One woman's mission to help homeless animals has met with some harsh bullying online, but she refuses to let online harassment stop her. For the past 15 years, Desy Marlina Amin has fed and cared for homeless dogs and cats near her home in Lombok, Indonesia. And as a Muslim, Amin says that she's inspired to help them out of respect and love for all of God's children.
Amin regularly posts about her efforts on her Facebook page. And while her more than 14,000 followers support her work with animals, others try to shut her down—with some even threatening her life.
“I get a lot of warnings in my inbox,” Amin told The Dodo. “People say they want to kill me. I don’t care. Some people talk badly because I help these animals.”
Some interpreters of Islam consider dogs to be “unclean” and think that people should avoid even touching them. But Amin disagrees. Even though her critics have told her that she’s offending God, Amin sees things in a different light.
“I don’t care what the people say. I’ve never asked anything of the people who are angry with me,” she said. “I don’t understand why we should be scared of dogs, as Muslims. If you think they are unclean, you can wash yourself. I always wash my hands before I talk to my God, then I keep working.”
For the lifelong animal lover, coming into contact with animals isn’t a sin, but rather a religious duty. Which is why before she heads to work as a taxi driver each morning, she prepares meals for the homeless dogs and cats in her neighborhood.
“I know God looks at me. I know God listens to me. He knows me. He smiles seeing me feeding the animals he created. I take care of what he created. He created this world not just for humans, but for every creature.”
Besides being bullied online, Amin is also sometimes harassed on the street. But for Amin, the reward of helping 60 dogs and cats outweighs threats from her adversaries.
“This is my happiness, to see the animals can eat,” she said. “I believe the dogs and cats pray for me. When I’m sad, they pray for me. I really believe that.”
If you’re as inspired by Amin as we are, like her Facebook page and share this story to show her your support!
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