A visit to the Lotus Life Liberation Farm in Bentong

We have been working very, very hard, doing our best to get the first and second batches of the Ketam rescued dogs adopted. And after more than a month’s negotiation, the Hai Tao Foundation has most graciously agreed to take the first 13 dogs.

Today we made a quick visit to their Lotus Life Liberation Farm in Bentong, Pahang. We were met by a very hospitable and unassuming “uncle” by the name of Bro Sui. He is the manager at the farm and is in charge of more than 10 workers who help him run the farm.

Bro Sui wasted no time in taking us round on his jeep. This farm is meant for “animal liberation”, and he first showed us a lovely stream where frogs (bought from the market) are freed. Then, we saw the duck/swan/goose pond and were delightfully greeted by happy quacks and honks – the birds were obviously very happy to see Bro Sui. Bro Sui tells me that he buys vegetables daily from the market to feed them. The farm also has chickens and these run (fly?) freely all over the farm. All these animals have been rescued from being slaughtered at the market and freed on the farm to live out their natural lives.

Bro Sui was particularly proud of his cows and goats (all liberated from the slaughter-houses). He tells us how “disciplined” they are, and how they would go back to their pens at 4pm every day. Bro Sui goes out every morning to cut special grass for the goats. He even showed us a baby calf and his mother. The proud mother had just given birth this morning.

After a tour of the place, which, by the way, was beautiful and enchanting, Bro Sui treated us to durians and mangosteens. The farm has rambutans too, and we were given a huge bag to take home with us.
I explained to Bro Sui a brief history about the dogs that we would be bringing. He did not seem to know anything about the Pulau Ketam tragedy at all. Later, Bro Sui explained that since this farm is run by the Hai Tao Foundation, there is a strict rule that all liberated animals must be vegetarian. This was not a problem for the goats, cows, ducks, chickens, geese and swans since these animals are herbivorous, but it is a “slight problem” for the dogs.

Currently, there are only 25 dogs on the farm and these dogs are fed a mixed diet of rice and eggs only. No meat is allowed. I looked at the dogs and they looked healthy and in good spirits. Bro Sui said initially the dogs had problem adjusting (and even rejected) the “vegetarian food”, but later, they learnt to adapt.

I had already been told about this by the contact from Hai Tao ever since our negotiations began, and she suggested that if I am worried about the dogs’ nutrition (especially when the Ketam dogs have been fed on a diet of meat), I would have to buy vegetarian dog food (dry food) for them. These have been specially formulated to provide complete nutrition.
I discuss with Bro Sui where he would be putting the dogs, and he suggested the big pen beside the goat pen (please see photo above, which shows Bro Sui standing in the pen). The dogs would have plenty of space to move about. Bro Sui says they would probably be scared at first, so it is best to confine them, and slowly allow them to adapt and mix with his other dogs. Later, they would be allowed to roam freely on the farm. This kind gentleman certainly has the dogs’ best interests at heart. I felt comforted knowing that the dogs would be in good hands.

As we were about to leave, which was about 4pm, true enough, we saw the goats coming back in single file, and from afar, we saw the cows as well, walking leisurely towards their pen. Talk about being disciplined and on time – this certainly beats humans!

We will be sending the first batch of 6 dogs to their new home on 1st August. AnimalCare will donate 10 packs of the vegetarian dog food. The best price I have managed to get so far is RM100 per pack of 6.8kg.

We would also like to continue donating vegetarian dog food for as long as we have funds because really, these poor dogs have “been through hell” in Pulau Selat Kering, and they deserve a good life now.

If you’d like to help in this food donation, please write to me at chankahyein@gmail.com Any amount is welcome and would be extremely helpful.

Let us all rejoice that FINALLY, we have managed to find homes for these dogs. There are still about 15 more Ketam dogs looking for homes, so if you are interested in adopting a dog, please do consider adopting one of these great survivors!

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