The Gift of Kindness

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Tan Sri Jeyaratnam with Bella found in the Canning Garden market

Quietly and with little fanfare, a small animal welfare group known as Noah’s Ark Ipoh has been doing a magnificent job taking care of stray animals in Ipoh. The brainchild of well known veterinarian Dr Ranjit Kaur, Noah’s Ark has been rescuing, treating, neutering, feeding and finding adoptees or releasing the animals.

The spirit and compassion of the group is best epitomised by two sisters, Jayamalar and Ratnamalar Jeyaratnam, who work ceaselessly to rescue and feed the strays they come across in Ipoh.

As the saying goes, ‘Like Father like son’, in this case, daughters; it is Tan Sri Jeyaratnam who has imbued the two girls with their love of animals and they are carrying on the tradition established by their father who was and is the ‘King’ rescuer of strays in Ipoh.

Ipoh Echo spoke to Tan Sri at his office in the venerable Turf Club on his love of animals and the upcoming fundraiser for Noah’s Ark on October 26.

Gentle and affable, Tan Sri relates many anecdotes on his encounters with strays. “About 12 years ago, I was in my car driving along when I saw a dog lying across the middle of Thompson Road. Convinced that its was dead, I got out of the car to carry the body to the side of the road so it wouldn’t be run over. To my surprise it sat up when I approached and looked at me with the most twinkly eyes I have ever seen. I promptly took it in my car and brought it back to the Turf Club where it has been all these years. Twinkle, as we called him, died a month ago of old age having been happy here and getting along well with all the other strays which I have picked up over the years. They are fed and housed here on the Turf Club premises.”

When asked how many strays he has at home, he smiled as he reminisced, “I have lost count over the years but currently we have five cats and five dogs. The latest dog was the puppy of a dog Jaya used to feed near the Turf Club and when she discovered one day that she had a puppy, she brought the dog home with the puppy and nursed the mother with the puppy till the puppy was independent. We have called the puppy  Valentino as he came to us on Valentine’s day. The mother, alas, has chosen to go back to her playmate on the streets and we continue to feed them. Such is the constant  activity in our home. I never know what I’ll find at home when I return from work. It’s wonderfully lively and loving.”

Jaya with the stray Bo Pee and her new pup Valentino; Bo Pee has chosen to live a life as a stray but is being fed everyday

“My late wife was the same. Although she had never known dogs before she married me, she became besotted with them and would bring food with her to feed one particular stray whom she would encounter on her walks by Kinta River. Her devotion to her own dogs was so complete that she would forgo travelling with me or even social engagements for fear that the dogs might be lonely! The only functions I could persuade her to attend were the royal ones and even then she would keep looking at the clock and nudging for me to go home,” he added.

Noah’s Ark has rescued and neutered over 2000 strays since its inception in September 2009 and about 70 per cent of these have been adopted. Abused, injured, pregnant and nursing mothers are also picked up and treated. The problem they are facing is not having a shelter to board and treat these poor animals until such time as they are fit for release or adoption. Also the costs for treatment, boarding, feeding, vaccinations and neutering are solely dependent on donations from the generosity of the public. Hence the need to raise funds for the society.

On Saturday October 26, a fund raiser has been planned for this purpose. An entertaining evening is promised with exquisite finger food in a serene setting inside the Kepura Cave in the Lost World of Tambun at 7.30pm.

For more information, call: Dr Ranjit 019-556 8292; Malika Ramiah Oates 017‑575 1556 or email: [email protected] or www.facebook.com/groups/noahsarkipohcattery.

SFCK

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