Pataling Jaya, 1 December, 2020 – French author Sidonie-Gabrielle Colette once said: “Our perfect companions never have fewer than four feet.” A quote that rings true and can be attested by so many who have found joy in caring for a pet.
This is especially so for those who have spearheaded the cause of rescuing animals especially during the Movement Control Orders (MCO) enforced following the COVID-19 outbreak. Among them are Christine Chin, Chairman of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Selangor, and Catherine Rose Leyow who is an independent rescuer of strays in Malaysia, part of the Independent Pet Adoption Network. Andy Koh, Founder of PetFinder.my is also no stranger to the cause as he was instrumental in building what has become Malaysia’s leading animal welfare platform.
With Royal Canin Malaysia, a leading brand in pet nutrition, the ‘Adopt to Save a Life’ campaign was recently launched to encourage the public to find a pet via Petfinder.my, and gain the joy, its faithfulness and love in return.
“We are pleased to play a part in this campaign in which 150 cat and dog adopters, will each receive a ROYAL CANIN® Starter Pack to facilitate the entry of a new family member into their home. The giveaway programme will continue on a monthly basis till May, 2021,” said Dr. Melissa Phoon, Royal Canin Malaysia. Corporate Affairs and Scientific Communication Manager.
The ‘Adopt to Save a Life’ awareness campaign runs till December 31, 2020 but the ROYAL CANIN® Starter Pack giveaways will end on May 31, 2021. Each starter pack consists of a bag of Royal Canin Pet Food, a feeding bowl, a kibble measuring cup and a puppy/kitten guide and digital Responsible Pet Ownership Guidebook available on the Royal Canin website.
“It is not just important for pets to be adopted but we also need to ensure that they are properly taken care of, spayed and neutered,” said Chin who says SPCA Selangor actively promotes and offers spaying and neutering operations at a reasonable cost.
“I am proud to be part of a society that has more compassion and kindness for living creatures and animals around us. In the past the SPCA Selangor saw thousands of animals being dumped. The situation has improved with more Malaysians being more concerned for animals. Still, I think there is still a lot of room for improvement,” Chin added.
She commended Royal Canin and PetFinder for initiating the ‘Adopt to Save a Life’ campaign and the Starter Pack efforts, saying SPCA Selangor fully supports it and that adopters would appreciate it very much.
Leyow, whose activities with fellow independent rescuers have seen more than 2,500 cats and 3,000 dogs saved in Malaysia in the last 14 years, noted an increase in adoptions during the MCOs.
“Since more people were working from home, I believe they felt it was suitable for them to spend time with their new pet. Pets help in a lot of ways – allaying isolation and loneliness, and even encouraging those who have communication issues,” she said.
“Although we are independent rescuers, we have a network of vets, fellow rescuers and fosterers who support us as we take the animals in, rehabilitate them in our own homes and then find a suitable forever home for them. PetFinder is a boon in this, as we get to post a detailed profile for the animal, and potential adopters can then browse through the many profiles to find their ‘chosen one’ in the quiet and comfort of their own home,” she added.
PetFinder, Koh explained, started off by accident on a personal experience, when he rescued a puppy. “I found there were many rescuers like me who could not find suitable channels to find adopters. Since I was involved in the information technology industry, I started off an initiative that built a network to connect rescuers, animal lovers and fosterers,” he adds.
“Really, Christine and SPCA Selangor have played a phenomenal role in PetFinder’s success because we gathered guidance and knowledge from them along the way. PetFinder serves as a furry matchmaking service for pets to humans and vice versa,” Koh said
He notes that the adoption listings were low in the first half of 2020. However, the launch of the new user-friendly PetFinder mobile app, coupled with exposure and activities to boost adoption rates saw an instant surge in listings and rehoming since June.
“These are very tough and challenging times for rescuers and shelters but if everyone does their part in rescuing, fostering, donating to causes, adopting or even spreading the word on social media platforms, we can help ease the burden.
“Our partnership with Royal Canin in the ‘Adopt to Save a Life’ campaign will maintain the drive, if not see a further boost. Most of all, we are happy to see how pets and their families have derived joy from each other. Our best companion are our pets because they will be by our sides through thick and thin, offering their love and support especially in difficult times,” Koh adds.
To find out more about this awareness programme, please visit: www.royalcanin.com and https://PetFinder.my/RoyalCaninStarterPack