It’s no easy task, but someone has to do it. Actress-turned-businesswoman Louise Hsiao deeply cares for animals. Most recently, she has become a champion for protecting stray dogs in Jakarta. Indeed, Louise has always been fond of animals, ever since her childhood days. “I used to find strays and sneak them back home, and then I got in trouble with my parents,” Louise tells Indonesia Tatler.
At one point in her life, when she was living in the Maldives, she had many animal companions. Imagine Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs in a beach setting. Louise is close to almost all types of animal: mandarin ducks, cranes, rabbits, cats—even a couple of hermit crabs. Over the course of her life, she has tried to rescue a mandarin crane, a squirrel, cats, and countless dogs. Currently, she has two dogs of her own: a Shiba and a Pomeranian.
Since March, Louise has been actively participating in rescuing and adopting dogs. The story started about two-and-a-half years ago, when she first moved to Jakarta and noticed the strays around her neighbourhood. She was curious—so she asked a neighbour about the animals. The person replied that they belonged to a man who might be a dog hunter and told Louise not to get involved.
Louise then proceeded to share her sentimental experience. Back then, she drove out to a remote area and was shocked to find many stray dogs and cats. There, she also met Mr Suntoro, a homeless man who lived in a makeshift tent. Mr Suntoro had been living on the premises for 15 years without water and electricity. Her heart melted—this was the moment when Louise knew she had to do something. Over time, Louise gained his trust; she gave him an allowance, and cooked and brought him healthy food. This tiresome routine got to her, though—Louise failed to get enough sleep, and she eventually lost her hair and weight.
This story appears in the October 2018 issue of Indonesia Tatler. For the full story, grab the copy at your nearest newsstand, or subscribe here.