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Saving 13 Dogs – A Pound Rescue Story (Part 1)

 


5th February 2014:

Please note that the location of the pound has been omitted as the intention of sharing this story is purely to encourage individuals to do pound rescue or to adopt animals from the pound. There is no malice intended on any parties at all. In line with our policies, we also cannot reveal third party names without their explicit consent. 

It all started on 28th January when I received this email (below) from Eugene Lee:

From: Eugene Lee 
Date: Tue, Jan 28, 2014 at 12:16 AM
Subject: Save a life – adopt a dog from the (…) pound

Dear friends,
If you, or someone you know, is thinking of adopting a dog or dogs, please seriously consider adopting a stray from the (…) pound.  I’ve been to the pound three times in the last 2 weeks and there are at least 15 stray dogs there currently who would love to become the newest members of your family.  At least 12 of these are slated to be put down/killed BEFORE CHINESE NEW YEAR if not adopted by then.
Dogs are some of the most loyal and affectionate companions known to humans and they love unconditionally.  It’s heart-wrenching to see these dogs locked up at the pound, waiting for someone to adopt them, as the clock ticks down on their lives, their only crime being strays at the wrong place and at the wrong time.  To adopt a dog or cat from the (…) pound, you will have to pay a release fee.  I would be happy to go with you to the pound if you’d like to check out the dogs (and cats) there with a view to adopting.  Please feel free to contact me via reply to this e-mail if you’ve any questions.
(If you are a vet or know a vet who would be willing to visit the (…) pound to voluntarily treat some of the dogs (and cats) there in need of medical attention, please let me know too.)
Even if you aren’t able to adopt a dog and don’t know anyone who might, please do pass this appeal around to your friends and contacts as time is running very short for this particular batch of dogs.  At the very least, please remember that any time you want to get a dog or cat, please get one from a pound or an animal shelter because you will literally be saving a life.  Every dog/cat you get from a pet store instead, means one more dog/cat being put down in a pound.
Thank you for reading this e-mail, for considering adopting a dog, and for passing the word around about the dogs (and cats) at the (…) pound.
Eugene

I responded to Eugene’s email, we got talking and from our communication, I could sense Eugene’s commitment to help these dogs, so we started working on a rescue plan to save the lives of the 13 dogs on death row. Moreover, it was the Chinese New Year holidays and I had no subsidies to pay out during those few days!

I must qualify on the outset that AnimalCare does not have any resources nor capability to do rescue work and that all we can do is to provide neutering and vaccination subsidies for rescued street animals. Firstly, we have no space to house the animals and secondly, we don’t have the capability to rehome them. Hence, rescue work is not part of what we do.

But on my own, I have participated in three pound rescues so far: Puchong Pound in 2006, Klang Pound in 2010 and Selayang Pound in 2010.

This time round, Eugene got me interested so I thought I should at least do whatever I can within my means to help. Please note that this is not an AnimalCare initiative but one of my own, borne out of my personal interest. AnimalCare resources have not been used for this initiative except for our pledge of the neutering and vaccination subsidies.

What Eugene needed was the space and the funds for the release and sustenance of these dogs. We (AnimalCare) had already pledged our neutering and vaccination subsidies for all the 13 dogs as per our policy. There were actually 15 dogs in all, but two of them would be Eugene and his friend, Mary Soh’s personal rescues as these two are Mary’s neighbourhood dogs. We will also subsidise their neutering and vaccinations if Mary wishes to apply as both are street dogs.

Now, for the 13 dogs:

First, we need the space: Most shelters are full and could not take in the 13 dogs. I enquired at PAWS and they too are full though they may be able to accept surrendered dogs but surrendering would mean that the dogs come under the shelter’s policies. What Eugene and Mary needed was a place to temporarily house these dogs while they actively try to rehome them. Here’s where PAWS’ Sponsor-a-Pet-Programme, the SAPP (http://myanimalcare.org/2012/01/23/sponsor-a-pet-programme-at-paws/) fits Eugene and Mary’s requirements. The sponsoring would give Eugene and Mary the assurance that the dogs will not be put down without their consent (if any sponsored animal is due to be put down, the sponsor will be informed first and he/she will have the option of taking back the animal). So they opted for this.

