(The Star) - Hordes of people and more than a dozen dogs paid their last respects to animal rescuer Sabrina Yeap at the Nirvana Memorial Centre here yesterday.
The memorial centre's management decided to allow dogs to the wake because canines were very near and dear to the founder of animal sanctuary Furry Friends Farm (FFF).
The canines that were brought to the centre included two that were trained to be therapy dogs under FFF's Dr Dog programme.
The two dogs, Dr Kylie and Dr Samm, spent the entire morning at Yeap's wake.
Other dogs present were those adopted from FFF and other rescue groups, such as Malaysian Dogs Deserve Better (MDDB) and Garden of Eden (GOE), as well as pets that accompanied their owners.
Yeap died of leukaemia on Tuesday. She was 49.
According to FFF volunteer Wendy Goh, Dr Kylie was one of Yeap's favourites due to her calm demeanour.
The Dr Dog programme was special to Yeap and she took much pride in ensuring that the dogs went on to serve the elderly and special children as therapy dogs, said Goh.
She said the founder of the Dr Dog programme, Dr Jill Robinson, had given her blessings to continue the programme in Malaysia.
Among those who paid their last respects was independent rescuer Connie Foong, 56, who had helped Yeap during the Pulau Ketam dog dumping tragedy a few years ago.
Foong was among Yeap's core group of rescuers who had removed dogs that were dumped by Pulau Ketam residents on a nearby mangrove island.
Foong said it was unfair that Yeap had died at such a young age.
“She sacrificed her life for dogs and was a role model to all animal rescuers,” Foong said.
FFF spokesman Myza Nordin said that the dogs at the sanctuary were safe and in good hands.
She dismissed as unfounded vicious rumours that the dogs were now in a limbo.
“This is untrue and we hope that those who are spreading these rumours will stop immediately. Please show Sabrina some respect,” Myza said.
Yeap's funeral service will be at 10am at Parlour No 13 at the centre today.
The cortege will then leave for Nirvana Memorial Park, Shah Alam, for cremation.
Her ashes will be scattered in the sea at Port Klang tomorrow afternoon.
Yeap, an orphan, leaves behind 200 dogs, 150 cats, countless friends and admirers.