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Catastrophic Event at Dog Shelter

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In the last few months of hiatus, I’d spent my time with friends, relatives and catching up on outdoor pursuits all over Germany & Italy and getting a bit of underwater time in Egypt. I took a break from myself because I wanted to get more input to be able to give output. I was writing for work so much that I’ve lost some mojo in the things that once brought me such joy. One event led to the next, and though people may envy my travels, they don’t really know how disconnected I become when I come back from each trip, catching up on friends’ FB feed and desiring fellowship with great buddies. One friend got married, had a baby with a man I didn’t know she married because I thought she was still dating her long time boyfriend whom I happen to also know. I asked her privately, of course, much to my confusion and thankfully, it wasn’t as embarrassing as I thought it would be. Honesty and forthrightness go a long way to preserving relationships. I don’t believe in talking behind anyone’s back unless I’m giving them praises.

I got to a stage in life where I started to place importance in keeping friends who want to stay in touch, I began to keep away from those who are malignant. I became less attached to social media starting with my weaning off Twitter & Google+, using it only to communicate with several people pertaining to current issues. I stay in touch with good friends who are also busy, making no demands on their time as they made no demands on mine and when we meet, it would be as if no time had passed between us at all. I made a resolution last year to only write what would be of good cheer, useful and informative articles for the benefit of my audience who take the time to journey with me.

I was also getting over a traumatic event.

Just before the turn of the New Year, a Christmas party I attended at a dog shelter ended up in a disaster. I couldn’t write about it then because I was distraught and injured. What seemed to be a fine afternoon of celebration in the sun with cheery dogs running about, a sudden storm turned the river outside into a raging torrent that submerged the shelter and all other houses in the vicinity in over 2 metres of muddy water. 13 volunteers and workers including Puspa, the founder of the shelter, Aziz & myself, were scrambling to raise the cages & free the dogs but the flood waters rose so fast, there wasn’t enough time to get all to safety and dry ground resulting in deaths. Everyone did their best to get as many dogs out, those of us who could swim, were grabbing dogs paddling about to hoist them to higher platforms, those who couldn’t, were clinging on to several dogs on trees, pillars & roofs for their dear lives. The scene was right out of a catastrophic mudslide except that this happened in Kajang, on our soil, to our people. Having my supposedly waterproof Sony Xperia Z1 phone in my pocket while I swam to & fro the main gate of the shelter’s compound to call for help, had actually flooded it. If only I can get hold of the footage I filmed when the flood happened, it would give you an idea what we endured before risking our lives to save our dogs. The incident left many broken hearted.

The rain didn’t stop. When the waters rose passed knee deep. I began to pray. This was way beyond what I was trained for in disaster management and life saving but I couldn’t leave them stranded and knowing the majority of our nation could not swim, it was a call of duty. I knew Aziz could swim, having been educated in the U.K., I expected him to be able to. He was rescuing bags of food and the box of frozen chicken. I asked God what to do. By then, the water had reached my waist. A rat swam frantically by. There was also a snake in the water. I didn’t flinch. I was just stunned. It was barely minutes. I had a backpack filled with documents, electronic gadgets, tablets & devices that weren’t protected. I pleaded for help. Lord, if you want me to do this right, please protect my belongings! God made me turn around & there, I saw a bungee cord hanging on the door! Then He showed me a pipe near the roof for me to climb up the window sill to tie my bag there. In my breath, I heaved a sigh of relief and gave thanks to God who always fished me out of trouble. Then the rescue really begun. I tried to stay calm and talked to those who couldn’t swim. We released all dogs within our perimeters to fend for themselves. My priority was human beings, dogs go to heaven any way. Dogs have an inbuilt ability to swim. Humans don’t. The larger dogs in the outside compound cages were freed in time and being social animals, they clamoured onto us & clung on for dear lives onto our shoulders and backs. If I wasn’t a strong swimmer, I would’ve drowned in all that weight. I tossed whoever was in my grasp to either Baskaran, the staff who got onto the higher platform with 20 other panicky dogs or Aziz who would bring the dogs to stand above the hoisted cages. Somehow, they know trouble was brewing. I couldn’t let my voice falter or they would hear my tone of distress that would trouble them even more. The last thing I needed was for the 20+ dogs to jump out of the holding platform at once to head for the torrential river outside the gate. I had scratches and bruises and like the rest, I wasn’t going to let go of them. Joey lost her car in the floods. It was almost like a repeat of Pulau Selat Kering back in 2009.

When the firemen finally got to us, they asked us how many we were and if there are children present. They asked us if we needed to be rescued in the waters well over my head. I said to them, where’s the boat, we only want to be rescued if we know we can leave here with our dogs. Bomba left us. Hmmm……I guess they don’t rescue dogs.

