August 31, 2006
Reunion soon for Tiger and her boy.
Just managed to get Tiger's boy after hours of tailing him...cornering him...and finally getting hold of him. He's now at clinic for sterilisation. Will bring him to Tiger this Sat.
Tiger will be so happy!
[ The month of July was filled with anti-dog stories in the Goan press. Though the animal welfare organisations including the GSPCA, celebrated World Rabies Day with the usual rounds of free anti rabies vacinations, a rabies scare at Valpoi coupled with dog bites reported at hospitals made it seem like there was a planned effort to malign the street dog, many of whom are not really without owners.The truth is that we humans are really to blame for the present situation, and it's time we cleaned up our own act instead of laying the blame on the poor creatures who have no protesting or protective voice of their own. The article below appeared in the Gomantak Times last November - it is even more relevant today
"DON'T FEED THE DOGS!"
This sounds like a rather uncaring statement, and definitely not animal-loving, right?
More like something that might be said by someone who can't stand the sight or sound of these creatures, not by one who is closely associated with the government's program for animal birth control through sterilisation. And yet?
A few weeks ago, a popular and skilled Goan vet told me that in a recent discussion with other animal workers they arrived at this conclusion - even if all the stray dogs were to be systematically wiped away, within a year the same number would be back on the roads. She was right.
Why? Because we, yes we, would put them back.
How? By not disciplining or sterilising our home dogs and allowing them to carelessly father or mother puppies with street dogs, which we then discard. By cruelly shunting our pets out on the roads when they get ill or old or mangy, and therefore more trouble than they seem to be worth. By leaving garbage unattended and uncleared for them to feed on. By encouraging stray animals to hover around our homes by feeding them, then shunning any further responsibilities towards them including having them vaccinated against rabies or sterilised.
Nature follows one simple law for procreation and population control - there will be only as many individuals as the available food supply can sustain. In periods of scarcity, only the fittest can survive. The strong feed first, or migrate, while the weak are mercilessly left to die. When we humans intervene, we upset this balance, encourage overpopulation, and then throw our hands up in the air and complain when the situation gets beyond our control. Or shout, "Off with their heads! Kill the dogs!"
Goan society is divided into three distinct groups on the subject of the "stray dog menace". The defenders, the offenders and the pretenders.
The defenders are those who believe in the value of all life, human or otherwise, and are willing to give man's best friend a fair chance. Many of them keep dogs at home, or feed those in the neighbourhood, but the main difference is that they go a step further and take more than a cursory interest in their wellbeing. We recently placed an ad in a Goan newspaper inviting people to attend a workshop on first aid for animals injured on the roads, and were overwhelmed by the response, both quantity and quality. It is from this group of defenders that we hope to generate more support for the animal birth control/anti-rabies program, which requires the wholehearted involvement of animal lovers to help in the identification, catching, and subsequent monitoring of stray dogs that have been sterilised and vaccinated by us.
The offenders are those who want the dogs eliminated, period. Some kick and stone them, others secretly poison them, still others publicly protest the ban on municipal killing. Why? Because "they howl at night, they bite, they spread rabies, they have ticks, they are horrible mangy maggot ridden creatures that should not be allowed to cross our hallowed paths".
Does this mean that we should spend our scarce funds in catching and killing them, when birth control is a much cheaper and longer lasting solution recommended by the WHO because it has worked in other countries? Would the offenders recommend the genocide of all HIV carriers, lepers, pedophiles, drunken drivers, because they pose a potential threat? Man's responsibility as arguably the most intelligent and compassionate of all species is to find ways to identify and succour the real victims, which are often the perpetrators themselves. To provide solutions whether the immediate beneficiary is man or beast, because ultimately the end benefit is to society as a whole. Centuries of war and holocaust have taught us that outright killing is never an answer, especially when alternative humane approaches are possible and effective.
But by far the people who are most harmful to this cause are "the pretenders". The ones with double standards, who claim to love animals as long as they look good and have a pedigree. Irresponsible pet owners who will let their Dobermann "have it off" with the neighbourhood stray, and then get the servant to drown the puppies, or worse, send them off to an animal shelter claiming that they "found" the poor things in the garbage dump! People who get in a pup for the kids at Christmas time, then leave it to fend for itself when they go away on holiday. People who feed the neighbourhood strays because they want their homes to be guarded, then let them wander about and injure themselves in territorial dog fights during the mating season, because their good deeds stop at a loaf of bread. And of course there are also those who mean well, but unfortunately don't realise the full implication of their actions.
