Of ATM machines and the Hall of Shame

Occasionally, through our chats with applicants, we find out that some of them are actually not financially “disadvantaged”.

When we first started, we wanted to ensure that only those who are financially disadvantaged are given the aid, so we asked for the profession of each applicant. Of course this turned out to be quite useless because one can easily lie about one’s profession. Furthermore “profession” is not really a good yardstick for one’s financial status. For example, one can be an “unemployed” stay-at-home person but still live a luxurious life.  There was also no way of checking the authenticity of the “profession”. So, we took that out of the form.

As time went on, we discovered that some of our applicants were wealthy. When such a discovery was made, we did our due diligence and wrote to them to enquire further if they really needed to apply for the funds of a charity to do their caregiving work. We also reminded them that our funds are very hard-earned, so do they really need our funds?

We are a private organisation, totally dependent on donations from friends and well-wishers and the sale of merchandise. Through the years, we are grateful that we have the support and TRUST of friends who have been consistently supporting our work. This trust took years to build and as a friend said, “Rome wasn’t built in a day but it burnt in one”.

In our early years, we worked very hard through merchandising to build our fund. I still remember the time when we stood for long hours at stalls to sell tshirts, and that’s managing 14 sizes of each design. Then came the auction period where I would be sewing 24/7 to create blankets of various designs while my mother did her applique bags. The auctions were really good, but only while they lasted. Now, it’s petfood sales, especially through our Double Charity Donation drive.

It hasn’t been easy. It has been hard work all the way and it still is now. But it’s been all worth it.

So, we would like to remind all applicants that our funds are given to “Independent CNRM caregivers of street animals in Malaysia who are personally paying to neuter street animals that they rescue and would appreciate some aid to lessen their burden”.

The question all applicants need to ask before applying for our aid would be this: Do you really have a (financial) burden?

We have encountered applicants who happily tell us that they often donate (money) to other animal organisations and shelters, but when it comes to their own caregiving work, they apply for our funds.

Why, please?

If you have money to donate to other charities, why don’t you help yourself first so that you don’t have to rely on us to help you?  It’s common sense and basic decency, isn’t it? Why give your money to charities and then take money from another charity?

As the same friend puts it: Do they think AnimalCare is an ATM machine?

Do they think our funds come to us so easily?

Well, it doesn’t. It took years for us to establish trust and credibility, so please think twice before you do something that might affect this hard-earned trust and credibility. We do our due diligence by sending you our policies. Please do yours too, by reading the policies and acting with your conscience.

AnimalCare relies on hard-earned donations. We are definitely not supported by the government or any large corporate organisations. Our one and only corporate donor is Avant Pet Sdn Bhd. Besides allowing us to sell their petfood and other products and providing free delivery within the Klang Valley, they also give us a donation every month.

So, our funds come from hard-earned donations.

Hence, before you apply for our aid, please ask yourself this: Do you REALLY have a financial burden?  

We would also like to inform all donors that we have a banned list (a “Hall of Shame” which isn’t made public). This includes all the applicants who have been found to be dishonest, rude and troublesome. Dishonesty is not tolerated because there is no “unintentional lying”. Lying and cheating are deliberate actions. Rudeness and being troublesome is an annoying stressor which I can personally do without (when there are many wonderful people around to help, why do I need to deal with such awful people, right?). Currently, our Hall of Shame also includes infamous dishonest people who have done terrible things to animals in our relatively small animal community circle, or those who have cheated other people or organisations. They have not applied for our aid before, but at least we know who they are (if they do apply).

There is, however, another list called the “Graduates List” – this would be the list of people who have surpassed a certain number of claims. However, “graduates”, especially those who voluntarily graduated themselves out of goodwill, are welcome to reapply again now that we work on a project basis. But there are also those whom we graduated because of their massive claims and after explaining it had to be done because of our shrinking funds, lashed out at us through vicious text messages and phonecalls – you are not welcome anymore. We can definitely do without the indecency and the total lack of gratitude. Again, when there are so many nice people to help, why do we have to deal with you?

We wish to ensure all donors and well-wishers that we will continue to do our due diligence so that the funds entrusted to us are used effectively to help those who deserve to be helped.

Thank you.

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