Thiaga from DAP, the party who came to our aid, offered Puspa a factory premise nearby to temporarily host the dogs till she can find something more permanent. Having had floods before, the current shelter is no longer a safe haven and she has got to move before another flood hits and by then, it wouldn’t be coinciding with any more parties with volunteers who know how to swim being present. Coming out to attend Pesta Balakong, the DAP councillor gave us new T-Shirts to change from our totally soaked & stinky attire. My foot was bleeding from having kicked some sharp object underwater but the pain was nothing compared to the pain of losing these beloved dogs in the flood. I don’t know the figures because I didn’t stay behind to witness the depressing sight which the workers had the terrible task of doing. More volunteers arrived after our calls for help reached social media. Anthony was my beacon. I never cried so hard before for the loss of these innocent lives caught in a catastrophe. It was something beyond our control. I cannot speak for the accusations levelled at Puspa on the running of the association but I was there at the scene with her to see her risk her life for her dogs. And so did her workers and volunteers present. I went home in a daze and washed my hair 3 times. I caught a chill but my thoughts were with MIAR. We can leave the incident but the incident can never leave us.

Upon hearing our ordeal, Steven Yong on behalf of HTC Malaysia came forward and gave the 13 of us at MIAR a replacement phone each. What a wonderful thing to do! A major commercial brand reached out to those who stayed behind for their four-legged friends. Thank you, HTC! The HTC Desire 610 is serving me very well. I’m reminded of the dogs that didn’t make it and the dogs that did. I asked God for a place in heaven for each one of them who crossed the Rainbow Bridge that day. And may those who lent a hand during the rescue and the post-rescue clean-up be blessed abundantly for answering the call for help. The empathy shown just blew me away.

In Loving Memory of Sabrina Yeap, 1963 – 2012.

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Her grit saw her through the many dire situations that Sabrina Yeap encountered in her lifetime. The lives of those furry friends she found on the street, rescued from chains or cages in abandonment, in the drains & ditches and even in mangrove swamps. Sabrina Yeap always had room for one more dog in her farm no matter what her detractors say. And her detractors are simply just that. Sabrina was born, her parents died & her relatives took everything then dumped her at an orphanage. She knew too well what it’s like being abandoned. She never had a normal childhood, yet the love for dogs emanated from within the tiny frame that held her gentle soul, kept her close with the animals that she devoted her life to raising, caring & protecting. She spent 15 years working in SPCA as an Animal Inspector, then under the leadership of (Max) Ian Wheatley who founded the society in 1958. I met her a few years before Mr. Wheatley died when I volunteered at the society. 

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Holding Cleo, one of the rescued dogs of Pulau Selat Kering.

Sabrina investigated every case of cruelty reported & she worked together with the Department of Veterinary Services (DVS) to prosecute perpetrators in court right up to 2005. In that time I’ve known her, she always had the welfare of the animals first. She would climb out of the trucks with dogs trapped & the look of triumph on her face told me that she had rescued another cruelty case. My task was merely to feed the difficult dogs their medication but seeing her return with a casualty was like watching CSI solve a case.

Our ties formed when I began travelling, and very often I had to leave my dog with her in her house where she boarded pets as a side income to supplement her low income from the shelter. She did odd jobs like bathing dogs kept by the affluent for RM10 each, which some might think is a lowly job when in fact, she had enjoyed every minute of the bonding sessions with them. She got closer to the animals that she was entrusted with, and very soon, my dog too, started to listen to her command.
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In safe hands!

She had always spent her money on the dogs’ welfare & never for herself. The money belt grew tighter after she left SPCA & eventually started her own no-kill policy shelter with 10 dogs in 2006,  giving tuition classes to earn a living. With a meagre income, she started an adoption programme where people could sponsor a dog for life at RM30 per month. She rented an area to keep these dogs, driving to & fro Kundang to prepare food for them & feed them. When more people got to know her plight upon recognising her exemplary work in SPCA, they begin to give her a helping hand. She built Furry Friends Farm to what it is today with sheer dedication, hard work & determination to give dogs (and cats, goats, rabbits) a sanctuary for their dog days. She gave talks in international schools on responsible dog ownership & had awareness campaigns in exhibitions & expos in the Klang Valley. She ate very little & made sure her furkids ate a lot. By the time she rescued & helped 100 dogs, she knew she had the capacity to take in more. The dogs were jolly, charming every visitor & hounding those who had treats in the pocket as soon as they stepped through the gate. She knew each dog by name & they knew her by her voice. The dogs would be scampering home if they had escaped through cracks in the fencing, much like a kid caught for staying out too long. She could even tell me all their traits as I sit down in the centre of all her most laid-back snoozers. Dr. Jill Robinson of Animals Asia Foundation, appointed Sabrina to be the executor of the Dr. Dog Programme in 2007 & have since raised eight Dr. Dog Ambassadors.

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Picking up Hope at the vet one morning in Kepong.

