, one of them looped the dog’s neck from outside the gate and pulled it through the railings which injured it badly.
After the dog was bailed out and sent to a veterinary clinic for treatment, I wrote about the incident and the article was published.
Hoping to find the dog a new home, I created a blog aptly named Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB). I also created an email address with the same name.
The response was overwhelming and there was also sponsorship for the dog’s treatment, vaccination and neutering.
Also, the senior partner of a renowned legal firm got in touch.
Various avenues were explored to seek legal redress regarding the mistreated dog. Unfortunately, after much research, the legally firm said nothing could be done.
It seems the councils have the excuse of protecting public health and disease control, as well as preventing the population boom.
Meanwhile, I directed those who wanted to help, to transfer their contributions directly to a veterinary clinic in Ara Damansara, Selangor.
After the dog was treated, the vet said there was still a substantial balance of funds left. Thankfully, the dog was adopted.
I then befriended another rescuer named Christine Lai as well as a few others, including one of MDDB’s founding directors, Irene Low.
Together, we rescued more dogs and puppies.
We sent them to the veterinary clinic for treatment to exhaust the remaining funds.
To find them homes, Lai spoke to the management of a mall in USJ, Subang Jaya, and we had our first adoption drive there in 2009.
Then the inevitable happened – we started rescuing more canines and organized monthly adoption drives.
For me, becoming a rescuer was something unexpected.
However, the reality with animal rescue reverberates with the lyrics of the evergreen song Hotel California: “Last thing I remember, I was running for the door. I had to find the passage back. To the place I was before.
“Relax, said the night man. We are programmed to receive. You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave.”
So, here I am, caught neck-deep and unable to leave even though I am sick to the stomach with the current scenario in animal rescue.
The struggle is fraught with dishonest practices, with many unscrupulous individuals using unfortunate animals to further their own agendas.
Recently, we came across a couple who created a fictitious veterinarian service, while using Photoshopped pictures to take the animal-loving community for a ride.
They used the donations collected to buy six pet shops.
There was also a de-registered group operating in a shrouded manner before it was busted.
Since we cannot simply pack up and leave despite the nauseating turn of events, all we can do is continue plodding with what we had started in 2008.
Given this situation, MDDB will have an adoption drive tomorrow at The Square in Jaya One, Petaling Jaya, from 11am to 6pm.
Please come and adopt a pet.
Hopefully, we will successfully find safety for the almost 30 rescued puppies that are in desperate need of loving homes.