Next, we needed funds to help subsidise the SAPP fee. Under PAWS’ SAPP, it costs RM150 per month to maintain a sponsored animal. Multiplied by 13, that would amount to RM1950 for the first month. I shared Eugene and Mary’s rescue plan with a few friends and together, we managed to pool together some funds, enough to sustain the dogs’ temporary (sponsored) stay at PAWS for slightly over a month.

Thanks to “Donald Duck”, an anonymous donor, Martin Lui and Andy Lew, plus some chipping in from Tabs & Associates, we managed to pool together RM2700, which is enough for a 41-day stay at PAWS’ SAPP. Meanwhile, while discussions were ongoing with PAWS, I also contacted another clinic for boarding (one must always have a back-up plan).

Now, for transportation. Eugene and Mary had already made plans to rent a lorry for the rescue, but one of my friends offered her lorry for free. So that’s a savings!

Time was of the essence as the council informed Eugene that the dogs would be put down soon, so we worked through Chinese New Year. I sourced for help on space and funds while Eugene immediately discussed the release fee with the local council the moment the CNY holidays were over. Eugene and Mary would take care of the release fee while I raise funds for the first month stay at PAWS after the release.

The dogs were slated to be put down before CNY, but luckily Eugene assured the council of his interest and commitment to take them out, so we managed a buy a few more days for the dogs. Many thanks to the council for this extended grace period.

After all of the above was done, we waited for Eugene’s end to get the green light from the council.

The green light came this afternoon (Wednesday, 5th February), so we are now all set for the rescue operation tomorrow afternoon (Thursday). The lorry will be on standby at 2pm.

6th February 2014:

Today is the 7th day of Chinese New Year. It’s popularly known as “Everybody’s Birthday”. What better day than today to save 13 doggies!

First thing this morning Mary and Eugene collected the cages needed for the rescue, liaised with PAWS and settled the paperwork with the council. Mary picked me up at 2.30pm and we were off to the pound.

The council only allowed a maximum of 4 persons to help out with the operation, so it was just Eugene, Mary, her friend, Daphnie and me. The council also does not allow photo-taking inside the pound.

We arrived at the pound at about 3.15pm. My friend was already there with the lorry. We assembled the cages and carriers and began loading the dogs.

Getting the dogs out was tricky. The poor dogs did not know what was going on, so naturally, they were scared and defensive.

I managed to carry the first dog out and put her into the cage, but the second (smaller) dog was so scared, she struggled and bit me. The bite was pretty bad and blood started to spurt out of the puncture wound. The council workers were very concerned and insisted that I “pergi injection cepat-cepat”. So my friend brought me to look for a clinic. The wound was dressed, I got a tetanus jab with a list of symptoms to look out for (which would then require further medical treatment), and we headed back to the pound to continue with the loading.

The loading took a really long time as some dogs had to be coaxed and pacified. Some had to be tricked with food. The council workers were very helpful.

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Finally, we got all the dogs loaded. I think that took more than 2 hours!

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All the cages and carriers were secured with string and rope. We even tied up the edges of the wire cages. While we were doing that, one dog already stuck out his whole head from one of the wire cages! So all the wider gaps had to be secured with rope as well.

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 Don’t worry, doggy, we are taking you to a safer place.

It was a relief that the dogs quickly settled down on the lorry. There was no struggling, howling or attempts to break out.

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Most of the dogs were robust and healthy. Only this dog in the foreground (photo above) looked elderly and she had some eye discharge.

Luckily the weather was good – not too hot and there was no rain.

All aboard!

Let’s go!!

We made our journey through the evening traffic to PAWS.

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Wow! We made it!
(From left: Eugene, Mary and Daphnie.)

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PAWS’ workers were very helpful…and highly efficient.

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Hey doggies! We’re at PAWS now. This is going to be your home for the next few weeks.
It’s a safe place and you’ll be well looked after. You’ll have plenty of nice food and water, and visitors too.

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All 13 dogs safely transported from the lorry into the shelter by the super efficient workers at PAWS.

