M'sian City Life #4: The Guy Who ‘Works’ Weekends To Find Homes For Abandoned Strays
A weekend for most of us would usually mean hanging out with friends or just lounging around lazily at home.
But, guess what this young man does on weekends — he stands under the blazing sun outside of AEON Bukit Tinggi Shopping Centre, with a "Rescued Puppy For Adoption" sign hung around his neck, all for the sake of stray animals.
Francis, who is from Klang, Selangor, has done this several times. The animal rescuer would stand in public places, usually outside of AEON Bukit Tinggi, and wait for people to come up to him to adopt the puppies or kittens that he has rescued.
"I only did this once at Desa Park City, and it wasn’t a good place to go. I was chased away by the security guards wherever I went because I have these puppies. Perhaps I should have asked for a permit or approval first."
When asked on why he chose this method of standing outside malls for adoption drives, Francis told SAYS that, "I always see puppies on my Facebook timeline and people often tag me whenever they see a puppy that needs a home. To me, the competition is quite tough for puppies on social media. This method allows people to actually see the puppies, thus making the process easier than just posting up photos on Facebook."
"The way I see it, at least people will see and recognise my effort, so they would adopt from me rather than those that usually post photos on Faceook," added Francis hopefully.
"The chances of them getting adopted by posting just photos on Facebook can be pretty low. For example, when I rescued about seven puppies, I posted up on Facebook that they are all up for adoption. Three weeks later, there wasn't even a single response to that post, " explained Francis.
"So, when standing outside public spaces like this, I get more attention and almost 95 percent of the time, the adoption drive is a success."
"Last Saturday, 30 January, I did this adoption drive again but the turn out wasn't that great. However, at least I got a lot of coverage from people sharing my story. When people share, others will see my photo and they might be interested in this hands-on method of adopting puppies."
"By doing this, I hope that I will keep inspiring more people to be more interested in lending a helping hand, be it for humans or animals and giving them a chance to live. I think that is the most beautiful thing someone can do for another person."
"I would say that it's a very rewarding feeling to know that I have done something for another life. I don't quite know how to put it in words, but whenever someone adopts a puppy, I am genuinely touched and happy because I have helped a stray find a family, instead of just becoming yet another stray dog."
This 33-year-old runs his own business in the entertainment and events industry. Although he is usually tied up with work, Francis has been diligently rescuing animals for the past three years. He also rescues reptiles and even exotic pets like pangolins and owls!
"I usually only accept reptiles and help out with dogs' and cats' rescue missions if I happen to witness one. I've come to a point where I want to educate people so that they don't just share news about things like this, but instead rescue and run adoption drives themselves."
"People should take ownership if they want to rescue. I will give you my full support by providing you all the contacts needed and any other assistance, but you must take responsibility for the stray animals that you find."
"I'll guide you all the way and even tell you details on the most affordable vet services and which pet taxi is the cheapest, " said Francis.
"I am quite lucky because I have done this for many years, so I have quite a number of supporters. Whenever I post up (on social media) that I need funds for the rescued animals, people do bank in money for me, and I’m very honest about all the money involved."
"To be honest, maybe reptiles don't cost me much money but it's different for street puppies and kittens. Those honestly cost me a lot of time and money. For example, I need to arrange transport to send them to the vet. It takes up a lot of energy. Rescuing 6 puppies cost me almost RM 1,800."
"I do not ever, I never, touch any single cent from the adoption money as it is purely for them (the puppies and kittens)."
For the past three years, Francis has been feeding about 20 stray dogs, every night, without fail using the funds that he receives from his kind supporters to buy kibble supplies for the dogs
"I’ve put a lot of effort to catch the dogs one by one to spay them. Most of the time I do it alone unless those dogs are unusually difficult, I will get my friends to come and help me," Francis said.
"Today, I have successfully spayed almost all of the dogs that I’ve been feeding. They shall not produce anymore. I’ve done my part as an animal rescuer and animal lover. I feed them and I spay them. That’s as much as I can do as an individual."
Francis recalled having seven friends to help in a spaying project. He didn't personally know them as he only got in touch with them through Facebook, but these people came together and helped him rescued four dogs.
"That was my biggest and proudest rescue mission ever."
Living in the city ain’t a piece of cake but it could also be exciting and adventurous. How are you coping? How are you making the best out of things? Do you have a story or experience to share?
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