Armed with fans and ice packs, selfless Klang man stands for hours just to get stray animals adopted (video)

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Meet the 40-year-old Francis Poh Chun Tat, the Klang man who stands for hours just to find a new home for strays. — Picture from Francis Poh Chun Tat
Meet the 40-year-old Francis Poh Chun Tat, the Klang man who stands for hours just to find a new home for strays. — Picture from Francis Poh Chun Tat

KUALA LUMPUR, April 20 — Even though he was almost robbed, chased away and even confronted by thugs, this Klang man has stood his ground in trying to find a new home for strays.

Francis Poh Chun Tat, 40, has been trying to rehome stray animals that he finds around his housing area in Klang since 2014.

Poh often stands for hours in front of AEON Bukit Tinggi Shopping Centre with a cage of stray puppies or kittens looking for families or individuals who are willing to give these fur babies a new home.

Speaking to Malay Mail, Poh said that since he began in 2014, he has managed to rehome around 100 kittens and puppies.

And he does not plan on stopping anytime soon.

Among the reasons he wanted to help these strays was due to their rising numbers at his housing area during the early days of the movement control order (MCO).

Another factor was because he couldn’t bear to see another stray die a meaningless death such as getting run over or getting stuck in the drain.

Poh started by advertising that the strays were up for adoption via Facebook posts to his 3,000 to 4,000 followers.

But he found that there was a lack of response to the posts.

“I noticed that every time I posted on Facebook, no one actually wanted those stray dogs and kittens even when I posted about them every day.

“So, I got the inspiration (for the adoption drive) from wedding proposal video trends back then where the man would use a sign board to basically propose to their partners.

“I thought to myself, why don’t I use the same idea by writing the adoption drive on a cardboard and hanging it on my neck while standing in public,” he said.

Poh first started his pet adoption drive by standing around The Landmark building before he was chased away by the management.

He later found his ‘spot’ at AEON Bukit Tinggi, which was just opposite The Landmark.

He added that during his early days, aside from being chased away by mall’s security guards, he also received visits from local thugs telling him to pack his stuff and move away from there.

“After a while, I realised at the end of the day, it’s their private property that I’m standing on.

“I didn’t want to fight about it and I just moved on and stood at the building opposite,” he said.

Fortunately for Francis, during his time standing for his pet adoption drive, he has made new friends at the mall.

“Most of the parking attendants, staff from the mall, they’ve become my friends already. They would often ask if I needed any help.

“No matter the race; Malay, Indian or Chinese, all of them were like ‘hey, do you need any help? Do you need to go to the toilet?

“They would volunteer to look after the animals while I go to the bathroom. It is quite lovely.”

Poh said the reason he chose to stay at AEON Bukit Tinggi was because of its high traffic and the public can easily interact with him from the spot.

Francis also pointed out that standing outdoors wasn’t the only challenge as they weather also played a role.

He normally prepares ice packs and portable fans with extra batteries for the cages as well as attaching an umbrella to the cages to protect the strays from the climate.

However, during rainy days, he would have to hold on to the cages as the strong winds can blow the cages away.

He added that he would have to apply sunblock and wear clothes that can protect his head, neck, and arms from getting sunburnt.

“Standing in public consumes a lot of time, my record was standing at the same place for seven hours straight. I don’t remember how many puppies I had with me at that time, but I was so desperate to get them a new home because I cannot be doing this every weekend.

“I have my life too, I have my work too, I’m in the event industry and most of my work is on the weekend.

“So, on that Saturday as I’m not working, I was willing to stand for 12 hours but luckily it was seven hours only,” he said, adding that he managed to find those puppies a home that day.

Aside from the pet adoption drive, Poh has also helped those in need.

Previously in 2021, he raised RM60,000 via his Facebook to help local business owners who were struggling during the MCO.

Coining it as his 100 Stall Mission, Francis managed to help local business owners by buying 100 packs of food from 100 stalls around Klang Valley and donated it to the public.

He’s also no stranger when it comes to animal rescue as he has rescued numerous animals since 2010.

Poh made headlines two years ago after a video of him saving a puppy from a monkey on a tree circulated on social media.

He is also doing a pet taxi service where he offers transportation for those wanting to bring their pets to the vet.

Despite everything, Poh said the last two years have actually been the most difficult time in his life.

Apart from losing his grandmother in 2020, Francis also lost his dance studio as he couldn’t afford the rent which resulted in him getting depression and anxiety.

However, he managed to keep his spirits high as he thoroughly enjoys helping people and animals and also through the endless support he gets from his Facebook followers.

In a more recent update, Francis is also going back steadily in the entertainment and event industry.

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