It’s always inspiring to learn more about the wonderful work our team members do, especially when it comes to those working on the front line with the animals who rely on our lifeline. So, for the second in our ‘Spotlight On…’ series, we caught up with Choong Koon Yean, our amazing IAPWA Penang Project Director.

As our IAPWA Penang Project Director, Choong manages the day-to-day running of the IAPWA Penang facility as well as managing our lovely Penang team, and promoting and spreading awareness of IAPWA’s work. That’s right, she’s a very busy lady but makes all of her hard work look so effortless.

Looking after the day-to-day

On a daily basis, Choong can be involved in an array of duties; from rescuing animals from the streets, medicating and feeding them, neutering dogs to prevent puppies being born on the streets of Penang, to releasing animals back into their local communities. She is heavily involved in the training and recruitment of staff members, as well as conducting adoption interviews and managing suppliers. Choong also liaises with Penang Island City Council (MBPP) – with whom we have just renewed our partnership with for a further five years –  to resolve any local issues.

On top of this, Choong deals with other public sector bodies such as the mayor, politicians, councillors, council staff and other NGOs to ensure IAPWA Penang stays compliant with local regulations and to secure fundraising revenue wherever possible.


Overcoming early obstacles

In the first year, IAPWA Penang endured a tough start due to a lack of resources and a lack of cooperation from local parties. Choong describes this time as a “huge mountain to climb with so many challenges to overcome” and says it was such a struggle, she almost gave up.

Now Choong says that overcoming these obstacles is the thing she is most proud of. We’re so grateful to Choong for not giving up when times were hard; without Choong’s hard work and determination, there are many animals who would have faced a much bleaker future across Penang.

Furry feline friends

Despite helping dogs for the past decade, most people are surprised to learn that Choong is a feline fan, having owned cats since she was a teenager. In fact, she now lives with 8 rescue cats!

Inspiring us to make a difference

When asked what keeps her going, Choong replied, “Whether it’s cats or dogs or other voiceless beings, if we have the opportunity to make a difference and help, I feel it’s our duty and privilege to do so!”

Choong is an incredible and integral member of IAPWA Penang and the overall IAPWA team and we couldn’t do what we do for the animals without her determination to make a difference.

Learn more about our IAPWA Penang project by clicking here.

Written by: Charlotte Stevenson
IAPWA Marketing Specialist