IPOH: If you are a dog lover and active in the community here, then the odds are you have heard about Madam Chow Khoon Siew.
Chow, 66, is a compassionate Buddhist nun who found her life's calling in providing a loving home for abandoned and ill-treated canines.
In her shelter located off Jalan Gopeng in Gunung Rapat, dogs were everywhere, yelping and barking, jumping with joy whenever she attends to them.
She now looks after more than 100 dogs.
"Many of them were puppies when I took them in. Many of the dogs probably never had homes or someone to love them," she said.
Chow relocated to the present place in 2013 from a temple-cum-shelter in Sungai Siput, following complaints from neighbours who were annoyed by the dogs’ barking.
The land owner invited her to set up the shelter there.
Chow, who began taking care of stray animals when she was in her 30s, is currently in need of a portable water pump for use at the present shelter.
The existing pump was always in need of repair and she lacks the funds to get a new one.
She is also short of cages for the dogs as well as short of manpower to help her.
"My sister, 68, and a volunteer and helps me to take care of the shelter," said Chow, whose shelter is located in a secluded place.
Monthly expenses for the shelter is around RM8,000 including Kibble dog food (RM100×2 packs per day x 30 days) which amounts to RM6,000 and RM1,359 for rice (RM17@10kg x 3 packs per day x 30 days).
It does not include the cost of medical care for the dogs.
Chow relies on the support of the community to operate the shelter, including an annual fundraising dinner, and she is grateful for the generosity and support of people.
Over the years, Chow has managed to give a new home to some of the dogs through adoption programmes organised by the Ipoh Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA).
"I hope that one day all the dogs will be adopted by loving owners. These days, people have more awareness and respect for animals, so there is hope," she said.
Those who wish to help Chow can call her at 017-5832920.