KUALA LUMPUR, Sept 27 — Kuning, the former stray dog that played a pivotal role in rescuing abandoned dogs at Pulau Selat Kering in 2009 has passed away of cancer.

The news was relayed to Malay Mail by Furry Friends Farm (FFF) president Myza Nordin who said Kuning passed away last Friday at 2.30pm.

Myza said Kuning’s death came just 20 days after he was diagnosed with oral melanoma cancer.

“What we thought was a harmless toothache that caused sinusitis was actually oral melanoma cancer.

“For the past month, we had been managing his pain, discomfort and stress.”

Kuning died at his caretaker’s home and was later buried at the sanctuary in Kundang, Rawang.

Sharing Kuning’s last moments, Myza said despite losing the strength to walk, Kuning kept pushing.

“He was coping well until the last 24 hours before he passed on.”

Kuning’s caretaker had been giving him essential oils to lessen his sufferings.

“He did not suffer much (and) I am glad.”

It was previously reported that some 400 dogs were found abandoned on the desolate island by Pulau Ketam residents in 2009.

The Star reported that many of them are believed to have died of hunger while the stronger ones survived by eating canine carcasses.

Kuning, or affectionately known as Mr K, was instrumental in helping rescuers by swimming to Pulau Selat Kering and herding the dogs into cages and traps set by the rescue teams.

Kuning, himself a rescue from Pulau Selat Kering, had been staying at FFF since 2009.

Just before his death, FFF organised a kibble donation drive to celebrate Kuning’s 17th birthday.

Myza said a total of RM24,100 had been collected and it was used to buy 242 bags of kibbles from their supplier.

“We call him the Nelson Mandela of FFF. He has an aura and charm that demands respect.”

Kuning, Myza said she will have a memorial service for Kuning when she is ready.

“At the moment I am still grieving.”