Sabrina had a quiet demeanour but with a kind of assertiveness that made her the matriarch of the troop, subduing even the most aggressive of males in the pack. She would get herself dirty to rescue a stranded pup & risk her life to reach out to an injured dog. She ferried each dog to the vet & would collect the ones which were already treated, in her little Kancil. Her relentless effort for animal welfare made her a champion for the causes she stood up for, including the Pulau Ketam dog dumping incident in 2009 that garnered international attention.(More on that rescue in the RESCUE category). In that mission, 29 stray dogs were rescued, now living in the farm. Its no wonder those who know her would feel protective of her. She had many friends, some stayed away from the overzealous & territorial volunteers she seemed to attract & helped in a distance. Having spent years communicating with her, we know what she held close to her heart & what she wanted most for the animals. We have lost a selfless saint of neglected dogs & cats on 17 July 2012. May she be reunited with the lives of her furry friends who had gone on before her to the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

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Sabrina kissing Jerry, the snoozer, at FFF.

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At the kelong near Pulau Selat Kering, Klang

Furry Friends Farm will be managed by her current pool of volunteers & if you would like to pay your last respects, the wake is at Nirvana Memorial Centre, No. 1, Jalan 1/116A off Jalan Sg. Besi, KL. Funeral Parlor No.13 (Rose). Funeral Service:- Friday, 20 July, 10am Shah Alam Crematorium (Nirvana)

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Group photo of the rescuers.

My Hero!

Armed with my GPS & other gadgets, I was out recce-ing in Rawang for the next heritage trail event & decided to drop into Furry Friends Farm to say hello to Sabrina & my furkids rescued in 2009.

Kuning, the chief rescuer who together with Hitam (departed), assisted us to successfully catch 29 dogs in Pulau Selat Kering. (Go to my Rescue category to read about it.) He has just been appointed as the 6th Dr. Dog Ambassador in Malaysia, a programme by Animal Asia Foundation’s CEO & Founder, Jill Robinson. Yay, Kuning!!!

Sabrina is the magnanimous lady who is taking care of these furkids & I am forever grateful for the work that she has done in FFF. Please support her in keeping this sanctuary!!!

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Partner in rescue!

Thanks to Adrian who took the photo on his iPhone! I had my pockets raided & my bag ransacked by the curious mutts and had to hide them from being hijacked. Kuning gave me lotsa hugs!!! 😀

It’s Official!!!

We have a proper website for Furry Friends Farm finally!!! As I’ve mentioned before, with the official site, all rescue updates & farm events would be published at www.furryfriendsfarm.org and anything expressed by individuals like me and whoever else would be purely personal opinions which might or might not reflect what Furry Friends Farm represent.

Please do not be confused. If you have supported in one way or another, please email your transaction/deposit slip to Sabrina at yeapwen@yahoo.com so that she may account for the sum that she has and has not received.

Some of you have asked me about sending your unwanted animals to the farm. Please note that Sabrina has limited resources and since we have committed to helping the discarded strays in dire need of medical attention, we are not taking in any other animals yet. If you have the resources to do the rescue, get them the medical attention they deserve and get them re-homed, that would be great. FFF cannot take in animals until we have worked out a schedule of volunteers to split the work. FFF is run entirely by Sabrina and volunteers. We seek your cooperation in this matter and we hope you would understand.

With this note, I will continue blogging about other matters which matter to me, speak up for the unspoken and glorify the glorious. I have learnt in this mission that humans can easily be taken in by power, politics and publicity. I have accepted this fact and the fact that no matter what good that we do, there will be people who would paint a horrible picture of you, people who hide in the mask & anonymity of nicknames, people who cannot be accountable for the venom that they spit at others, people who know not what goodness is because they have never demonstrated it in their lives. I have had much publicity in my modelling and pageant days including setting many firsts for the nation. And it is with the recognition that I get some help from those who know me.

My name, my website, my work and that little bit of credibility that I hold as an educator and journalist has never been questioned because there is nothing to hide. What you see is what you get. I don’t paint a less-than-realistic picture of what I do and who I am for what does it profit if I do??? I don’t survive on hand-outs, ad revenues from the hits on my website or from unsolicited funds. I survive on the work that I do for my publishers, on my classes & lessons for my students who pay me to learn what I can teach them. Sometimes when I’m invited to give talks, universities give me an honorarium to cover my travel expenses. It’s not much but it gives me an opportunity to inspire those who want to get somewhere in life.

I will stop here, go back out there and do what I do best. After all, the rescuer shouldn’t need rescuing, right???

Category: Issues, Rescue  7 Comments

Our Hope Is Your Salvation

Hope was the first dog saved. Hope was plucked out soon after the photo was taken. Apart from Cleo who was sitting on the mangrove roots, there hasn’t been another terrier-looking dog. I was at the farm yesterday morning with some volunteers, one of whom is a true, independent rescuer. From all the hate-mail, death threats & whatever harassment we have received, I will proceed to hide the identity of our supporters unless they choose to take on anything come-what-may.

So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising of the sun. When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him. Isaiah 59:19.

We called out to Hope, who responded with an equal amount of enthusiasm. He wagged his tail and was just pleased to see Sabrina. (I think I fell in love there & then but I’m sure Rufus wouldn’t take it too kindly being the alpha male in the house……well, sometimes!). We opened the cage door to let him out to play. Being so weak & only at 7 months old, we needed to let him rest as much as he could……but he was just so happy!!!