It is this group that is the most widespread. At least the defenders and the offenders have a point of view, and match thought with action. But the pretenders could do society and stray dogs a much bigger service by actually ignoring the latter completely, and leave the animal organisations to do their jobs, and the animals to find alternative means of survival.
To all the readers of this piece, who may have something of the pretender inside, let me say once more,
"Don't feed the dogs, if that's all your going to do. Don't take away their ability to fend for themselves and then ignore them. Don't turn them into beggars first, and a continuing nuisance later. Let them live or die on their own, with dignity, and with the help of the Creator, thank you very much." ]
August 30, 2006
Let us always remember to offer that gift of FREEDOM to every living being we encounter.
BE a gift of freedom.
~ Albert Schweitzer ~
If you have men who will exclude any of god's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men.
~ St. Francis of Assisi ~
I have no doubt that it is part of the destiny of the human race in its gradual improvement to leave off eating animals.
~ Henry David Thoreau ~
Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
~ Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See ~
Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.
~ John F. Kennedy ~
Pain is pain, irrespective of the race, sex or species of the victim.
~ William M Kunster ~
* Now, a funny one:
I am not a vegetarian because I love animals; I am a vegetarian because I hate plants.
~ A. Whitney Brown ~
Starjoy with his newfound pals
Eliza, Jean-Paul, Maggie totally at ease in their new home.
I can't help but think - Scott could have been one of these 3 blessed pups with L. Just by a stroke of choice, timing, destiny (?), he was chosen by S first, and missed the chance of a happy childhood with his siblings.
As we walk on with our strays, we have to make these choices that determine the future of our dogs - to rehome or to put down....to let them give birth or to abort... to leave them as strays or to bring them to Noah's Ark... to treat them or to let them die?
I have not reconciled this power of choice placed in our hands.
Earlier post of 22 July:
"They are given full rein of the kitchen in L's home - a longish, biggish kitchen that leads to a backyard. For the time being, they will be staying mostly in the kitchen while L begins to toilet train them, first on paper but I guess eventually the backyard will be the better choice.
She is very willing to keep all 3 unless we can be assured of getting a genuinely good family for the 3rd pup. Right now, Eliza Teresa (black and tan gal) and Jean-Paul (brown boy - cos L's regular vet is Dr Jean-Paul!) are a close bond. So if need be, our fluffy bearish gal would be up for adoption.
Starjoy, L's cavalier king charles. is such a darling boy. So sweet and manja. He's been so tolerant of the pups' antics. For the longest time, his life has not been as exciting as now. But when the pups really tire him out, he'll hide in the pups' carrier for some respite.
L cooks for them - brown rice plus boiled carrots, potatoes, boneless chicken and egg yolk - what more can we ask for?
Eliza is the most active and engaging one. Little feisty gal. Jean-Paul is a sweet dude - pretty laidbacked about most things, prefering to snooze at his fav spot under the wooden rack. Maggie Muffin is the independent one, more on her own, whiney babe , prefering to snooze under the kitchen island unit.
This is why it is always more interesting to have more than 1 dog - you really see their individual character shine thru!
For now, my heart is relieved that our 3 pups are safe and sound. God bless L and her big heart."
On the streets where they are, at the very least you KNOW where they are, how they are, and V would get to see them everyday. At the new homes, you never know for sure. Some families turn out to be entirely irresponsible and disappointing - dogs relegated to chains and cages, neglected...abused... - while others have legitimate reasons to return the pups back to us.
Scott just before he was rehomed to S.
Scott here was one of the 5 pups we found in a drain after a rainy afternoon. Below is my post from my earlier blog on 11 July:
"How can I bear to bring the pups to SPCA? Sorry, I cannot bear to do that. Not as the first of choice. Not without giving them a fighting chance first.
I left work early today and had an urge to meet up with V to try and get one more dog from JK. Met her at 7-11. We went to feed the rottweiler first. Spoke with the owner. Nothing new. He was still against sterilising the male. Sunday evening when I was there, their gate was already closed and the male was still caged up. So I asked him innocently, "So uncle, later when you all go home, you can let the male out before you close your gate yah?" He said, "Ya la, can let him out". Then good 'ol V said, "No la, that day we came, you also never let him out." The owner tried to explain something to the point that he is still a young dog, not like this female rott who will come back, that he is not as smart...anyway, for people like that, I've learnt to let it go for now, take it slow and easy, talk to them more often and gradually change their thinking. Take the softer approach.
