When a Malaysian rescue organization got a call on July 9th reporting a puppy on the side of the road with crushed front paws, they jumped into action. The situation didn’t look good: workers at a nearby shop reported that the puppy had been injured at least a week and hadn’t moved from the spot for two days.
The volunteer-run group, Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better, is known throughout Kuala Lumpur and surrounding cities for rescuing sick and injured strays and helping them find loving forever homes. The puppy, nicknamed “Patch,” was rushed to a local vet, who advised that there was no way to save the legs and recommended putting the dog to sleep immediately. Luckily, Patch’s rescuers demanded a second opinion.
A second vet also declined to treat the dog. In the meantime, Patch was starting to show off his personality and strong will to live, scarfing down food and water and absolutely charming his rescuers. The third clinic Patch visited to turned out to be the answer — the vet on duty found that Patch’s stumps were badly infected and decided to start treatment immediately. The doctor warned that amputation might be necessary and the puppy might have to use an expensive imported prothesis or puppy-wheelchair for the rest of his life.
Patch stayed at the vet clinic for two days, but when his rescuers came to visit, his spirits seemed to be sagging. Thinking he might do better with some company, MDDB asked a family that was already fostering a disabled dog to take him in. Patch joined his new roommate, Valentino, who also suffers with mobility issues, in mid-July.
Since then, Patch’s wounds have healed beautifully — in fact, his vet has even said there will be no need for an amputation. In the month he’s spent in his foster home, Patch has started to really come out of his shell. He’s as active as any other puppy and has an outspoken personality! He’s even able to walk around the house on his stumps (as you can see from this utterly adorable video). Once he’s grown closer to his full size, he’ll be measured for prosthetic paws to help improve his mobility.
Malaysian Animals Rarely Get the Care They Need
Sadly, Patch’s story is a rarity in Malaysia today. Malaysia has a huge problem with stray animals and shelters like the local SPCA are overflowing with animals waiting to be adopted. It’s hard to go even one day without encountering a stray dog or cat roaming the streets, and local animal lovers often already have their hands full with one or more rescues they’ve taken in.
Adding to the difficulty of finding homes for these animals is the prejudiced attitude many Malay Muslims hold against dogs, considering them to be haram, or forbidden by Islam. (Please note: this is not universally agreed-upon in the Muslim world, and some of my Malay friends are devoted dog lovers.)
Sick and injured animals are in an even more difficult situation as rescue organizations can rarely afford to get them the medical care they need. There are even reports of viruses taking out entire animal populations in some of the more crowded local shelters. Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better is one of the few organizations in Malaysia that is willing take in dogs like Patch and nurse them back to health.
How You Can Help Malaysian Dogs Like Patch Get A Second Chance
Unfortunately, quality veterinary care in Malaysia is expensive and difficult to come by, and MDDB relies entirely on donations from supporters. If you’d like to give one of MDDB’s dogs a loving home, they’re happy to sponsor international adoptions — send them an email or send a message to their Facebook Page for more details on how you can help.