You can certainly get used to Langkawi Island life, days by the beach, the sounds of the afternoon island rains, the laid back lifestyle of the locals. But that’s not all there is to do on this charming island off the western coast of Malaysia. There’s a way to give a little back to the animal community that resides here on the island and today I wanted to visit a project that is dedicated to supporting the cats and dogs that call Langkawi home.
In a previous post I wrote of the China House in Penang and how they support an organisation that rehabilitates and cares for neglected, abused and needy animals, the LASSie Foundation. The sanctuary is located here, in Bon Ton Langkawi and today I wanted to spend some time getting to know about the amazing work they do, and perhaps spend some time with these loveable creatures to show how other travellers can help the organisation while on their way through Langkawi.
The LASSie animal sanctuary houses a number of cats and dogs that are stray, have been neglected by their previous owners or have been injured in accidents. As I drove through the sanctuary driveway I could hear the sounds of the dogs barking and saw a few of the dedicated volunteers taking their canine friends for a walk. On any given day the sanctuary needs volunteers to help with the dog walking so I decided to step in and give them a hand. Dorothy, a long-term volunteer, handed me Happy and Peaches and off we went around the grounds, the two sniffing and acting playfully as they pulled on my leash and almost took me for a walk.
We arrived back to one of the buildings where the dogs live. They are well set out with no more than three dogs per area which all look like they have found a loving home, which may be permanent or temporary until they are adopted by another family. We let Happy and Peaches back into their quarters and grab the next lot of eager dogs to take for a walk, this time I get Tigger, the energetic and loveable Hound. All the dogs are very friendly and excited when they see there is someone to walk them.
The sanctuary houses a number of dogs so the need for volunteers is very high and the organisation often welcomes travellers who are able to spend a few hours from 9:45am – 12 all days of the week to help keep these adorable creatures happy. You just need to give a few days notice or get in touch with the organisation to show your interest.
I was able to take a look through the rest of the sanctuary on my visit. They house a number of cats, many which have been injured with signs of a harsh life on the streets. There is a room where they conduct veterinary examinations and look after the neediest of the animals, however there is no longer an in-house vet, instead one that visits on occasion. In saying that, all the animals are treated with great care and the sanctuary even offers de-sexing to stray animals so to keep the stray animal population at bay.
If you’re looking for a way to give back to the Langkawi community I highly recommend spending some time at the sanctuary. Travel is not only about seeing the sights but also about getting involved in the culture and community of a place. This is a wonderful cause to support and also have a little fun with these loveable creatures while you are here.
If you would like to volunteer some time you can contact LASSie here. If you haven’t got too much time in Langkawi consider going to eat at the Bon Ton restaurant or stay at the Bon Ton Resort, as some of the profits of these businesses directly support the costs that are needed to keep the sanctuary running and continue to provide a safe home to the animals of Langkawi.