After that, we drove over to Scruffy's side. No Scruffy in sight. She must have gone into hiding to give birth. Good grief....The mommy dog came out. I'll call her Spring (since we already have a Summer!) I had an urge to see the pups so I made my way to the spot where they most probably are.
I heard the pups but could not see them at all. Made my way under the branches, pushed aside all the hanging leaves and all but still no pups in sight. My gut feel told me - think they are in the drain.
So we got back into the car and drove out. Sure enough, along the road, I popped my head out and there - right in the drain, all wet and crying - were 5 little pups. 3 black and tan, 1 brown, and 1 most adorable fluffy all black.It ahd been raining hard in the afternoon and there was still a level of water in the drain. The poor babes were all crying and soaking wet. 6 weeks old. Old enough to start on milk and soft food.
First thought - get them all out else they may drown in the next heavy rain. Second thought - shit, where can we bring them to? Third thought - why am I here??
Tell me what you would do? Leave them where they are, and let Spring continue to look after them, see them grow bigger and bigger, and then what?? How many can we rehome? We have 7 at farmway 1 on the queue. Take them all straight to SPCA and risk having them all put down after 6 weeks on earth? Do I even have the right to do that? Do I even want to do that? But leaving them there may get them killed anyway cos the drain is deep and they would easily drown in a storm. And on Sun, one of them had wandered right into the middle of the driveway, right under a moving car! He could easily been crushed to a slow and painful death.
Back to my third thought - why am I here?? Why do I have to make a decision?? What happens after that was more like an auto-reflex.
Standing next to the drain, looking at 5 crying wet pups, I turned and walked to V in front of K's farm (she had driven there to call K for help), I took the styrofoam box from her, walked back, climb into the drain to the din of squealing pups. They were screaming for life! Scared stiff of an approaching giant creature of a human for they never had human contact at all. For that pint size, they were loud.
First the fluffy black - into the box. Then the brown. Then the 3 black and tan started to scurry for escape. 2 went right, 1 turned left. I went for 1 on the right. After depositing him in the box, the other 2 have dashed for cover under the roof of the drain.
The cries of the pups were so loud that the workers came out to see what was happening. And I could hear Spring growling from among the bushes though she didn't come out to defend her babies.
I would say that I feel totally lousy 'rescuing' the pups from the drain. Cos I couldn't say with full conviction that I was rescuing them. The perpetual dilemma of human interference in nature that cuts to the core of your heart with the questioning thought of whether man is playing God in the scene of things that maybe should just be left on its own to unveil and conclude.
Even now, I question myself - have I done the right thing? Is Spring anxiously looking for her babies? Has she found the last pup? (cos we couldn't find him when we went back down into the drain) Are the 4 pups terrified? What have I done?
We drove to farmway 1, with just an inkling in my mind that maybe Mr Y may help keep them for a few days. But the minute I arrived, looking at the 7 pups and Girl milling boisterously about, I know that is an impossibility. Too many dogs there already!
So back into the car and a final option. Call K for help. If he says OK, then let the pups stay a few days and we'll find hope for them. If no, then off to SPCA. So I called K. He met us outside his place. Looking at the pups, he agreed to help for the time being. We went back to the drain for the other 2. Found 1 under one part of the drain roof. But we lost the other. I hope Spring has taken him away.
Went to Dr C's clinic to but pup formula and finally settled them with K. And this is just the beginning."
Scott was doing fine with S, till unfortunately her grandma had a bad fall few weeks back and was paralysed. Cos of that, the family's responsibilities took a turn. S and her parents have to be at grandma's home very often to care for her, thus it resulted in a scenario whereby no one is home most of the time. They do make efforts to feed Scott at his set times but for a young pup, he lacks the proper socialisation and play time he needs. Everytime I called to follow up, no one was at home - Scott is home alone too often for his own good. And they do feel bad about it as well.
Scottie-boy snoozing on S's sofa
Thus, I advised S to consider carefully, with the turn of events, can they still commit to giving Scott a good life. She took a few days to discuss with her family and finally decided, for the good of Scott, to return him back to us.
I think she made the right choice. And I will be glad to take him back.
