CRUELTY to animals is a thorny issue in society but there is hope for the future as more young people are aware of the need to be kind and to care for our four-legged friends.
Serene Liew, Vaishnavee Shunmugam both 21, and Nicole Ban, 22 -- second-year advance diploma public relations students at Tunku Abdul Rahman College (TAR) Penang Campus in Tanjung Bungah -- are part of the organising team for a two-day "Be Kind to Animals" campaign at the college recently.
"We had a discussion with our lecturers on our annual creativity programme and the topic of animal abuse was high on our list of priorities," said Liew.
"We thought it would be a good idea to increase public awareness of animal cruelty and the proper treatment of animals, especially pets, through talks and exhibitions. At the same time, we could also raise funds for the Society of Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) during the event," said Liew.
Among the activities were a food fair selling popular hawker fare, face painting, and jumble sales offering clothes, toys and SPCA merchandise.
Canadian Yvonne Russel and SPCA events and education officer M. Vasentha were in charge of the SPCA booth.
Russel has been living in Malaysia for 23 years and is a volunteer at the society.
"The students approached us to promote kindness to animals and to take care of them, and at the same time, raised funds for the society.
"We thought it would be a good idea to get more young people involved in animal issues and publicise the activities of the SPCA.
"As pet dumping has become a serious issue in Penang, it is timely to hold such a campaign and bring about positive change in the community," said Russel.