Saving the broken and forgotten

Saving the broken and forgotten
Puspa with one of her rescued dogs named Longkang.

It has been a tough journey for Puspa Rani who gave up her career as a chartered accountant to set up and run Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue (MIAR), a non-governmental organisation dedicated to giving a home to stray animals.

But the 38-year-old who is a wife, mother to three girls, and an animal lover, still finds the strength to continue rescuing abused and homeless animals.

"All the dogs under our care are abandoned, some were tortured, and some were rescued from the pound and were about to be put to sleep," said Puspa.

"What I do is important. Each and every dog we rescue has a story, most of them are supposed to be dead, but they are still here and they're happy."

"Just looking at how happy they are, and seeing how far they have come since we took them in motivates me to keep doing what I do," she said.

Puspa said that she always puts the animal before herself and would go through great lengths to rescue an animal in need.

"I only have the wellbeing of the animal in mind. I want to give them all a loving home. They deserve to be loved," she said.

Even what Puspa was seven-months pregnant, nobody could stop her from helping to carry a dog through four-feet high floods so that he could reach safety.

"I just wanted to help the dog, I didn't care what everyone else said," she said with a laugh. Her big heart and love for animals is what prompted her to open up a shelter for rescued animals.

"MIAR used to be just a Facebook page, and I would rescue dogs around Kajang area in my own time. But then it became much bigger and people wanted my help to rescue animals from places further away," said Puspa.

She started rescuing more and more dogs and started to rent a house when she started to take in dogs from the pound who were about to be put down.

"MIAR's shelter will soon be three-years-old in February. The dogs here are happy and are let out at least twice a day to run about and play," said Puspa.

There are currently over a hundred dogs at the shelter that are being taken care of by Puspa and three workers on a daily basis. "We also have volunteers who come in to help wash the dogs on the weekend," she said.

There is a lot of work that goes into caring for the dogs at her shelter, and Puspa said that taking care of the dogs has become her full-time job.

"I sleep late, wake up early to feed and care for the dogs, and I receive calls almost every day," said Puspa, adding that sometimes people would even dump dogs at her shelter just to get rid of them.

However, Puspa said that with so many dogs under her care she is often worried that she would not have enough food to feed all the dogs who polish off 38 chickens a week and 60 bags of rice a month.

"All the dogs we have consume a lot of food, and we rely on the kind donations people to feed the dogs," she said.

"Some months I worry that we do not have enough," she added.

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