By Mei Kuan
Set to be the first stray adoption cafe in Malaysia, 30 Nights of Strays Cafe was launched in early June enabling rescue dogs to find their forever home and diners or potential adopters to meet their next best friends.
To learn more, Ipoh Echo recently spoke to Chong Choon Kit, the founder of both 30 Nights of Strays Cafe and the non-governmental organisation, Mutts & Mittens (M & M).
“As M & M focuses on rescue work, I have been rescuing dogs and neutering them. We used to conduct adoption drives, too. I came to the realisation that many people prefer famous breeds and are very selective when it comes to adoption. Little do they know that strays are equally just as awesome with stable temperament,” the Ipoh boy expressed during the interview as a visually-impaired, four-legged friend clung to him lovingly.
“When we did adoption drives in Old Town along Concubine Lane and Market Lane, the average return rate was high. Thus, we gradually stopped the adoption drive to think of a better way. A few years ago, we chanced upon an adoption cafe in Taiwan named ‘Lang Lang Don’t Cry – Pet Halfway House & Cafe’ and found their concept inspirational. As most of the pets cafes in Malaysia centre around well-known breeds such as Husky among others, it sparked off the idea to open one with the primary aim to aid mixed-breed strays. Through a stray adoption cafe, it is hoped that everyone can understand that every life is precious,” he explained.
Featuring homemade Western food without food additives, payment is charged as donations which will then be channeled to M & M for the welfare of strays after deducting the operational cost. Merchandise in the form of t-shirts and caps are also available for sale in support of the cause.
“Strays, mostly brought in by fosters or volunteers, will be housed here for 30 nights hence the name ‘30 Nights of Strays Cafe’. The strays have been neutered and vaccinated. We could house a maximum of 6 canine companions at a time. If they are not adopted within 30 days, they will be returned to the fosters,” the amiable Chong shared, adding that a total of 38 strays have been adopted by visitors to date.
Besides regular customers, the cozy spot is also frequented by those who cannot have a dog of their own due to various reasons such as a no-pets policy of their living space. This cafe has got it all – adorable dogs to pet, a comfy space to unwind and super friendly staff to share the cheers.
“The development of technology and sharing via social media platforms have allowed many to learn the importance of neutering. There are also many good Samaritans, volunteers and NGOs promoting the awareness. To improve the situation further, there is a need for the authorities to introduce a form of registration system that enables easy tracing of irresponsible owners who abandoned their dogs. The use of microchips, for example, could fill loopholes,” he observed.
“We hope to also house cats in the future. An upcoming plan is to create a one-stop centre for cats and dogs with boarding, grooming service and pet supplies,” he told Ipoh Echo.
30 Nights of Strays Cafe operates daily (closed on Monday) from 12 noon till 9pm. It is located at 92, Jalan Dato’ Lau Pak Khuan, Taman Ipoh, 31400 Ipoh (corner lot). It’s non-halal. Volunteers are welcomed especially for the weekend.
Readers can opt to donate directly to Mutts & Mittens via its Public Bank account number: 3200329836 (Persatuan Pencinta Haiwan Daerah Kinta Perak). M & M was established 6 years ago.