Scott will come back to us this Sat.
We didn't come back empty-handed but with a stack of signed license forms and a glimmer of hope, after we spent the entire afternoon, cruising from farm to farm at JK, to ask and persuade farmers to sterilise, microchip and license the dogs in their farms.
We also took pictures of the beautiful dogs we chanced upon, but who knows, the life of the street dog is transient and elusive, and we hope that the next time we return, we'll still see them. This time, with the AVA license tag dangling in-tact from their collars.
It is important to note that the free-roaming dogs do not just stay at one farm unit but -- unless chained and confined -- appear randomly from place to place. So, there are "overlapping" dogs that trot happily along with us from farm to farm, ever so inquisitive.
Getting hold of the farm unit owner is another difficulty. Sometimes employees (gardeners, cleaners etc) feign pretense or are unwilling to provide contacts of their bosses whom we can contact.
Some farms are huger than they look from outside, and stretch expansively (after we driven all the way in). Bigger farms comprise clusters of plots leased out to other farms to carry out their respective agriculture-related activities. What's important is to get hold of the person who ultimately owns the farm and who can provide the necessary documents to prove the farm is his.
Opinions on sterilisation range from it's only important to sterilise the females to yes! both males & females are rightfully sterilised already. And when I do so much as glance around the dogs of the farm, I can only hope that no more litter will be born and eventually suffer cruelty and death.
But we will trudge along to make this possible. There IS a way out of the stray dog vicious cycle.
August 28, 2006
Let us not pretend all is fine and dandy behind the closed doors of the breeding farms. And let us not be so naive to believe all that the breeders and pet shop owners say about the origins and health of the dogs sold on their premises. Many of the puppies sold at petshops are supplied by breeding farms where living conditions of the breeding dogs and puppies are horrendous. How can puppies being bred in such conditions ever be healthy? Do not be deceived. Inform your family and friends who are looking for pet dogs to always consider adopting. STOP THE BUYING. AND YOU CAN HELP STOP THE BREEDING.
ASK. FIND OUT. SHARE. DO NOT WALK AWAY WHEN YOU SEE SIGNS OF NEGLECT AND IMPROPER CONDITIONS OF ANIMALS AT THE BREEDING FARMS AND PET SHOPS.
CALL SPCA 6287-5355 ext 9 or AVA 6471-9987/6471-9996. Store these numbers onto your handphone now and call immediately when you spot a case of neglect or abuse.
Alternatively, if you are unable to reach the authorities, call us at 9090-8592 and we will ensure a proper investigation is done.
On 5 December 2004, 3 abused Shih Tzus and a decomposing carcass of a dog were discovered by one of our volunteers.
The carcass was bloated, and was stuck in between a cage and a small platform. There were flies and many maggots crawling all over the decomposing carcass. The living conditions of the dogs were horrendous as the whole place was filled with faeces and urine which have been there for ages. There was only one pathetic bowl of water, which could not have been sufficient for one dog, let alone the four dogs. The bowl was covered with algae and the water was in a horrid greenish colour.
All three dogs were in horrifying condition, particularly the weakest one of the lot which we found sitting in a corner. We had also discovered that all three dogs were partially blind and had lost almost 80% of their fur. There was absolutely no proper shelter for the dogs and no signs of any food. In fact the dogs were found to be scavenging off the carcass of the fourth dog. It was evident that the dogs were neglected as maggots were found crawling out from their anuses and private parts.
The dogs were in such a bad state that the volunteers had initially thought that two dogs were dead because their bodies were in such a gruesome rotting state. Fortunately, they were still alive, but barely breathing. The volunteers then threw three large (400g) cans of dog food and the two dogs immediately started to fight for the food, despite their lack of strength. The weaker dog eventually fell to the floor, breathless and started to gasp for breath.
Eventually, the dogs were rescued and brought back to Mettacats and the weakest dog was sent to the vet. Unfortunately, she died on the 3rd day, despite the vet’s various attempts to save it.
* From http://www.mettacats.org/abused_dogs.htm
* Updates at http://www.mettacats.org/ShihTzuUpdate.htm
Our eye-liner gal last Oct (about 4 months old) where she was born. Later ventured across the road - picture taken this July.
2 other siblings who chose to stay among the tall grasses. ALL OF THEM HAVE DISAPPEARED.
