Field day for ‘furry hunters’ at Pet Pirate Treasure Hunt

IPOH, Oct 20 — Dog lovers had a good time at the Pet Pirate Treasure Hunt event organised by the Ipoh Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ISPCA).

It was a fun-filled day at the Bandar Seri Botani Eco Park 2 as dog owners and their pets got to socialise and let loose.

The event held last Sunday attracted about 500 dog lovers who brought more than 100 dogs with them.

Among the breeds spotted were Husky, Bulldog, Alaskan Malamute, Beagle, Rottweiler, German Shepherd, Dobermann, Labrador Retriever, Poodle and Shih-Tzu.

PERAK 16-10-2018.A participant brought her dog for the Pet Pirate Treasure Hunt at Bandar Seri Botani Eco Park 2, Ipoh.MALAYMAIL/Farhan Najib

ISPCA president Ricky Soong said the event was held in conjunction with World Animal Day on October 4. “The reason we organised the event is to create a bond between canines and their owners,” he told Malay Mail.

“Most of the time people have pets, but they don’t play or have any activities with them. The pet is left alone in the house.” Soong said the event also served as a family day as parents brought their children to the park.

“The treasure hunt is not a competition. “We want pet owners to have a good time with their animals and get together with people who have the same interest.” Soong said the participants came not only from Perak, but from Selangor, Kedah, Penang and Pahang. During the treasure hunt, each team consisted one or two dogs.

PERAK 16-10-2018.Participants together with their dogs finding for the checkpoints during the Pet Pirate Treasure Hunt at Bandar Seri Botani Eco Park 2, Ipoh. MALAYMAIL/Farhan Najib

The owners had to guide their dogs to eight checkpoints that were assigned along a 2.4-kilometre stretch in the park. At the starting point, participants were given a map of the park and checkpoints to find. Once they reached the checkpoints, the dogs needed to do some simple challenges such as jumping and finding some balls. Soong said the owner and their pet needed to work together to reach the checkpoints and complete the given tasks.

The hunt started at 8am and teams were to finish by 11am. “Whoever managed to get to all the checkpoints and completes the tasks the fastest wins the prize, which was a bag of pet items,” he said. Participant Ling Sing Kong, 38, who came with his wife and two daughters, said he got to spend more time with his family and their dog Gabby.

“My children were happy. They enjoyed the treasure hunt and got to meet other dogs.” Ling also said this was the first time he had attended such an event, especially organised for pets in Ipoh.

Another participant, Crystal Khoo Chai Ling, 27, said she drove from Penang with friends to join the treasure hunt. “We have a group called Ha Ha Team and all our members have Husky dogs.”

PERAK 16-10-2018.Participant reaching one of the checkpoints with their pets during the Pet Pirate Treasure Hunt at Bandar Seri Botani Eco Park 2, Ipoh. MALAYMAIL/Farhan Najib

Khoo also said she could not finish the checkpoints as her dog was tired. “It was challenging but we enjoyed the games,” she said.

Thuan Siong Tian, 38, who was at the event with his Alaskan Malamute, said it was good to spend time with dog lovers from all over the country at one place. “I didn’t take part in the treasure hunt, I just came to meet my friends. “It is good that ISPCA organised such an event. We can share information about our dogs with others.”

Thuan also said he was not afraid of bringing his large pet to a place full of dogs and people as Alaskan Malamutes were friendly and playful animals.