A New Lease of Life
500 animals almost lost their home. This is their story.
Unbeknownst to many, in the small little town of Kundang lies a place where the abandoned, unwanted and rejected live.
Here, 150 cats and 350 dogs (and a goat who thinks he’s a dog) of all ages and from all around the country call the Furry Friends Farm (or, FFF) their home.
Situated in between Rawang and KL, it is about a 35 minute drive from Bangsar, and accessible via the LATAR highway.
Who lives here?
From diabetic cats to three-legged dogs, this is a sanctuary for the downtrodden; who are mobility, visually and even mentally,impaired. But of course, not all animals are sick or unwell. In fact, the whole lot of them look as fine as ever, thanks to the loving and caring commitment and dedication of the sanctuary’s management.
They have even rescued perfectly fine – and some even remarkably beautiful cats and dogs who were heartbreakingly disposed of at random places.
Every furkid has a name. Each life here is unique, with their own personalities, histories and of course, a future.
As much as the sanctuary management can guarantee, the inhabitants of FFF are provided a permanent place here, living as dignified beings with their needs seen to, until the end of their days on Earth.
These lucky ones, once sneered at by society, get a second chance at life as they receive tender, loving care under the watchful and experienced eye of the Sanctuary Manager, Georgie Gisborne. Georgie, a British citizen, is no stranger to animal care and rescue, being a serial volunteer and moving around countries. She first came to Malaysia in 2011, and came across some abandoned kittens.
She searched online to try to rehome them, and was connected to Sabrina Yeap, the founder of Furry Friends Farm (who has since passed away in 2012 from leukemia).
However, she saw that Sabrina had a full house, so she found another place to re-home them. Furthermore, Sabrina was running a one-man show, so Georgie volunteered to help her for 3 months until her visa expired.
So in 2011, suddenly I had to leave (Malaysia), but my heart remained here…
And then when she died 3 years ago, I was in Thailand, working with street dogs there, and someone informed me of Sabrina’s death.
I wanted to come back straight away; I knew they would need someone to look after them here, because my heart is here.
Building a new home from scratch
At that time, however, Georgie was not aware that there was a team of part-time volunteers. So she came back in September 2012 to a bunch of less-than healthy looking animals, with an RM 70,000 debt and not a piece of kibble left in their bowls.
It was an incredibly tough time then, but thankfully, Myza Nordin (Sanctuary President) and Dawn (Treasurer) were ready to work together with the invaluable assistance of volunteers from around Selangor and KL to build FFF into a registered non-profit NGO to care for its inhabitants.
Together, the three of them defined their own roles and worked hard to accomplish the best they could. Myza even left a very cushy job as a high ranking PR person in the Hospitality industry in order to devote more of her time to these animals, whom she has come to regard as her own furkids.
Together with their volunteers, the team at Furry Friends Farm slowly toiled and troubled; they worked to source long term donations, and painstakingly built the farm into what it is today – a bustling, thriving sanctuary filled with happy, healthy animals.
This is really a lot to speak about, considering that it takes an immense amount of energy and importantly, money, to ensure the day to day operations are smooth. On top of that, Myza works hard to try to find new ways of bringing more money to the farm to support their operational costs, from coming up with donation drives, to running farm programmes for school children.
Kuning and the 2009 Pulau Ketam Incident
In 2009, residents of Pulau Ketam, a small island off the coast of Port Klang, Selangor, saw an increase in the stray dog population. This was brought about not by imports of dogs, but by the irresponsibility of the residents in keeping the stray population in check.
Eventually, they dealt with the problem by ferrying these dogs to a nearby island called Pulau Selat Kering with no food, water or escape route, leaving them all to fend for themselves in some twisted, cruel version of the hunger games.
Kuning, alongside another hero-dog called Hitam, were rescued by Sabrina. What makes Kuning special is that, despite his fear of the water, he bravely swam across the boat towards the island to persuade his friends to join him on the boat. Most of these dogs, who were abused and ill-treated by the people on Pulau Ketam, were afraid of humans, but responded well to Kuning and Hitam’s calls and efforts to bring them to safety.
Most of these dogs have since been re-homed or have passed away.
Georgie, drawing on her years of experience travelling around the world and working with rescued strays and shelters, had vision of how she wanted the farm to look and to be run.
In the beginning, she did face some opposition to that, but that is all put behind as the farm looks and moves forward with the dedication of their staff and volunteers.
Together with the regular volunteers and paid workers at the farm, FFF took in and tended to strays, the abused and the abandoned.
They still do take in cases now, but with the high volume of animals under their care and their strict no-kill policy, they are far more selective about their intake.
How is Furry Friends Farm different from other shelters?