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And into Sabrina’s arms he hopped!!! (So cute!) He was still frail but you could see that he fought to live after being in the hospital for a week. Oh, his eyes….even Romeo is not his match.

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Hope doing his business in the bushes…..

Last week when we planted 50 nangka saplings, 4 mulberry trees, 2 avocado trees and whatever we could bring to bless the farm, we had the honorable assemblyman, YB Edward Lee & his entourage to come and physically plant them. It would take 2 years for them to grow high enough to provide shade for the dogs’ afternoon siesta. We would have planted more as the farm is really spacious but we are reserving space for other things…..

It’s so good to run around the land without any restrictions whenever the mutts want to play catching with you…..errr…..yeah, I do play a lot when I’m not on out in the mangroves.

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When he’s had enough, this fella will occupy his spot beneath the table to snooze. He has to be chained periodically as he opens gates and let himself out of the farm when no one is watching! He doesn’t mind since he gets busted anyway. Haha!

Here he is!!! Snoozing!!!

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And another one who dug himself a little hole he calls his crib…..note his feeding & water bowls. He returns to this spot all the time. Now we know why the hole gets dug up after we patch it!!!

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Category: Issues, Rescue  13 Comments

Desires Of The Heart

The harder they try, the less they will succeed for the lies that they perpetuate will return to them in many folds. I just sit here in wonder amazement at how Erica can do what she does. Thank you for letting me get to know you better from your threats and your messages to people. I will pray for you.

Yesterday, Marjorie (in green bikini), Karin, Shah & Joanne went with Danny for a little bit more upscale rescue. They brought with them, a modified trap and nasi lemak. When they set the trap with Malaysians’ favourite breakfast, the whaft of the fragrant santan rice permeated the mangrove swamp till it brought out a vagrant no one had seen before. Of course Kuning & Hitam were once again, instrumental in assuring her of the presence of humans. After setting the trap, they returned to the kelong to wait & watch. This little brown one went in but she came out without taking the bait. The aroma proved to be too irresistable and she set foot inside the trap to eat and WHAM!!! THE CAGE DOOR SHUT!  Woohoo!!! We caught another one!!!

She’s almost a living skeleton but her eyes show her desire to live as she gobbled up the food & slurped up the water throughout the boat journey back. Danny has named her Desiree (pronounced as Deh-ser-rei).

Kuning & Hitam were busy mingling with the remaining strays sifted out from their usual gallivants. Desiree must have not had any food or drinks for weeks. This mission has not only given a new lease of life for the banished but has renewed hopes for the rescuers, the kelong workers, Sabrina and all you contributors for making it possible. Thank you, kind souls!!!

Sabrina needs more support at her farm on weekdays. If you have time to spare, please give her an SMS to make an appointment to help out. The reward is tender, loving attention from the furry friends who will adore yours.

Seen here, Kuning & Hitam doing their work.

Category: Issues, Rescue  18 Comments

Mae’s Words

Three dogs sleeping with trishaw peddlar

Every now and then, I get words of encouragement which I truly appreciate and today, I received an uplifting piece of comment from Mae, someone I have never met but has given Sabrina and myself a much needed moral support to continue doing what we have been doing.

Today we got a visit from Jabatan Haiwan (Department of Veterinary Services) at the farm, acting on a call of complaint alleging that ‘many dogs died in our care’ and that ‘we don’t feed them’ (which of course, were baseless) and they proceeded to ask many questions to all who were at the farm, the contractors building the shed, the volunteers tending to the dogs, cooking the rice & even asked who the landlord was. They wanted to know where the water supply for the dogs were coming from, why wasn’t the ground where the Pulau Ketam’s dogs were, cemented and why there’s rubbish (don’t we all have rubbish in our houses too???).

Sabrina told them the truth, no dogs has died yet except for one which had to be put down due to illness. We don’t save all these strays just to have them die on us otherwise, what’s all the effort for? It may happen in other ORGs but not with Furry Friends Farm….

You do remember me telling you that there were more ‘pressing’ matters to attend to beside the rescue mission right? Well, I had seen this coming & they couldn’t find any fault with the happy mutts we have, some of which were fat & chubby, looking more contented than some fat bottoms sitting in an office somewhere trying to cook up a storm with some conspiracy.

I felt the need to publish Mae’s words of encouragement. When we are swamped with challenges, all I need to do is read this to know that the world will be rallying behind us. Thank you & bless you, Mae.

Pam,

You and Sabrina are a beacon of hope for many of us who deeply questioned the existence of God when there are so much cruelties are taking place. Looks like our questions were answered. It is not a dead end for humanity. There’s a bit of ‘Sabrina’ in all of us.

Those who deals with rescuing wounded and broken strays are compelled to despair at times; when we cannot save the ones we tried so hard to save. But then again those who had seen the miracle happens when the wounded and broken healed, happy and healthy…is like feeling the presence of God in all Its’ glory. I suspect you feel the same when you sit next to the once you rescued from the swamp in the boat on the journey to land.

