PETALING JAYA: A Christmas party at the Malaysia Independent Animal Rescue (MIAR) shelter in Kajang turned gloomy when floods overcame the facility, drowning some dogs and injuring volunteers.
The party was in progress at about 3pm yesterday when the nearby Sungai Kantan overflowed its banks after a heavy downpour.
MIAR president Puspa Rani said the water level rose quickly to more than 2m, saying the 13 volunteers and guests there fought to save the animals.
“All of us were looking for the dogs in the flood waters. We didn’t want to abandon them,” said Puspa.
The shelter houses over 100 rescued strays. No details were available as to how many of the dogs drowned.
“We managed to save most of the dogs,” was all Puspa could say much later.
Puspa singled out a shelter staff named Raj who suffered electric shocks when he tried to save the dogs.
“The power mains were affected and Raj could have been killed. He put his life on the line and is a hero to us,” she added.
Puspa said she also felt in danger as she tried to help the distressed dogs.
“The current was so strong and I was clinging onto a tree branch. I thought that Raj had been electrocuted but then he swam over and saved me.
“He dragged me to the roof of the shelter, away from the floods,” she added.
Puspa said the staff and volunteers lost items such as handphones in the floods, with their vehicles also damaged.
“But thank goodness, none of my workers or volunteers died, although most of us swallowed a lot of murky water and suffered from cuts,” she added.
Kajang Municipal Council councillor Thiagarajah Rajagopal went over to the shelter after receiving a call for help.
“The group of people at the shelter were in a state of shock. I gave them T-shirts to put on,” he added.
“The volunteers were still attending to the rescued dogs. They are very lucky to be alive,” he added.
He said the council and the Drainage and Irrigation Department were working to resolve the flooding problem in the area.