FFF lives by the promise that no living, breathing animal will ever be killed within the walls of the sanctuary – Yes, even rats, mice and crows!
No cages or chains
Nobody lives in cages, or tight, confined spaces. All of the inhabitants get plenty of fresh air, sunshine and exercise in the vast compound, cat, dog or human.
Everyone has a routine
Dogs and cats are creatures of habit, and having a strict and dependable environment keeps them mentally and physically happy and healthy.
They run a tight ship at FFF, and a strict routine is necessary as animals love routines – changes in environment are very often, stressful.
Their morning shifts usually start at 8 am and last all the way til 1 pm. In the mornings, all medications are given, and the main jobs such as cleaning, feeding, gardening and bathing, even vet runs, would be done in the mornings.
The humans then go for lunch at 1 pm and any other work that’s not completed yet would be done. Furry Friends Farm hires 4 general workers, and they do the bulk of cleaning, maintenance and gardening.
For them, the main priority is quality of life for their charges.
The farm is about 2 – acres big, and most of the 350 canines housed there live in large enclosures separated by packs. Each enclosure has 1 – 3 Alpha males and females, whilst some enclosures are more solitary in nature, housing those with psychological issues or a cannibalistic streak.
The packs are separated mainly because of personality differences. It is impractical to expect that all animals can get along swimmingly – the truth is that these dogs all have a history, and their own personalities. Some simply do not get along with each other, hence they have been kept apart to prevent fighting and casualties.
The cattery houses approximately 150 cats, and is divided into two main areas – one for FiV pawsitive and the other for uninfected felines.
Over here, they observe a strict no-kill policy. As the farm is situated in a very undeveloped plot of land in Kundang nearby forestry and lakes, they are prone to wildlife visitors such as cobras, pythons, crows, and even monitor lizards.
In the long run, Georgie and friends believe in educating the public about basic, proper and ethical treatment and care of animals, and the farm is a perfect hands-on way that children, teenagers and even adults can learn to better understand the needs of animals and to respect them as fellow inhabitants on Earth.
Aside from large enclosures, and the cattery, the farm also has a little Buddhist temple in the shed behind where Sabrina’s memorial is at.
Flanking the temple is a little plot of land where the bodies of their old friends, dogs, cats, chicken and rabbits, are buried.
It is also where Georgie wants to be buried too, when she passes.
The Hard Truths
All these don’t come for free, of course. The non-profit, non-governmental organisation’s monthly costs to upkeep the sanctuary for these 500 lives can come up to RM 40,000, inclusive of staff wages, food and other overheads.
As if it was not difficult enough to maintain donations for the upkeep of the area, the place these animals call home was recently under siege by unfortunate circumstances- the landlord needed to sell the land they were on.
The Price Tag?
RM 2.7 Million.
Thankfully, miracles DO happen
A very generous and undisclosed donor, the one in a million miracle maker (well, a family, actually), has approached Furry Friends Farm to alleviate their financial distress.
But they still need your help
Running costs are RM 40,000 per month. Every Ringgit counts!
How you can help
Adopt a furkid!
If the time has come for you to raise your own furkid, look no further than FFF.
Most of the inhabitants here are in need of a loving, warm home and a parent to shower their care and love on.
Adoption rates start at RM 200, and includes all the necessary medical and surgical procedures your adoptive furkid needs.
Sponsor a furkid!
If you’ve always wanted to have a pet, but cannot, for various reasons (e.g. not enough space, allergic, family does not allow), then sponsoring a furkid is a fantastic way for you to have a pet! Drop by the farm to say hi to your furkid, and play, feed, bathe and spend time with your furkid as all other furkid parents do!
Sponsorship starts at RM 60/month and covers the essentials your furkid needs.
Contribute to the Foodbank Programme
Food is an essential of life.
The same goes for all the 500 furkids here at FFF. Almost 80% of the monthly running costs goes into food alone.
Feed a furkid today by pledging some money monthly for a bag of kibble.
Each bag costs RM 120 and they need 120 sponsors!
Don’t really want to adopt or sponsor? Then donate! Any amount, any time, any place. Every little sen counts.
Direct bank transfer (local bank)
Bank: Public Bank
Account No: 317 884 2626
Account Name: Furry Friends Farm
Visits by appointment ONLY.
Please call Sanctuary President Myza Nordin to schedule a visit at 016 371 7692.
You may be denied entry without prior appointment.
Furry Friends Farm
Jamilah cares deeply about the human condition. A humanist, skeptic and feminist, she is a proponent of both human and animal rights. An avid gamer, she lives somewhere in PJ with her two cats and plays Dota 2 in her free time.