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Local Animal Association Launches #BenderaMerah Campaign To Help Pet Owners

"Pets are part of our family. They are living beings who know hunger, they have feelings, and they need love. May there be those who will help."

Cover image via Andrés Cardona/The Washington Post & Persatuan Haiwan Malaysia - Malaysia Animal Association (Facebook)

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Inspired by the recent #BenderaPutih movement, Malaysia Animal Association has launched the #KempenKibarBenderaMerah campaign to help struggling pet owners

The campaign, also referred to as #BenderaMerah, was initiated through a Facebook post, on Wednesday, 30 June, by the association's president, Arie Dwi Andika, to help struggling pet owners reach out to their neighbours by raising a red flag outside their homes.

According to Arie, there has been an increase in pet dumping since the early implementation of the Movement Control Order (MCO) due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He said that this is due to owners being unable to continue caring for their pets because of financial difficulties. As a result, many cats and dogs are dumped on the streets.

"Long-fostered cats and dogs have become part of our family. So it's sad to see new faces on the street," Arie said

"[They are] in fear and awkwardly adjusting to the prospect of hunger, attacks or fights [with other strays], and not being able to independently find food."

He added that the cats and dogs that are dumped on the streets ultimately end up with injuries, trauma, infectious diseases, and even death.

Arie said that their association calls for the community to take care of their neighbours who are pet owners and are facing financial difficulties amidst the COVID-19 pandemic.

"Be concerned and ask if they have enough food supply for their cats and dogs so help can be given to them," he said.

Arie believes that through the concern of the surrounding community, issues such as pet dumping and animal cruelty due to the emotional stress of owners from the COVID-19 pandemic can be overcome.

"Together we can save many lives from suffering and maintain the nature of love in society," Arie said, inviting the public to join the campaign

According to the post, the association calls for people to:

- Raise a red flag at your residence if you need help getting cat or dog food.
- Do not take actions that are harmful to yourself and your pets such as abuse them or dump them on the streets.
- Avoid stress, no need to plead and be embarrassed. Just wave the red flag.
- Remember that pets are also part of our family. They are living beings who understand hunger, have feelings, and need love.

Read the full post here:

Last week, the #BenderaPutih movement went viral on social media:

Here's how the #BenderaPutih campaign has helped the rakyat overcome their struggles: