Woman’s unconditional love for stray animals

Contemporaries of Kak Wa, Janet Tan (second right) and other members of Terengganu Stray Animals Rescue Association feed stray dogs at Jalan Pusara. Photo: Bernama

KUALA TERENGGANU: For 13 years, the daily chores of a housewife here is filled with managing the household and keeping herself busy with cooking and preparing food for stray animals especially dogs.

Every night, it is a routine for a 53-year-old Malay woman known as ‘Kak Wa” to feed about 40 stray dogs around Kuala Terengganu.

Feeling that dogs are a creation of God and thus should be protected and not be mistreated, Kak Wa who is a member of the Terengganu Stray Animals Rescue (TSAR), ignore the stigma of the Malay community in the country against dogs to even treat injured and sick animals.

“Dogs are creatures with feelings of pain, hunger and sadness. Unlike cats, dogs have nowhere to go in the day time as they are afraid of facing humans. Besides there is a huge gap between our community with dogs compared to cats. So these animals should receive a helping hand,” she said when met by Bernama while feeding stray dogs here yesterday.

Kak Wa also makes it a point to bring food to stray dogs at night to avoid getting stares from the people.

“If we could not change the view of the people on us, so we need to change our ways. That is why Kak Wa chooses to feed the dogs at night. Most of the time, it is at two to three in the morning as there is nobody around,” said Kak Wa who also gave food to a dozen stray cats every day.

Hungry stray dogs roam around town looking for food scraps.

However, the mother of two understands the sensitivity of the people especially Muslims in the country on dogs as Islam forbids touching dogs.

“My intention is to save dogs. It is not that I like to hold or cuddle dogs. In Islam, one has to carry out ritual cleansing after coming into contact with dogs,” she said.

It turns out that Ka Wa has deep love for animals as she is willing to provide protection to 15 stray dogs and 30 cats she rescued and place them in an area in Marang.

Meanwhile, TSAR chairman Janet Tan said more than 200 abandoned dogs are fed every day by about 15 members of the association including four of them who are Malays, in rotation at each selected location.

She said members of the association contribute and donate a total of 200 kilogrammes (kg) of dry food, 100 kg of rice and 100 kg of raw food such as chicken and meat every month to feed the stray dogs.

Every day, members of the association, which was established in November 2018, will cook rice and raw food items such as chicken and meat before giving them to the stray dogs to ensure the health of the animals.

“We are grateful as there are not many donors, nonetheless some individuals who gave land in Kampung Tiruk here for us to build a dog shelter and there are restaurants that provide rice and raw materials to feed the abandoned dogs.

“It is not easy to make people aware of stray dogs, let alone to invite them to help spend time giving food or donating,” she said, adding that the dog shelter now houses more than 30 stray dogs that have been rescued.

She said apart from dogs, TSAR members also fed stray cats around Kuala Terengganu and Kuala Nerus.

Janet also expressed her sadness with the attitude of a handful of individuals who abused stray dogs so much so that some even beat and poisoned the animals.

“It would be the saddest if they killed a mother dog that had just given birth. Do they think what will happen to the puppies after their mother has died? ” she asked. – Bernama