In the Ipoh Echo Issue 167 (June 1-15, 2013), News Roundup carried a heart-breaking story about a neglected dog in Mansion Park. ISPCA (Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) immediately contacted the owner and was told it wasn’t an abuse case.
ISPCA has been following the case closely and we are glad to inform readers of Ipoh Echo that the dog has been given a new lease of life, thanks to rescuers Judy Tze and Irene Boey.
Recently we visited Irene and found the dog, now called Abigail, in good health with a new coat of fur. Irene told us Abigail showed fast recovery within the first three months under her care. Abigail is now in the care of Irene’s father and her son Aaron.
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.”
“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.
Animal Rescue Mission Society (ARMS) is a non-governmental organization which has managed to rescue and rehabilitate over 90 stray, abandoned and abused dogs in the city within five months. The rescue operations were started with a group of 10 dedicated volunteers and are still active up to this day. They strive to make Ipoh a stray-free city within the next five years. So far, 30 of these dogs have successfully found new owners and indeed, new lives.
ARMS’ objectives are to build a ‘NO KILL’ sanctuary to help stray domestic animals through adoption drives. They also want to establish a Bureau of Complaint and even for an Animal Police Department to ensure that the public may make reports on animal abuse, illegal breeding and selling, etc. They would also like to encourage the setting up of more government hospitals/clinics for animals to ensure that everybody can afford to treat, vaccinate, and neuter their pets and strays.
Founder S.S. Daniya said that the society has made good progress, despite the fact that it had only been started in February. They have set up a temporary shelter in Lahat for the rescued animals, which houses around 60 dogs. The shelter which was set up in May, only houses members of the canine population, as it does not have the necessary facilities to take in other animals.
However, Daniya claimed that the main problem faced by society currently was a lack of public awareness about the group and its activities. They do not have enough manpower to directly promote the society on a consistent basis. However, they have reached out to a number of Universities and corporations for assistance via Facebook.
Daniya adds that the awareness is higher in other cities compared to Ipoh because there are many non-governmental organizations (NGOs) that speak out for animal rights. She hopes to gain more publicity to change this.
Looking towards the future, Daniya outlined a number of plans for the society. There are plans to act as the official ‘dog catcher’ and pound for DBI that is well accepted and respected via handling of strays, rehabilitating and rehoming. They could assist the official bodies and the government in identifying and demolishing illegal breeding and trading of domestic and exotic animals. They would also like to establish a rescue team to clean up the streets of Ipoh. They aim to work closely with Independent Animal Rescuers in successfully operating the shelter and rehoming of animals.
“We are hoping to build a 2-acre sanctuary on the outskirts of the city to accommodate not only the canine population, but also cats, birds, and other animals that need help. To this end, we have been in contact with the Ipoh City Council (MBI) and the Menteri Besar’s office, the latter of which has responded favourably. Ipoh has incredible potential, as the people are very understanding and conscientious about the plight of animals. “All they need is food twice a day, and a place to stay and play.”
Members of the public who would like to find out more about the Animal Rescue Mission Society (ARMS) can visit their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/animalrescuemissionsociety. They can also call S.S. Daniya at 012-969 9194. Contributions in kind and cash are highly appreciated. For cash contributions, kindly bank in to Maybank Berhad under Pertubuhan Penyelamatan, Pemulihan Dan Perlindungan Haiwan Perak (ARMS) – 5082 8930 2659.