A dog rescue attempt

Early this morning, my friend, Julia, texted to ask if I could find anyone who would be able to rescue this mother-dog and two puppies from a roundabout in Subang Jaya. Apparently, this mother-dog crosses the very busy roundabout roads many times a day and Julia was very worried that the little puppies would follow her and get knocked down by cars.

I contacted a friend and he was very kind to offer some help. So, the arrangement was made and Julia would meet this group of rescuers at the location.

The morning rescue proved to be very difficult and it took about two hours before the two puppies were caught. The mother-dog, however, escaped capture. But she was barking from afar to alert her puppies (which was really sad).

The two puppies were brought to a shelter for temporary boarding.

We wanted, if possible, to unite the family, so we made another attempt to catch the mother-dog. Julia had gone to the location a few times and noticed that the mother-dog was right there.

This time, I contacted Mun Mun and he was so very kind to oblige. Mun Mun says he would have to use the puppies as “bait” to lure the mother out.

So, Julia and I set off to collect the two puppies from their temporary boarding place. We brought the puppies to the location in two carriers and crossed the very busy road to the roundabout. The time was about 3pm.

It wasn’t easy getting across as this was indeed a very busy roundabout in Subang Jaya. The mother-dog was right there, on the grassy area of the roundabout.

But the moment she saw us, she grew suspicious and started moving away.

We left the two carriers there on the grassy area and quickly moved away to hide.

The mother-dog was already suspicious and so very cautious, so she crossed the busy road and went to the triangular patch of grass across the road.

Sigh, when she crossed the road, I think my heart stopped.

And she remained there for sometime.

But the puppies started yelping (which was really heart-breaking) so the mother started barking from the triangular patch. Clearly, she wanted to get to her puppies. Mun Mun had already told us that we had to use the puppies to lure the mother-dog.

The mother-dog crossed the road again (oh gosh, my heart stopped again) and got onto the grassy patch at the roundabout. She approached the carriers.

And sniffed around the carriers.

I had to hide behind those large pillars while Julia went across the road to the triangular patch to discourage the mother-dog from crossing the road again.

The puppies “took turns” to yelp non-stop, calling for the mother. This was totally heart-breaking, but if we wanted to catch the mother-dog and reunite the family, it would have to be this way.

After what seemed an hour or so, the mother-dog settled down on the grassy patch.

Julia remained on the other side while I remained at the roundabout to wait for Mun Mun. I was standing there, as motionless as I could be, and the minutes passed VERY slowly.

It was about 5pm that Mun Mun arrived with Li Yen.

They brought their cage-trap and began setting it up.

Mun Mun says he would use one puppy to lure the mother into the cage.

So the trap was set.

Mother-dog went from the roundabout, crossed the road to the triangular patch, a few times. She would barked and then settled down, and barked again. The puppy was calling out for her.

As heart-breaking as it was, Li Yen explained that sometimes, you just have to endure this for a greater good (to reunite the family).

Julia had already agreed to pay for the life-long maintenance of all three (if we could rescue the mother-dog, if not, then the two puppies) at Mun Mun’s shelter and also to cover all medical bills.

Soon the mother-dog went from the triangular patch, crossed another road and went into the housing estate.

Oh dear, she was going further and further away now.

So, as Mun Mun and Li Yen moved the cage-trap over to the housing estate now, Julia and I went to try and keep an eye on the mother-dog so that we would know where she had gone.

I managed to locate her and actually got quite close to her, but there was no way I could catch her at all. The moment you tried to move closer, she would walk off. I talked to her too and she “listened”. But of course, you cannot expect a feral dog to just come to you, right? That would be a total miracle.

So near, and yet so far…sigh.

But mother-dog was so, so smart. The moment Julia attempted to come towards her direction (even before Julia showed herself), mother-dog started moving away. I think this is because Julia was there at the capture (rescue) of her puppies this morning, so mother-dog does not trust Julia anymore. I wasn’t there this morning, so I wasn’t viewed as such a “threat”….yet.

Since the mother-dog appeared to view Julia as a “threat”, Julia decided to make good use of that and so she went to the back lane and positioned herself at the end of that road so that mother-dog would be forced to remain where she was instead of going off further.