Thank you for your praise. There are so many faceless, nameless independent rescuers out there. Not for money or gain or fame. Truth is; we are tired of being passive by-standers to the plights innocent defenseless strays. The pain that pricked our hearts and consciences when we see pets being abandoned at highways, carpark, foodcourts, back alleys, drains, dustbins,jungle, abandoned houses, …we can’t ignore it. We have to be pro-active. There is no system available to protect defenseless strays.

Pam, you are bestowed with a wonderful gift; when all this is over, as this phase too shall come to pass… You should write, anything a book a novel or commission a film. (Though making into a film what took place this past month will likely be a deranged espionage movie). We are your biggest fan and supporters; we come to love and admire you.

"The ball is in your court" our dearest Pam.

No matter what names they call you; devil, satan. We know once in a while God sent angels to walk amongst us; to me to are an angel. Been touched by an angel before and it changed my life completely. Became a stray rescuers because of my wonderful vet; she made it all possible. You are an angel the way to stand up for Sabrina when most people would choose to walk away rather than get involve as the stakes are high.

Signing off with an Irish blessing when ‘real suffering is where the contradictions within us harmonize, where they give us to new streams of life or beauty. As the Zen monk said: ‘When one flowers blooms, it is spring everywhere.’

"May you be blessed in the holy names of those who carry our pain up the mountain of transfiguration.

May you know tender shelter and healing blessing when you are called to stand in place of pain.

May the places of darkness within you be surprised by light.

May you be granted the wisdom to avoid false resistance and when suffering knocks on the door of your life, may you be able to glimpse its hidden gift.

May you be able to see the fruits of your suffering.

May memory bless and shelter you with the hard-earned light of past travail, may this give you confidence and trust.

May a window of light always surprise you.
May the grace of transfiguration heal your wounds.
May you know that even the storm might rage not a hair of your head will be harmed."

Pam, we will keep you close in our hearts and prayers always. – End

If the trishaw peddlar has such peace with his ‘friends,’ let it be so for those who care for the strays, the neglected and the banished.

The Noah In You

Photo by Joanne Lee

The dog that got away. Looking lost but hopeful, we know that the return of the dog to the feeding station is a sign that it is beginning to trust us, the food is forthcoming. The barks from a distant signify more dogs in the vicinity and only time will tell.

Photo by Joanne Lee

With all the prayers and blessings we have received, there should be no reason why all of them cannot be saved. Our God is a great God, making provisions for everything, from the time He thought man was too sinful to be left to their own devices, He preserved two of each kind in the animal kingdom when He instructed Noah to build his ark to accommodate them. Today, Noah comes in the form of you,  your effort to spread the word, your concern for their welfare and your upkeep of the banished ones.

Just when we thought about a plan to have continuous fundraising activities, those relentless simpletons will not stop at anything to reach Mrs. Kam to stop her from helping us with her concerts. To think that some people would go all out to deter others to help FFF in trying to upkeep the 100+ dogs with a No-Kill Policy just goes to show what prevention of cruelty is all about in Selangor. Well, let me give you an idea of how much I spend on Rufus (and he’s only ONE dog, mind you) each month.

Rufus biscuits – Blackwood 1000 7.5kg = RM85

Rufus loves canned Nature’s Gift 700gm = RM7.90 x 6 cans = RM47.40

Total = RM132.40 per month x 12 months = RM1,588.80 per year.

This is for one dog, which has the capability of living up to 15 years of age. Let’s just say the canned food is not necessary. We’ll use the figure of RM85 per month to feed one dog, which means that would come up to RM8,500 per month to feed 100 dogs without counting the vet bills, vaccination, spaying/neutering and what nots. In a year, Sabrina would have had to look for RM102,000 conservatively to feed & care for them. What about 15 years??? Why don’t we all do the math??? Or are the simpletons too caught up in their simple minds to mind the affairs of others instead?

Alright, maybe she wouldn’t have to use Blackwood, even Pedigree or Alpo would have been fine but how much savings that would come up to, would be ploughed back into the maintenance, upkeep and administration of the farm. And the simpletons cannot even see the challenges let alone talk about the perceived surplus funds collected in aid of the rescue mission. What an amazing revelation this mission had been to me!!! The people who talk about animal welfare the most, are the ones trying to shut down other animal welfare groups, independent rescuers while leading their army of simpletons to spread poison amongst those who give a helping hand! Wow!

In one month, we achieved more milestones from bringing strangers together to fend off big bullies and simpletons slandering the sleuths who ferretted the captive. Even the man who had regretfully donated his Mercedes Benz to the wrong ORG had come to us in full support of truth, righteousness and against the surreptitious wickedness. Just how far they would go to destroy another human being is beyond anybody’s guess but I proclaim the promises that God will vindicate and deliver His judgment upon those who mistreat the orphans and widows.

Please contact Sabrina directly if you want to continue your support at yeapwen@yahoo.com.

