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Animal welfare is crucial

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Karin Franken, founder of Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) Domestic

Jakarta, IO – Karin Franken has always been an animal lover. At first, she had a personal interest in animal welfare and was against cruelty to animals. Shen then established Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) Domestic. “We are a non-governmental organization (NGO) aiming to make our voices heard,” said Karin to Independent Observer at a discussion on animal welfare with the animal lover community Natha Satwa Nusantara (NSN) and Jakarta Animal Aid Network (JAAN) Domestic at DPP Gerindra office in South Jakarta on Saturday (Jan 27). 

During her journey of rescuing and caring for domestic animals, Karin revealed that she faced exciting challenges and experiences every day. 

Founded in 2008, JAAN focuses on the animal welfare of dogs, cats and horses. “We have a program called ‘Caring for Workhorses’ to help horses and their owners. At first, we only paid attention to the workhorses, but after we went to the field, we found that the owners also needed attention,” said Karin. 

The owners who put their horses to work to pull delman (horse-pulled carriages) only earn around IDR 20,000-50,000 daily, which is far from enough to cover their living costs and food for their horses. 

“We eventually help the horses and their owners while collaborating with other parties. We also educate them on how to give proper care for the horses,” said Karin. The “Caring for Workhorses” program is implemented at 19 locations throughout Jakarta. 

Collaborating with the South Jakarta Food Security, Maritime and Fisheries Office, JAAN provides training and assistance to horse owners or delman coachmen, such as how to keep the stables clean, provide healthy feed, and manage waste to prevent pollution on the environment. 

The program aims to improve the horses’ health and welfare, the owners and the surrounding ecosystem. JAAN believes that humans, animals and nature are an inseparable unity. Therefore, a symbiotic mutualism should be fostered among the three. 

JAAN is committed to educating society to improve their awareness of animal cruelty. However, education will not suffice without strong regulations. 

“With all our efforts, we still need government assistance to control cases of animal abuse, which continue to increase. As animal activists, we offer to partner with the Government and join hands to handle this problem together,” said Karin. 

“We hope that the newly-elected President of Indonesia will understand that animal welfare is crucial. Our hope is to have a law on animal welfare,” hoped Karin. 

Karin has dedicated the last 25 years of her life to animal welfare issues. In addition to her work at JAAN, she also runs an animal clinic in Kemang, which strongly complements her activities at JAAN. 

At first, Karin only intended to help animals in need or spay and neuter cats in her neighborhood. She also volunteered at the Animals Protection Shelter in Ragunan, the only animal shelter in Jakarta at that time. After several years, she was appointed Deputy Chair and was able to make many improvements, such as introducing a proper adoption program. 

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After a while, Karin reconsidered the ongoing method because no existing method could guarantee that the new adopters would love and care for their pets well. 

She then decided to leave the organization and founded JAAN in 2008 in collaboration with her colleague, Femke Den Haas. They shared the duties; Karin is responsible for domestic animals, and Femke takes care of wild animal issues. Although it is located in Jakarta, JAAN’s work covers all of Indonesia. 

Karin, who is of a Dutch bloodline, has become an Indonesian citizen after marrying an Indonesian of Javanese descent. (eka/rp)

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