These 3 dogs of ours are born across Tiger's farm. For their entire childhood, they stayed among the tall grasses, separated from the road by a drain, never venturing out to the other side. They chose to hide among the grasses, coming out only when they hear V's car horn.
Where they are, among the grasses, there is NO food for them. And cos they choose not to venture behind their patch of land, all the more there is no possibility of them rummaging through the trash for some any scraps.
It was impossible for V to jump across the drain to feed them so whenever there were some people around, V would stop them for help. On days when we could follow on the route, we would jump over the drain and leave the food for these 3.
Soon after, one of them (the gal who looks like she has eye-liner on) plucked up enough courage to venture to the other side - Tiger's farm. Their mom was usually around there too. Her 2 siblings continued living among the tall grasses.
These dogs have no choice in where they are born. And even when they chose to stay in seclusion, away from the human crowd, being of NO disturbance to the people who ply that area, STILL they were tracked down and taken away.
All of them have 'disappeared' now. Including their mom.
It is hard to deal with the emotions that come along our journey with our strays. It is hard to come to them, to know them, and then to lose them. It is even harder NOT TO KNOW exactly what has happened to them cos they are not even given the decency of accountability and explanation when they were really taken and culled. They were no more than a number in the files. The objects of convenient and random extermination.
How many man hours and expenses have been channelled into the business of culling when it has been proven across countries that it is inefficient in stray population control? When will we ever learn that the quickest way is not always the best way?
* Channel those very resources into an islandwide sterilisation programme.
* Engage our vets' support in this more humane and effective means of population control.
* Educate our people on the importance of sterilisation.
* Have more stringent regulations on breeding farms and pet shops selling pets indiscriminately.
THIS IS OF UTMOST IMPORTANCE AS INDISCRIMINATE BREEDING AND SELLING IS THE ROOT CAUSE OF THE PROBLEM - leading to large numbers of unwanted animals, pets ending up in inexperienced and irresponsible families, animals relegated to being breeding machines their entire lives (never let out of their cramped cages...dying every minute while they are living).
* Conduct REGULAR checks on ALL breeding farms and pet shops. How regular are checks being done presently - maybe the next time you visit a breeding farm/pet shop,that sells pets, just casually ask when is the last time they have been checked.
* Enforce compulsory microchipping to track all pets and deter irresponsible pet abandonment.
THIS IS THE ONLY EFFECTIVE AND WISE WAY OF TRACKING DOWN THE OWNERS WHO LOSE/ABANDON THEIR PETS. (what are we waiting for?) It would help deter irresponsible owners from dumping their pets and gradually heighten the message that the authorities are SERIOUS about responsibility pet ownership.
Education is crucial in changing the mindsets of people slowly and steadily BUT in the immediate now, MICROCHIPPING ALL PETS BEING BRED AND SOLD in Singapore is the wisest way to deter people from pet abandonment (make them think twice before buying a pet) and thus, also reducing the number of dogs roaming our streets who are now removed by culling.
I think we cannot purport to be gracious and we cannot claim we have animal welfare in mind when we keep on doing the same thing over and over again, when it has been proven NOT to improve the situation at all.
When LIFE is not accorded the bare minimum decency of LIVING when the truth is laid bare on the grounds, when clear efforts are not seen to be made to really improve the situation, when actions taken appear to be more out of convenience and cost-saving than a sincere gesture of really wanting to resolve an issue. When the same actions are taken day after day, week after week, year after year with NO POSITIVE CHANGE TO THE VERY SITUATION THEY CLAIM TO BE WANTING TO IMPROVE.
I think we call that insanity.
Let us not reach for the quickest 'solution' and forget our responsibility in that very position we hold. Power in the right hands can resolve any issues longstanding.
Live up to your responsibility.
Tiger is more lively now. Billy's mange has improved.
Lucas was a bit hyper when he saw V, crying out for her. He is Billy's neighbour, doing fine and eating well. Have got a possible enquiry on adopting him, we'll follow up and update. Meanwhile, pls continue to help look for a good home for our boy. Thanks.
Last Friday, we went to try and get Tiger's boy for her. I'm sure she would love to see him again. Both of them used to hang around closely, snoozing under the lorry and roaming about the farm. One of the uncles at the farm missed Tiger and wants her back. But it is unsafe for Tiger. Just across the road and around the farm, more than 3 dogs have 'disappeared'.
