PETALING JAYA, Dec 1 — Actress Datin Seri Umie Aida has spoken up in defence of stray animals after videos of men shooting dogs in Malaysia made the rounds online.
The Dukun star teamed up with non-profit organisation My Forever Doggo to raise awareness about living in harmony with animals and urged people to show kindness and respect for all living beings.
Umie told Malay Mail that she felt compelled to work on the project after reading so many heart-wrenching stories of Malaysians torturing and killing stray animals.
“There have been viral videos of people kicking and shooting stray cats and dogs for no reason.
“To me, I want to contribute something and tell people to respect all of God’s creations.
“If you don’t like dogs, it doesn’t mean you have to kill them. Same goes for cats. Just leave them alone and don’t be so cruel,” said Umie.
In the video by My Forever Doggo, Umie introduced a stray dog named Blackie that she befriended after moving into her home five years ago.
The female mutt shares a strong bond with Umie and lives in a garden owned by the Kala Malam Bulan Mengambang star.
According to Umie, Blackie is “very respectful” and knows how to keep a physical distance from her owner.
Umie makes sure not to touch Blackie as Islamic teachings view dogs as being unclean.
Despite this, the two still have a close relationship and Blackie even helps Umie by acting as a four-legged security guard for her property.
Umie added that her faith has played an important role in teaching her to approach all living beings with love and an open heart.
“Blackie is very unique. She respects me and knows not to overstep her boundaries.
“She obeys me and helps me look after my house. She never pees or poops in my area, she knows how to go into the forest and do her business there.
“I believe all religions teach us to love people, animals, and even trees, anything that lives and breathes on this Earth.”
Umie said that strays who cause disruptions should be dealt with humanely and she urged people to get help from the authorities instead of taking matters into their own hands and poisoning or killing the animals.
Malaysian animal lovers went up in arms last month after two videos of men shooting stray dogs blew up on social media.
One of the videos involved a man attacking a stray dog with a rifle, causing the animal to cry out repeatedly in pain.
Shortly after the first video went viral, another clip surfaced showing a man gunning down a mother dog and her puppies for playing on the porch of a private home.
The cruel videos have sparked a manhunt for the two individuals on social media led by animal rights groups and activists.
The Malaysia Animal Association is currently seeking justice for the dogs and is offering a RM2,000 reward for information on the man in the first video.