Malaysian animal shelters, feeders running out of food to feed strays in light of extended Covid-19 shutdown

Sylvia Looi
As the government extends the MCO to April 14, animal shelters and feeders in Malaysia are reaching out to animal lovers to help them during this trying period. — Picture via Facebook

KUALA LUMPUR, March 26 — As Malaysians brace for a longer movement control order (MCO), animal shelters and feeders are sending out an SOS to animal lovers for help.

Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals (ISPCA) president Ricky Soong said the stock of kibble (pet food) at the society’s premises at Jalan Gopeng, Ipoh could only last them until the end of the month.

“We stocked up until March 31 as initially the MCO was until then. The announcement by the Prime Minister that the MCO would now be extended to April 14 has totally caught us by surprise,” he said.

He said the society now has some 100 dogs as the Ipoh City Council hands over the strays captured in the city to them to be neutered or spayed before releasing them.

The society, he added, also faced problems obtaining kibble stock from pet shops due to MCO.

“We cannot pick up donations of kibbles from donors as pet shops are closed,” he added, noting that independent feeders were also facing problems feeding dogs in their area.

“Since the start of MCO, I have received calls from at least two feeders seeking help to get kibbles,” he added.

Malaysian Animal Welfare Association founder Mukunnan Sugumaran said the food for animals at his shelters could only last him until the end of the month.

“I have some 120 dogs at Sungai Long and Hulu Langat,” he said, adding that he needed between 35 and 40 kilogrammes of kibbles daily to feed them.

He said with the extended MCO, he hoped authorities would consider putting pet shops under essential services.

“At least shelters and pet owners can get suppliers for their pets,” he said, adding that feeders in his area were also facing problems feeding.

“I told my feeders to continue feeding but do not go in a group. In the event they are stopped by police, I asked my feeders to give police my contact number and I will explain,” he said, adding that during the partial lockdown, eateries are closed and strays will have problems looking for food.

“It will be better for feeders to continue feeding rather than the strays rummaging through dustbins and creating a mess,” he said.

He also appealed to the people to put some food and water outside of their houses to ease the strays’ hunger.

Feeder Joanne Low said she encouraged her group of feeders to continue feeding.

“If it is difficult for strays to get food during other non-MCO days, imagine the situation now when shops and eateries are closed,” she said, adding that on her part, she feeds strays about 10 kilometres radius from her home.

Low also said that pet shops be placed under essential services.

“At least allow them to open at appointed times so that feeders like us can get kibbles to feed strays,” she said, adding that to reduce the amount of kibbles given to strays, she mixes it with chicken innards.

Low also hoped that Malaysians would adopt strays to help ease the burden on feeders during this trying period.

Those who are interested to adopt can private message Low at Facebook page, I Need A Home - Woofs and Meows.

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