My Forever Doggo recently had the honour of interviewing Karin, a dog rescuer based in Klang Valley, to learn more about the origins of her passion in saving dogs as well as her thoughts on the stray dog population crisis in Malaysia. Despite the gloomy and wet weather, her optimistic energy kept us warm throughout the interview.
Journey to becoming a dog rescuer
In 2008, Karin started her rescuing journey. Before she knew it, 15 to 16 years had passed — and in a blink of an eye, she found herself having rescued over 800 dogs. The origin of her story started 2 decades ago, in a small town called Kuala Kubu Bharu. Random people would dump dogs at her doorstep, starting with a box of puppies placed in front of her house.
Karin tried to get the puppies adopted, but in 2004, most people were not familiar with the concept of adoption yet. And as a result, the majority of the dogs ended up staying with her. This included stray dogs who were caught whilst working with the local council.
To control the birthing rate of those staying with her, Karin spayed and neutered as many as she could afford. However, as the numbers grew, so did her role as a dog rescuer… and to manage the snowballing efforts, she decided to open her first shelter. This way, more dogs could be rescued, and more people could come together to help get them re-homed.
Karin has always had dogs since she was young, but “dogs were just dogs”. It took one very special dog to open her eyes — and that was one of the puppies in the box dumped outside her house back in 2004. That fateful pup ignited her love and passion for dogs… and the rest, as they say, was history.
Stray dog population crisis in Malaysia
“The life of a homeless dog in Malaysia is not very promising,” Karin told us. This is because the Department of Veterinary Services Malaysia (DVS) struggles to effectively manage the dog population due to the lack of manpower and resources. They are also very lacking in resources, especially expertise and funding. She recommended for a strict government policy to be introduced to mandate all stray dogs to be spayed and neutered.
As some people may not necessarily understand the importance to spay and neuter dogs, she believes it is important to provide proper education to control the issue of overpopulation. And for those who are inexperienced with dog rescuing, they can chip in by organising fundraising events.
Funds raised are very much needed, as many shelters are “broke” and they rely on public support to sustain their operations on a monthly basis. For Karin, running a shelter as well as a rehabilitation centre costs her approximately RM10,000 per month — she expressed a strong need for all of the help she can get from volunteers to clean the shelter, walk the dogs, and even do occasional vet runs.
Operations aside, besides providing a roof over their heads, dogs are social animals, they need love and attention from humans. And just like her name, Karin will continue living her life caring for the voiceless strays and try to get every single one of them adopted into a loving, forever home.
Karin is one of the most beautiful souls we have met and we absolutely enjoyed this interview, so we hope you enjoy her story as much as we did! You also should check out her Spotlight video on our Instagram! If you would like to help Karin in any way, please contact us on Instagram or send us an email at email@example.com.
Do you know of any dog rescuers whom you think deserve to have a story written about them? Well, hit us up too! We would love to cover their story! :)
You can also read our story entitled Kampung Dogs: Why Malaysians Don’t Want Their Own Dog Breed if you are interested to know about the stigma about our Malaysian dogs. Let’s end this stereotype now!