The video has been stripped off the music that it contained and I will re-upload it once I can.

The Sound of Music

In the last one month since the rescue started, I got to know some amazing people, reconnected with people I’ve lost touch with and met a few whom I know, I would be friends with for life. It was also a time that I discovered the magnitude of kindness and generosity in people who held nothing back, not race, not colour, nor age or creed. So many of you burst out of your recesses to rehash your hurts, anger & regret over what you feel you could have done more for the rescued animals in the past. Each and every comment made here, I read and made a mental note to acknowledge. I too, have encountered similar pain, some mistakes which taught me very dear lessons in life but I’m determined to not let that be my setback for making a difference in what I can do today.

I want you to know that every comment uttered here is a testimony of your will to do good and do even better for the dogs that were banished from civilisation. If possible, I would like to meet each one of you in person to say that your patronage here is a great encouragement to me. Thank you so much. I will answer them in due time.

I met Mrs. Kam Sun-Yoke three years ago during the launch of Dr. Dog Programme. We were so honoured to have had the presence of the first Malaysian soprano to be invited to sing in Barcelona Music Festival where Jose Carrera himself once performed, in the event. She is putting together a performance in aid of FFF after she saw the plight in the news. An animal rescuer herself, she will be conducting  the Operafest Children’s Choir on the 1 & 2 August 2009 and the entire proceeds thereof will go to Furry Friends Farm. The hall in Jaya One in Petaling Jaya has a 300 pax seating capacity & tickets are priced from RM30 per head. More details to follow. This would be a great opportunity for us to meet all you wonderful souls!!!

As such, I will work on the promotion of this concert but not without your help. If you know of anyone who would like to sponsor others to watch this concert, companies who want to sponsor a night out for the staff or individuals who would like to come and show  support for FFF & appreciation to Mrs. Kam for her performance, please let me know. I can be reached at iam (at) pummkin (dot) net.

Category: Event, Issues, Rescue  16 Comments

Plateauing Into A System

Danny at work

Danny at work

Having established a system at Ground Zero, Danny, who has given his time, effort & use of his boat to assist Furry Friends Farm in the rescue, would be heading out almost every other day to top up the 7 feeding stations (pontoons) together with pet groomer, Joanne. Since his first encounter with Sabrina years ago, she left a lasting impression in his mind for her quick-action to act upon a cruelty case of entrapped monkeys in Pulau Indah, Port Klang.

Preferring to work with a smaller team, Danny taught me how to skipper his boat. Sometimes Joanne would investigate pontoons when situation is too precarious for me or Danny to hop onto. Certain times, looking at the mud, Danny himself would slip into his thigh-high Wellington boots to get into the mangrove & top up the station, while Joanne ties the rope on one side & I grab the roots to pull the boat closer. We have invisible hazards in the form of the vicious AGAS, the Malay word for sand flies, a word that sends all of us into a fly-swatting frenzy. I have about 20 bites on each leg, which would turn into red welts after scratching incessantly for days. Hydrocortisone is only a temporary relief.

Bees are another buzzing hazard. Sometimes we get about a dozen bees testing our will to stay still……we tell ourselves, this has got to be something that we can laugh about. Our composure is fine until the bees come along & Danny has to deal with two girls in fits!!!

The system of Kuning exploring the swamp, Hitam going after him, and both coming to the edge with the strays has been established as their modus operandi. Then Adi or Bono would catch them. With a call, either of us would head over regardless of the tide times & pick the doggie up! Having said this, it may well be said that the rescue has plateaued. The food stations are almost dry every other day, signifying that other rescue teams have ceased coming to tend to them. Very strange disappearance now that Kuning has reappeared.

The impenetrable swamp and fearful dogs leave us with the only option of sustaining them & winning their trust eventually, to be handled & caught with the help of Kuning & Hitam. Even the Orang Asli (indigenous people) who were brought in, refuse to enter the swamp. It could be possible that they detected something other than the presence of dogs, wildboars & snakes. Adi had warned us not to go any further whenever we row in the tributaries. Whatever it may be, we too, have to be cautious when we enter with our inflatable kayaks.

There are more pressing issues at the farm that needs looking after and the medical attention that would be required. My time will be divided between the rescue operations & the farm but with Danny at the helm of the rescue boat, I have every ounce of confidence in his remarkable ability in assuring the feeding stations are replenished. Joanne is ever-ready to assist him when she’s not on call to groom your dog.

If you would like to support our rescuers, do call on her to make your appointment to groom your pooch. When we establish our network of support eventually, we wouldn’t have to worry about  making a living and devoting time to the rescue, right? I promise you exciting news ahead….

Aiyah! One Got Away…

Just when the workers had bagged another one in the cage, the fright sent this dog on a biting frenzy as it damaged the frame and dived into the water to swim back to the swampy reserve. I’d sure like to be in the water to outswim this dog but it happened just before we got there. Sigh…

Look at the cage…..

Kuning had gone in to herd them out again as his distinctive barks were heard from a distance with the other dogs. When we proceeded to fill the food stations, we could see Hitam swimming back to the kelong with Kuning behind him shortly after. Will upload a funny video afterwards.

Looks like we gotta work harder. There are still a lot more dogs in there….

Category: Issues, Rescue  13 Comments

One More In The Vet!

When Danny wanted to tie up the shade of his boat, he let me take over the pilot’s wheel. We were cruising at 40km/h when we hit the straits heading out to Selat Kering. Sustaining the dogs with food & water is crucial to buy time till we can get them out. Of course, the unmistakable grin that greeted us was more than what we had hoped for.

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The kelong workers were all smiles. They had caught another stray!

 

This black dog came out the previous day to eat. She stayed on the pontoon for a long time. Very thin, her bones were jutting out. Her left eye was punctured & swollen. It was almost like she knew help was near. She didn’t resist nor did she mind us touching her. She gobbled up more food when she was at the kelong. She drank all the water in the tub we left. I shall name her Bulgess, after her bulging eye.

We had to top up the food on the 4 pontoons before we head back. Danny put a shade up at the nearest pontoon using a tarpaulin sheet.

We completed our work for the day & rushed Bulgess to the vet.

 

Seeing that she is a female, black in colour & hasn’t got the looks, it would have been so easy for people to dismiss loving this dog.

 

Now that she is being treated, she would have a chance to see her friends soon & maybe one day, have the opportunity to be a friend to the humankind who performed the dastardly act that she has to live remembering.

Footnote:- I will reply to all your comments when I have better internet access!!! Digi, if you read this, please enable your 3G access soon!

Category: Issues, Rescue  19 Comments

Simple Minds Beget Simpletons

Isn’t it strange that people can get so caught up in their support for an organisation that they believe in and forget to ask questions that would yield hidden answers? Isn’t it strange that they can issue me threats & call me names over an issue which they haven’t determined the credibility of those concerned??? Isn’t it strange for a society with committee members act as if it’s a sole proprietor yet a sole proprietor acts with the blessing of rest of the society???

What I say here does not constitute the feelings of everyone involved in the rescue but myself. It’s my space and I’m sure I’m making some sense, otherwise, I wouldn’t be receiving over a thousand hits per day.

Fact – There were only two rescue teams for Pulau Selat Kering. One being FFF & the other, the big ORG. Whichever NGOs that appear to be assisting would assist either one of these parties.

Fact – I was an independent pet rescuer (IPR) before the rescue mission but I chose to support FFF in their endeavours. Anybody can call themselves IPRs. If you have rescued/saved/helped/assisted/treated a domestic pet in danger in the past, you are an IPR. If I’m doing something on behalf of some organisation which doesn’t make them look good, I would revert to calling myself an IPR.

Fact – Kuning is friendly to everybody. He is healthy, well-fed & doesn’t look a tad bit starved. How he can be ‘rescued’ is beyond me.

Fact – I don’t know if Shahrul is pregnant or not. I’m sorry if she bled. I’m sorry the reporters couldn’t get hold of her in the hospital to see how she is faring because she had checked out already.

Fact – Caring & expecting parents-to-be would not allow the expecting wife/mother to prance & hop around in a mangrove swamp, jump into the water, climb in & out of boats/kelongs knowing full well that a rescue mission has risks. Especially for someone who had a miscarriage a few months before.

Fact – Pregnant/expecting mothers should live in hygienic conditions. That includes living in a place NOT filled with animals caged up, filled with pee & poo or animals that might carry diseases or viruses, especially in rescued dogs. You choose which one is more important, the animals or your baby.

Fact – Employees would resort to please employers if they think losing their jobs is worse than losing their integrity. PR Managers included.

Fact – If I know for SURE that I have not engaged in any wrongdoings, I shouldn’t be afraid to stand up for it. In this case, silence is NOT golden.

Fact – Death threats received on my blog had been submitted to the police for investigation including everything that threatens my operation, my team (including Kuning & Hitam), my reputation & my well-being. 

Fact – When posters of Kuning were posted, I had received leads from many people. Those  who had him couldn’t hide him any longer.

I’ve presented the facts so whatever you think is a fallacy, you are free to do so. There are evidence that I would not hesitate to use if a legal action arises. If I have to call for public support, I will. Many are in possession of the evidence & should they be released, the organisation would be shut down. We are thinking for the animals that you have, not for the acts that you have committed so don’t push us.

It’s a mistake to try to silence people with death threats. God said, “Those who bless you, I will bless, those who curse you, I will curse.”

I’m not rich & I have to work to put food on the table, to set aside something for when I grow old. I have nothing to lose nor do I have anything to gain by cooking up a chicken & cow story. If someone in the big ORG wants to come after me for making them uncomfortable, then let it be on their conscience how such a reputable society had to be reduced to this. Don’t tell me what I am qualified to comment & what I am not. I was helping the big ORG from Dr. George’s days. I donated money, time & effort to make the area a better living place for the animals. I adopted dogs from that place. I was a member but now I’m not. I don’t know who took me off the membership list. I’m not bothered to ask. A society that picks its members is not a society that I want to be associated with. I am a donor & I have the right to voice my opinion.