Anyway, I was so glad that the rescue attempt had now shifted to the housing estate and this certainly is so much safer than managing at the roundabout with the busy traffic and mother-dog crossing the road whenever she felt like it. That gave me such heart-stopping moments.

Mun Mun and Li Yen started setting up the cage-trap at this much less busy road now.

Mother-dog got excited when she saw her puppy in the cage.

All set.

Concerned passers-by did stop to look and we have to very quickly to over the explain our “operation”. In general, everyone was quite understanding.

This is the other puppy, she is the scardier one, but is bigger in size.

The puppy in the cage-trap was the smaller of the two but she is more feisty. By the way, both puppies were very defensive and it wasn’t easy managing them.

Mother-dog did not fall for the trap. She would just sit across the road and look at her puppy.

And so, we waited again. Mun Mun explained that his cage-trap had an auto and manual function. Because we had to use the puppy as “bait”, he could not use the auto function, so a very long rope was tied from the cage to where we “hid”. Once the mother-dog entered the cage, Mun Mun would pull the rope and the cage-door would shut.

Same modus operandi as how I caught Mr Quack and Zurik, actually.

We waited until night fall.

Mother-dog did not fall for the trap. She stayed nearby and would occasionally approach the cage-trap, but did not go inside. A few times, she even went behind the cage-trap and sniffed at her puppy, went to the opening but just stood there. She was too smart – she would not go in.

Mun Mun said that from his observation, the mother-dog appears to be not so attached to her puppies anymore. Even when her puppies yelped, she did bark back, but she wasn’t desperate to approach her puppies. The puppies were estimated to be about 2.5 months old.

If the mother-dog is not attached anymore, then trapping her would be very difficult. Not only that, mother-dog was also not enticed by food. It looked like she wasn’t even hungry.

Luckily the puppies had eaten this morning and we also put food into the trap for the puppy and also fed the other puppy. Both puppies ate, but the mother did not appear to be hungry at all.

By now, we had spent about 6 hours in his rescue operation. Still no success. Mun Mun said we would wait.

Soon, Mun Mun decided to change the puppy and use the bigger puppy as the “bait”.

Concerned residents stopped by and we started talking. According to them, this mother-dog belongs to a pack nearby, so that is why she crosses the road many times a day, to get to her pack and also to get back to her puppies at the roundabout. Some residents feed her and her puppies and also the other pack of dogs. But everyone agree that it was too dangerous for the puppies to grow up at the roundabout. It would be just a matter of time before an accident happens. The puppies are not street-wise.

An Indian couple stopped and said they had wanted to rescue the puppies too as they had seen the puppies at the roundabout. They tried to help us and we appreciate the moral support very much. A Chinese man stopped to ask a lot of question and later, came by with a packet of food. He said he had bought the food for himself, but gave it to us to give to the mother-dog. Later on, another Malay elderly man came by and he said it was a good thing what we were attempting to do. He lived there and had been observing the family as well. All compassionate and understanding people – that was really nice. Not a single person said we were wasting time or did anyone pass any negative comments. Everyone was supportive.

Politicians, this is what your rakyat wants – kindness to animals. Please hear us. Stop the capture-and-kill, can you? Please?

Soon, it was almost 9pm already and Mun Mun decided we had already done our best and he didn’t think the mother-dog would fall into the trap as she just lay comfortably nearby but wasn’t too disturbed by her puppy in the cage.

We decided to call the rescue attempt off as it was getting very late.

Julia and I would like to thank the group of rescuers who helped rescue the puppies this morning and also, our heartfelt gratitude goes to Mun Mun and Li Yen for spending so much time in trying to help us rescue the mother-dog.

Even though it was unsuccessful, at least the puppies will be safe in Mun Mun’s shelter now. Julia and her daughter will financially support them for life.

As for the mother-dog, the residents would continue to feed her and hope that one day, she can be trapped, neutered and reunited with her puppies, if possible. If not, then please be safe.

I got up at 3.45am this morning and hasn’t slept since then.

Goodnight, everyone.