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Great job, Eugene and Mary!! They are the brainchild behind this entire rescue operation.

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PAWS’ workers were so efficient and skilful, they loaded all the dogs into prepared cages in a very short time. All dogs were given food and water after their “adventure” for the day.

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Time to clean up the cages.

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The next step will be to get them neutered and vaccinated. Then, to get them rehomed.

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One for the album.

And finally back home…

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No worries, Tabs. It was worth it.

There is still a lot of work to be done for these 13 dogs. AnimalCare will cover the neutering and vaccination while Eugene and Mary takes care of the rehoming and boarding fees after the initial 41 days. My friends and I have donated RM2700 towards the initial boarding fee under the SAPP at PAWS. At RM150 per dog per month, this will cover approximately a 41-day stay for them. Rehoming will not be easy so the dogs will need a longer stay at PAWS.  At this juncture, we don’t know if some of the dogs may need medical treatment too. So far, from our layperson’s evaluation, only 2-3 dogs may need medical attention.

If you would like to help Eugene and Mary further with these dogs in anyway, please contact Eugene or Mary Soh.

However, please be informed that the dogs are NOT ready for adoption yet. Under PAWS’ SAPP, the dogs can only be adopted after they have been neutered and vaccinated. Also, please contact Eugene and Mary directly for more information about the dogs and what help is needed. Kindly do not contact PAWS.

Kudos to Eugene Lee and Mary Soh for initiating this pound rescue. If you would like to do the same, it can be done. I hope this sharing will inspire more individuals to do pound rescue or adopt animals from your local pound.

We would like to thank the council for giving Eugene and Mary sufficient grace period to secure the release of the dogs, the council and pound staff for their help, PAWS for their Sponsor-a-Pet Programme and all help rendered, and friends who have donated towards this cause and helped in their own ways.

There is still much to be done for these dogs. Let’s put our heads and hearts together and help these 13 dogs lead a better and happier life from now on.

Pound animals are on death row. By rescuing or adopting from the pound, you will be giving them a new lease on life.

Thank you!

Here’s something from Mary:

From: Mary
Date: Fri, Feb 7, 2014 at 8:42 AM
Subject: Re: my narration
To: Chan Kah Yein

Good morning, Kah Yein!

I’ve had another read through and thought I could share some parts of my experience yesterday.
The council officers who were there were quite helpful.  They helped us set up the cages.  They also did help us coax some of the dogs into the cages.  They were also very patient with us and did not rush us through the process that took about 2 hours.  The last 5 or 6 dogs were the hardest to get into the cages.  We (Eugene and I) didn’t want to use “force” but for (I think) 2 of them, we had no choice – of course Eugene and the pound helper did the ‘dirty’ work!  While Eugene and I got literally dirty (some of the faeces splattered when the dogs were trying to escape)!  All in, you, Daphnie, Eugene and the Pound helpers  and the guard worked tirelessly to get the dogs into the cages and truck, including the driver.  I’m also really grateful to have been given some extra time to spend with Shorty and Blackie.  I’d have to thank the pound helper (the uncle with the key) for that, and for being so patient with us.  He kept saying that he wanted to go home already.  And thanks for helping frontline Blackie!
Oh, and please convey our most grateful thanks to your friend for providing the transportation!  That saved us RM120!
Thanks again for your help rendered throughout this whole journey from the start, and all that you’re still doing!
Have a great day!
~Mary

For the record, it’s all “thanks” to Blackie and Shorty that these 13 dogs got rescued. Blackie and Shorty are two neighbourhood dogs that got captured by the council. Eugene and Mary went to the pound to look for them, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Blackie and Shorty are still at the pound now, awaiting release after all necessary procedures are completed.



Source: http://myanimalcare.org/2014/02/07/saving-13-dogs-a-pound-re..



 

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AnimalCare

AnimalCare is a registered society that promotes caregiving to street animals and helps in their neutering and medical needs. AnimalCare has a Medical Fund, Food Fund and Education Fund.

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One Comment

  1. avatar

    Do contact me if you need a help in rescueing the dogs.. you could give me yr number and I shall contact u for my no.. thanks

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