When I sat for the Corporate Governance of NGOs course years ago, I was made to understand that a registered society can only act with the entire committee’s consensus. Every office bearer has the duty to operate within the outlines stated in the constitution. They are also accountable for everything that goes wrong & any misappropriation is the responsibility of all.

Some of my friends asked me is this all worth it for some dogs that I’m trying to save, so I replied to them, “It’s not just about the dogs, it’s about the lives of the people involved. There are injustices that needed to be addressed just as the dogs of Pulau Ketam were ill-treated, Sabrina was too. I think the people who were too indifferent to speak up then, will not be much different now. As an organisation, things were allowed to happen. Those fence-sitters are like the possums in New Zealand.

Sabrina dedicated her youth & her life to care for those which can’t care for themselves.. Look at how many people she has impacted by setting an example? What’s wrong if I speak up & speak out at her detractors??? The poison pen letters that have circulating are all about how she is a ‘private company,’ how one shouldn’t be duped & suckered into donating & how she was sacked from the big ORG. They were sent to who’s who in society. I’m nobody but I know many who’s who, who forwarded these despicable things that has been said to me. Shame on you. If anyone of those you had sent to, spoke up against you, you would land yourself in hot soup. Perpetuating lies when you know those who were present as she handed in her resignation then. Shouting is very stressful, my dear and you have done a lot of that. I’m glad Sabrina left because she showed the world what one person can do despite the odds.

I have to be accountable for everything in front of the Almighty on Judgment Day. I don’t want to have to answer to, “Pam, what did you NOT do when you know all these things happened to My people? Where did you decide to be when I placed you in the thick of things?” if I have done nothing about it.

To all you supporters of the big ORG, my word to you is, think carefully of your actions in risking yourself for something you know nothing about. Stop issuing me death threats just because I’m speaking up on my blog about what certain people have been doing behind the scenes. Make good with what you can do while you are in a position to.

To the big ORG, we have never put a spanner in your works so stop putting your spanner in ours.

50 Dog Tags Are Ready!

Thank you, Maryanne and team for getting them prepared! For each and everyone of you who has transferred money into FFF account as well as TV Smith’s PayPal, you have ‘purchased’ a tag for a dog at FFF. This means, your contribution of any amount, has bought and redeemed the dog’s dignity and restored its pride for having suffered untold cruelty. Each dog in FFF, regardless of background, have a 2nd chance to life.

As we are in the process of making FFF into a non-profit organisation, any transaction through the FFF bank account has to be documented not as donation but a sale of sorts lest some big ORG find fault with us and take Sabrina to court. Her affairs, pursuits and farm had been subjects of interest to the organisation she left 3 years ago.

If you have contributed in either accounts, Sabrina would appreciate if you could send her your transaction slip for reference purposes so that she can also account for the dog tags, collars, equipment for rescue and dog food that YOU had purchased for this rescue mission. She can be reached at yeapwen@yahoo.com. Thank you very much.

For those who would like to ‘purchase’ the dog tags at any amount, please bank in payment to Furry Friends Farm account at 1457-0001182-056, CIMB Bank Malaysia with Swift Code CIBBMYKL for overseas transaction. We are in the midst of administrating what needs to be done.

I will update on the dog saved yesterday as I’m trying out a mobile blogging client software on my mobile phone. Keep those pictures coming, Maryanne and team!

Category: Issues, Rescue  30 Comments

A Good Tree Doesn’t Bare Bad Fruit, Neither Would A Bad Tree, Good Fruit

 

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In light of what has been highlighted in the Chinese dailies on Saturday, another round of sensational news is reverberating in the social scene where followers are confused by what’s been implicated. I don’t read Chinese and I wont even attempt to have it translated online where it would garble up the meaning & distort the message. Hmm……I’m even getting threats for the complications of someone’s pregnancy in the comments section……how does this equate??? Just for getting mentioned in The Star’s Weekender last Saturday???

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I had to be sure Kuning clears the lab tests otherwise, it would be disheartening to let the public know his condition after he was returned. He is back at the kelong now & its surely something that we can pop the cordial and celebrate. This is not a case of mistaken identity and though your suggestion of collar & tag is a good one, the environment he ventures into is a hazard if he gets stuck or when his collar is snagged by protruding branches. His agility & mobility in the mangrove swamp must be priority & he must be free of any encumbrances to survive so I understand your concern that he might be taken again due to his friendly nature but a collar is just not suitable right now.

Kuning is not an ordinary dog. He was a coveted dog from day one. All I can tell you is, good things come to those who wait. Accusations, intimidation, sabotage, threats……they have all been coming from one direction so far. Personal testimonies from so many of you just show one thing, if things were done right, things wouldn’t have to go wrong.

A good tree doesn’t bear bad fruit, neither would a bad tree, good fruit so beware, barking up the wrong tree is exhausting…..

Category: Issues, Rescue  14 Comments