Like many other public issues, stray cats and dogs is a problem that reflects human failure. Yet, almost no organisations (except animal-friendly NGOs) want to take responsibility to eradicate the issues. Stray dogs and cats remain a seasonal debate that only resurfaces when there is news about some disease spread by stray animals like rabies.
Being a cat lover, Soekie always has compassion for stray animals, especially for stray cats. Back in 2013, she started her cat rescuing journey and managing a Facebook discussion group that promotes home and stray cats welfare among the Chinese communities in Malaysia. To date, the discussion group has over 37 thousands of members and has averagely more than 250 new discussion threads every day.
A few years down the road, Soekie realised that TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) is the only method proven to be humane and effective in controlling free-roaming cat population growth.
Ideally, TNR is the best and most humane solution to control the overpopulation of stray animals. However, who is going to foot the bill? We are talking about strays, and strays mean no one wants to claim responsibility of ownership. Therefore, Soekie always wanted to start a fund to promote and run TNR programs.
In 2018, when she shared her idea of the animal foundation with a mentor from StartupJohor, she was encouraged to develop the plan further. Thus, she joined the accelerator program and eventually quitted her job to focus on building her social enterprise, Petto.asia.
Petto.asia is an online marketplace that offers good quality and safe pet products for pet parents. At the same time, it serves a noble mission to commit in TNR programs. With every RM100 sales generated on Petto.asia, RM5 will automatically flow into Kiki, a Stray Animals Foundation that promotes, supports and subsidises TNR programs.
“If you love animals, you should support TNR programs. As the number of strays reduced, you need not worry about lethal control anymore. If you dislike animals, you should support TNR more than anyone else! As stray animals reduced, you will regain a hygienic living environment and a peace of mind,” shared Soekie.
Soekie ran a crowdfunding campaign on local crowdfunding platform, Mystartr and has successfully funded RM11,860 (as opposed to her initial target, RM8000) to kickstart Petto and Kiki.
Soekie encourages more people that have compassion for animals to connect with her, join the mission and perhaps, be her colleagues! “My dream is to have an office that allows all my co-workers to bring their pets along to work.”
Petto.asia has joined ZOM-IN to collaborate in efforts to empower aspiring youths. Join us now at www.zom-in.com to participate in exciting events coming soon!