Days at the SPCA are always eventful (no two days are ever the same, believe me!). Animals are always coming in to our shelter daily, on average around 25 per day: pets that are lost (mainly dogs, about 100 per month), given up, or abandoned; including dogs, cats, hamsters, and rabbits. We also accept strays (but we don’t go catching healthy stray dogs and cats – we would rather leave them in the environment if they have a food source and can survive).
Wild animals that are injured are also attended to, on our emergency rescue cases. A couple of weeks ago we rescued a pangolin from a drain in Yishun after someone had reported to us that it was in distress. After a vet check at the SPCA, we made arrangements with the National Parks Board to have the animal released back into a nature reserve.
Our Inspector is kept busy receiving 60 to 80 complaints of alleged animal abuse each month. At least a third of these cases relate to dogs being tied up or caged for most of the day. One wonders why people buy these animals in the first place, only to confine them. (Imagine what it would be like for us humans if we had to spend most of our life in confinement, with no entertainment whatsoever – not even regular exercise!)
Extreme cases of abuse where people deliberately harm or kill an animal occur from time to time, but sometimes there are no witnesses to the crime. It is important for people who see an act of animal abuse to report it to the police and the SPCA (you may have to testify in court otherwise action cannot be taken). You can visit our website, www.spca.org.sg, to see some of the cases reported to us. You can help us spread the message to stop animal abuse by downloading our banners and sending them to your friends.
And if you buy a pet, remember that it is a lifetime of commitment. The SPCA is always receiving pets that people have no time for anymore. We receive so many unwanted pets that we have to put animals to sleep daily. We receive around 700 animals per month, but only 85 animals on average are adopted each month. Why is this, you may ask? The SPCA has to compete with many pet shops and pet farms for homes – there is too much commercial breeding with no limits or restrictions placed by the authorities.
People also buy pets for the wrong reasons on the spur of the moment because the animals are cute and adorable, but have no knowledge on how to take care of them. Animals have feelings too – they can feel pain, suffering, and isolation. Our advice: Think twice before you buy.
When we see people coming to our counter to give up a pet, we try to change their minds by asking them to take back the animal and look for another home for the animal themselves, because we have too many to find homes for. If every pet owner were to do this, the SPCA would be able to focus more on the prevention of cruelty to animals, which is why the organization was founded.
In the media nowadays, we are always seeing opposing views: those who like animals, and those who do not. Singapore is a city where people live in close proximity to each other. Pet owners need to consider their neighbors and not let their pets stray or make a mess in public without cleaning it up. Such unthinking acts cause people to be anti-pets and anti-strays.
Sterilizing pets is also important as it prevents them from breeding and is healthier for them. It not only prevents them from getting cancer-related illnesses in their reproductive organs later in life, but also helps eradicate noise pollution caused by mating calls.
On that note, so long for now, and remember: Be kind to animals.
A special thanks to the folks at the Singapore SPCA for this post and to our sister site, Yahoo! Answers Blog Singapore, for sending this on to us. You can find additional information on the SPCA International site.
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