Thursday, June 4

University holds awareness campaign against animal cruelty

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The AniHELP team with the K9 unit of the Royal Malaysia Police which trains service dogs.

KUALA LUMPUR: HELP University yesterday launched its 8th AniHELP (Animals and HELP) campaign with the theme ‘The Pawfect Help’.

The anti-animal cruelty awareness campaign is aimed at creating understanding and appreciation among HELP staff, students and the public, for animals and their right to be treated humanely.

AniHELP is the sole initiative of the Public Relations students of HELP Matriculation Centre (HMC) and is jointly organised with Lost Animal Souls Shelter (LASS), a non-government organisation (NGO) aimed at rescuing, rehabilitating and re-homing stray animals that are in dire distress.

Its ultimate mission is to empower and educate the community on the importance of domestic animals in need of a home, so that they are able to control and manage the stray population.

This year, the AniHELP organising team with its chairperson Emy Melisa Mansor, put together an exciting programme with dances and even a magic show to keep the crowd entertained.

The K9 Unit of the Royal Malaysia Police, which trains service dogs to assist the police, played an active role. German Shepherd Rambo and Labrador Brit displayed their expertise and ability to follow orders of their handlers, thrilling the crowd with their demonstration at close quarters.

According to their handlers, K9 dogs provide an essential service in fighting crime as they can sniff out drugs and even track down suspects. During the demonstration, the K9 German Shepherd was given the opportunity to attack an intruder and indeed, the ferocity with which he did it left no one in doubt as to their expertise.

AniHELP 2018 was launched at HELP University by Dean of Faculty of University Foundation Studies Dhanesh Balakrishnan, AniHELP Ambassador Thanuja Ananthan, Interpet Malaysia founder Ryan Leong, and LASS treasurer Kavindran Ganesan, who spoke on the need to educate members of the public on the importance of neutering dogs.

Interpet Malaysia conducted a pet wool accessories workshop, which saw the participation of staff and students who diligently worked to create their own wool accessories such as keychains and badges.

“We look at the world and all we see is cruelty around us; wars, natural disasters, poverty and even animal cruelty. Recently, cases of animal cruelty have been escalating at an alarming rate. What more, little is being done to help curb these acts of cruelty.

“Here at HMC, our students have initiated AniHELP to do their part and provide a voice to these silent, helpless creatures. This is also our way of expanding learning outcomes of our students with an emphasis on a holistic education,” said Dhanesh.

Student organising committee chairperson Emy Melisa in her speech thanked the students for their dedication and commitment towards the project, saying they had fundraised for a week to raise funds for LASS and that it was well worth the effort.

“I thank LASS for having given us the opportunity to visit their premises and see how the dogs and puppies are looked after. We took many pictures and created an exhibition for members of the public on AniHELP Day,” she said.

AniHELP lecturer-in-charge R Murali Rajaratenam said the foundation students displayed their leadership skills in organising the event and created awareness of the plight of dogs, cats and other animals abandoned by owners.

“At HELP, we believe in organising programmes that create empathy and also nurture youth animal activists who can stand up not only for the oppressed, but also those who cannot speak for themselves. I do believe after visiting the shelter, the students have a greater understanding of the challenges faced by shelters,” he said.