Sara Sihaloho, 26, has a hard time forgetting Dendi, who died in November 2011. Dendi was her four-legged friend who had accompanied her for 15 years.
“I usually look for a replacement pet after one dies but Dendi was an exception. He was really special to me,” she said.
For her, Dendi was like a family member whom she felt connected with.
Sara, a program assistant for an international organization, recalled that Dendi had always accompanied her through the sad phases of her life, including when she broke up with her boyfriend.
“Although he could not speak to me, it was consoling having him near,” she said, adding that when she looked into his gloomy eyes, she believed that Dendi knew what she was feeling.
Sara said it took more than a year for her to move forward, after which she decided to adopt a new dog.
“I think I’m ready to adopt a new dog,” she said, adding that she had planned to attend an adoption event organized by an animal rescue community, the Animal Defenders, next Sunday.
The Animal Defenders and another animal rescue community, the Jakarta Fauna Welfare, will hold pet adoption events in South Jakarta in conjunction with Valentine’s Day.
The founder of the Animal Defenders, Doni Herdaru Tona, recently said that he and other volunteers were preparing for the event, which will promote love, not only for humans, but also for animals.
“People need to show love not only for other people but also for animals by adopting them and making a commitment to care for them,” he said.
Doni said the event, which might take place at Taman Langsat park in South Jakarta, was aimed at finding permanent homes for at least 30 rescued dogs and cats. “We have around 15 dogs that were recently rescued from inundated areas such as Pluit, North Jakarta,” he said.
Doni said that the community had received more than 200 applications through email and would select adopters among the applicants.
He said that the Animal Defenders would be selective in picking the adopters to avoid animal abandonment and abuse.
“Abandonment cases usually happen in high-class housing complexes such as Pluit and Muara Karang, while abuse cases usually occur in low-class neighborhoods,” he said.
According to Doni, the volunteers had rescued an average of 10 animals per week throughout the city since the community was established in the middle of 2011.
He said that the community would also survey potential adopters’ homes to see whether or not they were adequate for pets to live in.
“We will announce the selected adopters and hand over the animals to them on the day of the event,” he said.
Besides presenting the animals to their rightful adopters at the event, the community would also offer guidance on pet care and provide subsidized vaccinations for non-pedigree or local cats, he said.
Doni, who takes care of at least 20 cats and dogs in his own home, said animal lover communities were encouraging people to adopt. “We oppose the business of breeding animals. It is better for people to adopt abandoned pets than to buy new ones,” he said.
Besides the Animal Defenders, the Jakarta Fauna Welfare will also hold a similar event. “We will hold an adoption event and a free sterilization program for around 30 dogs and 70 cats at the Foreign Ministry housing complex in South Jakarta on Valentine’s Day,” said Dina Artha Tan, the founder of the community. ( cor )