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SIBU, Apr 28: A large number of pet owners here have been abandoning their animals during the Movement Control Order (MCO) period.
According to a member of Sibu Animals Rescue Society, Joyce Yong, the main reason forcing pet owners to take such drastic and unkind action is because they have either lost their jobs or have had their wages cut.
“Since MCO was enforced on March 18, I have either received or rescued about 200 unwanted dogs and cats. One of the most probable reasons why people abandoned them is either they have lost their job or have their pay cut that makes then unable to feed their pets,” she said.
These rescued animals are kept in her pet shop in Jalan Ling Kai Cheng and at her shelter for animals in Sungai Bidut.
Almost every day, there will always be a new litter of abandoned newborn kittens and puppies “dumped” in front of her shop.
She is also salvaging stray dogs and cats from the streets as a result of people not wanting them.
“During this MCO period, most of the animals that I have rescued, have been without food. I am taking care of them as I am just an animal lover,” she said.
She has successfully found new owners for some unwanted pets as she is running out of space to house them.
“In my pet shop now are 40 dogs and 40 cats. The rest are in the shelter in Sungai Bidut which I have built to house these unwanted animals,” she said.
Yong usually spends two to three hours every day feeding the animals, mostly at her own expense.
“In March alone, I bought about 40 bags of rice to feed them. Before this (MCO), it was much easier to get food leftover from several coffee shops in town including stale bread from bakeries. But now it is difficult to find food for them as most eateries are closed very early daily,’ she said.
“It is a very challenging task especially during this MCO period as I have to dig deep into my own pocket to buy food for the dogs and cats.”
Joyce also put up a donation box in her shop hoping that members of the public would contribute financially or even donation in kind would be good enough.
“I do receive bags of rice from animal lovers who want to help reduce my burden.”
She hoped that people would love their animals through good and bad times and not abandon them when faced with financial constraints to keep them.
“The best way is to neuter or spay your animals so that they won’t mass-produce offspring,” she said.—DayakDaily