The driving force behind my decision to go vegan was compassion. It is the core of pretty much everything I do as a human being and I honour it whenever I can. I apply it to the way I interact with people and animals, and frequently contribute to causes through volunteer work and/or financial aid.
When Kind Kones approached me to be a part of the ‘Unstoppable Women’ campaign, I was stoked. A homegrown vegan ice cream parlor launching 7 different flavours inspired by 7 different women, each excelling in their field, AND proceeds of each scoop going to charity? It was a dream project that was impossible to say No to.
Two things immediately came to mind. One was that my flavour was going to be distinctly Malaysian. After nine months of discussion and development, Pandan Gula Melaka flavour has been born!
The second thing that came to mind was that my charity of choice was going to be AnimalCare. A one-woman project by Dr. Chan Kah Yein, AnimalCare promotes the practice of CNRM (Care-Neuter-Rehome/Return-and-Manage) for street animals. The funds collected go towards the neutering of street animals in Malaysia, and any surplus funds helps to cover petfood expenses at small independently-run shelters.
A piece of trivia: This is not the first time I’m supporting AnimalCare. I once did a fundraising pole dance. If you are curious enough to look it up, the video is out there somewhere.
The Unstoppable Woman campaign was a golden opportunity to once again shed light on a fellow woman’s mission led by compassion – and executing this mission all by herself has left me in awe of the impact she has created on our community.
Dr. Chan has just celebrated 9 years of AnimalCare, and has happily obliged to do this quick interview, for customers to get to know a little but more about the charity they are helping to contribute towards.
Happy Anniversary! What made you want to start Myanimalcare.org, and did you have any expectation that it would last 9 years?
I realised there was a dire need to get street animals neutered and there are many feeders out there who need financial help for this purpose. Controlling the street animal population is one of the most compassionate ways to help them. Hence, neutering. AnimalCare started as a neutering fund, but it got expanded to include a medical treatment fund and food fund as well. That lasted many years. Now, we are back to basics in managing a neutering fund and whenever we have excess, we give out petfood donation to a local shelter.
I definitely did not expect it to last nine years! When I first started, having had no experience in fundraising, I was only aiming to help 10 animals a year, but that very first year, we managed to help 660, thanks to the support and generosity of friends and well-wishers. Now, we help, on the average, about 2000 animals per year.
Can you recall any success story of animal recovery that truly beat the odds?
There have been many of such cases. My first rescue was a litter of 3 newborn kittens. Vets said there was little chance they would survive, but they did, and today, they are 12 years old. Then, there was this rescued dog, Sunshine. She was badly beaten and her spinal chord was severed. Vets said she would never walk again nor would she regain her bladder and colon function. But she did – within weeks of dedicated care by her fosterer, she regained all her lower body functions, was able to walk, run and swim! Her fosterer adopted her and she is doing very well.
What does compassion mean to you?
To me, it means doing something to alleviate the suffering of others.
What advice do you have to those who want to those who want to help more in animal welfare but unsure how?
I am definitely not in the position to give any “advice” as there are many who have done more and have more experience than me! But if I may suggest, there are many things that we can all do. For example, join a group or organisation that helps animals and volunteer your time and energy, volunteer at the local shelter, feed the neighbourhood animals, get them neutered and find homes for them, if possible.
Any message to Kind Kones customers who will be supporting your organization through the Unstoppable Women campaign?
Thank you so much, Davina, Kind Kones and customers who will be supporting our work. Please know that your kind and generous contributions will be put to immediate use through our Neutering Fund and Food Projects.
Pandan Gula Melaka flavour is available as a special edition flavour at Kind Kones outlets (Plaza Damansara, 1 Mont Kiara, Bangsar and now KLCC) from 10th June to 9th July. It retails at RM11.80 per scoop and RM2 from each scoop sold goes to AnimalCare.
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