Trapped ‘furkids’ in flood-ravaged Taman Sri Muda not forgotten

Trapped ‘furkids’ in flood-ravaged Taman Sri Muda not forgotten

SHAH ALAM: They may have been drenched, hungry and thirsty, but the pet cats and dogs of flood-ravaged Taman Sri Muda were never abandoned.

Even if they had to be left alone perched here and there in the flooded houses, their owners, who had to be evacuated in a hurry, came back to rescue them.

Siblings Alia Zulaikha Mahmud, 21, and Nur Hazirah Mahmud, 14, had to wade through waist-high floodwaters to save their 11 cats trapped in their house.

“We could rescue only nine of them as two had died, crushed by a falling cupboard,” said Alia Zulaikha.

The floods, triggered by heavy rain over last weekend, had submerged single-storey houses and reached the first floor of double-storey dwellings.

Nur Hazirah said members of their household had to make the difficult decision of rescuing themselves first before coming back for their furry friends.

“The floodwaters rose fast and were already at chest level when we decided to relocate, leaving the cats on top of a cupboard,” she told Bernama.

Alia Zulaikha said three days later, after the floods receded a little, they came back in a boat provided by the rescue authorities to retrieve their cats and some belongings.

The sisters said their cats are now “boarding” at their friends’ homes.

“We are grateful that our family members and most of our pets have been rescued. They may be just animals but, for us, they are family too,” she said.

Meanwhile, Shirley Lim, 29, was in two minds whether to bring her pet dog, Loki, along with her to the flood relief centre when the rescuers came to help move the family.

“I asked the rescuers to take my family members – my parents and my younger sister – first while I waited with Loki for the next boat to come. However, the rescuers wanted me to come along, with Loki as well,” she said.

Lim said her parents and sister were sent to the relief centre at Sekolah Jenis Kebangsaan (Tamil) Ladang Emerald while she and her dog put up at a friend’s house.

“I did not want to bring my dog to the relief centre as there are also Muslims there. Furthermore, I did not want my dog to be barking away and easing itself here and there,” she said.

Lim said she was informed the next day of volunteers running a mobile veterinary clinic located close to the relief centre offering free treatment and food for pet animals.

“My dog had not eaten for three days because its food had been washed away by the floods. I got a friend’s help to drive my dog to the clinic. I am grateful to everyone as they have been so caring,” she said.

Mobile clinic for pet animals

The Malaysian Veterinary Medical Association (MAVMA), meanwhile, is working with the Malaysian Small Animal Veterinary Association (MSAVA) and the Selangor Veterinary Department to provide treatment to pet animals affected by the floods at a mobile clinic located in front of fast-food restaurants KFC and Pizza Hut in Kota Kemuning.

Universiti Putra Malaysia Faculty of Veterinary Medicine senior lecturer Dr Farina Mustaffa Kamal said they launched the initiative to provide free treatment, from Dec 21 to 27, as many pets and street animals had been badly affected by the floods.

“We accept any animal, not only dogs or cats, but livestock such as chickens, geese or ducks rescued from the floods.

“Besides basic treatment, we also provide dog and cat food that has been donated by associations and the public,” she said.

Dr Farina said most of the pets and stray animals that were trapped in the floods and brought to the mobile clinic were found to be suffering from cold and hunger.

“Some were rescued after they fell into the floodwaters and others have been in the floodwaters for a long time. We suggest that these animals be brought to the mobile clinic first before they are relocated to a safe place.

“If the animals are in need of further treatment or are in a critical condition, we will recommend that they be sent to the nearest veterinary clinic,” she said.

Dr Farina said rescue workers and volunteers had found many pet dogs and cats in the flooded areas.

“At our clinic, we have a section where messages are sent out on social media to find the owners of these pets,” she said.

Pet food fund

The Malaysian Animal Association has launched a pet food fund for pets and stray animals in areas affected by the floods.

Its president Arie Dwi Andika said the distribution of food to flood victims who have pet dogs and cats was a priority of the mission.

“During the distribution of food to cat owners, it was pointed out that dogs were not cared for.

“Therefore, we launched the ‘Dog Food Box’ and invited suppliers of dog food to work together to provide such aid to flood victims with pet dogs in the affected areas,” he said.

He advised dog owners to open the cage door or unleash their pets during an emergency such as floods so that the animals can save themselves.

“It will be easier also for the rescuers to find and assist the dogs,” he said.

Arie expressed gratitude to the rescuers, especially members of the Civil Defence Force, who he said worked hard to rescue pets and stray dogs and cats trapped in the floods.

He said any pet owner who needed food assistance or anyone who wanted to offer food could contact him on WhatsApp at 0105394749.

“Assistance will be distributed in stages and according to location because NGOs and individuals are also distributing food for animals in need,” he said.