World Animal Groove Music Festival 2014

24th & 25th of October 2014
Borneo Convention Centre Kuching
The Isthmus, Sejingkat,
93050 Kuching,
Sarawak, Malaysia

I found a message in a bottle today. It read...

“Happy birthday, you're not getting old,
Stay in the game, it's not time to fold.”

That’s exactly how we feel at the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals!

Our Humble (and Noble) Beginnings

The SSPCA began its work in Kuching in 1959, formed by a small group of expatriate officers who were moved by the sight of the diseased dogs and sick animals that roamed the streets. It was legally registered under the Registrar of Societies as the “Kuching Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (KSPCA) on 11 September 1962. In the years following, with the departure of many of its early members, the Society became inactive but was never de-registered.

In September 1975, a group of expatriates and Kuching residents came together to revive the KSPCA. Their first meeting was held on the 10th of October at "Eversleigh", the residence of the then British Council Representative Mr Philips Williams. Others who were involved in the committee at that time were Dr Hsiung Kwo Yuen, Mrs Elizabeth Kok, Mr Chua Siang Cheng, Mdm Florence Foo, DSP Lim Tian Kim, Mr Andy Lo, Mr Ali Adenan and Miss Celine Foo.

In 1977, the Society’s legal counsel, the late Mr Sahathevan revised the constitution to better reflect its rules and regulations. The amendments included a change of name – it became the Sarawak Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, or SSPCA. In the years that followed, this group of dedicated volunteers and their very active cadre of Junior Members, organised awareness - raising events, rescued and re-homed stray animals, initiated a pilot neutering scheme, and organized fundraising events. They were also instrumental in reaching an agreement with the local councils in Kuching to house and care for all the stray animals picked up by these councils. It’s an agreement which has carried through to this day, and remains the only such arrangement between an animal welfare organization and local councils in Malaysia.

Perhaps their most notable achievement was securing tax-deductible status for the Society. This has proved an invaluable asset to the Society in its fundraising efforts.

Our Growing Years

In 1999, through the generosity of the Sarawak State Government, the SSPCA secured a 0.6-acre piece of land at 61/2 mile Penrissen Road, Kuching on which to build its animal shelter. In the years since, this little piece of land has served as a refuge, a haven for thousands of stray, abused and abandoned animals. Some have been fortunate enough to be given a second chance at life, others have lived out their days in the loving care of our shelter staff, and many have gone on to the ‘Great Kennel in the Sky’. As our finances improved, we expanded and improved the Shelter facilities and services to cater for the ever-increasing number of animals brought to our door. Unfortunately, this meant having to make sacrifices and utilise the exercise/play areas.

Committees came and Committees went... the work continued.

We ran joint neutering campaigns with the local councils in an effort to curb the expanding stray population
We walked hundreds of visitors through our Shelter to educate them about the need to be more responsible citizens and pet owners
We organized countless off-site adoption campaigns to increase the chances of our animals finding new homes;
We responded to your reports about animal abuse cases
We invested in an animal crematorium – the first in Malaysia – so that we could dispose of animal carcasses in a safe and hygienic manner
We climbed up trees and down drains to rescue trapped animals in the dead of night
We braved the flood waters at midnight to take our shelter animals to safety
We penned millions of words in an effort to raise awareness about Animal Welfare and to fight for Animal Rights.
And through it all, we enjoyed the support of animal lovers in Kuching and around the world, through donations of food, equipment and other essentials, as well as funds to allow us to keep our shelter doors open.

The SSPCA at 52

When the Animal Shelter was built in 1999, it was surrounded by lush green undergrowth, set well away from housing and commercial areas. 15 years on, Kuching has well and truly arrived at our doorstep. Nothing says, “It’s time to move the animals” better than having a ‘Pizza Hut’ as your neighbour! Our biggest birthday wish is to secure a new and larger piece of land, away from development, on which to build a state-of-the-art Animal Shelter that can continue to serve the needs of the animals and people of Kuching for the next 50 years, and beyond.That’s why we are channelling all our efforts to secure that piece of paradise and to raise funds to build and equip our new shelter. This is where you, the good people of Kuching and beyond come in! We need you to turn out in huge numbers for the events we have lined-up in 2014 and to dig deep into your generous hearts (and pockets!) to help us raise the RM 1.5 million we need.

A RESCUER’S CREED by Susan M. Pearson

I shall be a believer of all that is good in man and of all that is deserving in animals.
I shall plead for their lives, campaign for their safety and uphold their right to a natural death.
I shall seek out the injured and the maimed, the unloved, and the abandoned and tend to them in their last days.
I shall not forget their place in the hierarchy of life, nor that we walk in each other's paths.
I shall bear witness to the wonder they bring into our lives and to the beauty they bestow upon our souls.
I shall renew their spirits when they are waning, bind their wounds when they bleed, cradle them when they whimper, and comfort them when they mourn.
I shall be near them in their hour of greatest need - a companion and friend when the time has come. I shall watch over them and console them and ask that the angels gather them in their arms.
From the creatures of the earth I shall learn the fruits of compassion and undying love, and I shall be called the beloved of God.
In their company I shall indeed be blessed.