It is a strange feeling - knowing that our dogs are now gone - and yet not knowing exactly what has happened to them...the entire process of their 'disappearance'...what actually happened? How were they taken? How were they killed? Are they really gone? Or have they escaped somewhere?
Where are they now?
Tiger is unsafe on the farm. The only way to ensure she be given the decent right to live out her life in peace is to remove her from the streets. The authorities will never give her that chance. Because they do not know her like we do. Nor will they make the efforts to.
It is so easy to destroy what you do not know.
Tiger's boy - just out of our reach - will try again!
Her boy was pretty mild-mannered but still wary of us. He probably sensed I was there to catch him so he avoided me, staying just out of my reach, and finally positioning himself right under a lorry where I couldn't reach him. We passed the uncle a leash and asked him to help leash him up when he managed to get hold of him. Initially he was a bit reluctant to let us take the boy away, but he later understand that this is all for the good of the animals.
Till our animals are given the right to live without the bewilderment of random culling befalling them, they are safe only off the streets.
We sincerely ask for your support to help us relocate our animals to a safe sanctuary. It will cost S$35/month to support each dog for their safe stay at Noah's Ark in Johor. You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org for more info. On behalf of our dogs, thank you.
August 27, 2006
The Cat Welfare Society and the SPCA would like to express our sympathy for Nicole Lee and her family over what was undoubtedly a very distressing incident.
We would like to reassure the public that cats do not attack without provocation. All animals (including humans) exhibit what is known as the flight-or-fight response - when in danger, they attempt to run away, or, if they are cornered, they fight back.
We are also concerned that there is a family feeding strays right outside their doorstep. Feeding should be done responsibly and never at the doorstep so that it does not bring cats into other neighbours' homes. It should be done in areas with less human traffic and the food should always be cleared up.
We would like to contact the Lees to see if we can work with them to speak with their neighbours. We would appreciate it if they could contact the undersigned at email@example.com (or the SPCA on 6287-5355).
It is a misconception that feeding is the root cause of the presence of cats in a community. Stopping feeding in a particular area will in no way lead to a fall in the cat population. Cats are territorial and tend to stay put in their territory even if they have to hunt and feed somewhere else. Cats are in an area because of territory; removing them just means more cats will move in.
Hence, it is extremely important to manage the population of cats through a programme of Trap-Neuter-Return-Manage. This has been shown to be the most effective, long-term and humane way to deal with the community-cat population.
With managed, sterilised cats around, looked after by responsible caregivers, accidents like this will hopefully not occur again.
Deirdre Moss (Ms) Executive Officer SPCA
Dawn Kua (Ms) Director of Operations Cat Welfare Society
August 24, 2006
You can call Mr Ong Ah Si at 6758-4922 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to protest.
AN ATTACK by a stray cat left a three-year-old girl's face so badly wounded that she required 15 stitches.
Nicole Lee was stepping into her parents' flat in Yishun Avenue 6 at about 10.30pm on Monday when the grey and black cat attacked her at the doorway.
It had sneaked into the house earlier, and was fleeing from Nicole's grandmother, who was trying to scare it out by shouting and stamping her feet.
A few seconds later, she and Nicole's 15-year-old brother, who was walking ahead of his sister, heard the little girl scream.
They turned to see Nicole squatting on the floor, her face covered in blood.
Nicole's mother, Mrs June Lee, 41, rushed out of her bedroom, and on seeing her daughter's bloodied face, thought she had fallen and cut herself.
Plastic surgeon Erik Ang, at Mount Alvernia Hospital, told Mrs Lee that the deep scratch, which ran from the top of Nicole's lip to the base of her nose was probably inflicted by the cat.
When the little girl recovered enough to talk, she confirmed that it was the cat that had attacked her.
She was stitched up and discharged, with a bill of $3,325.
Dr Ang said the depth of the wound makes it possible that Nicole will be left with some scarring.
Mrs Lee sent a picture of her daughter's stitched wound via an MMS to 75557, the number of Stomp, The Straits Times' interactive portal.
Nicole is recovering, but her mum worries that more cat attacks may occur because 'neighbours are leaving food right outside their doorstep for strays'.
The food attracts many cats to the area, and as there is a kindergarten and childcare centre nearby, she hopes the practice will stop.
'I don't want this to happen to any other children,' she said.
August 22, 2006
Chance and Bongo - neglected and caged up for more than 3 years - now free.
Mama Dog and Grey
Summer and Ashley
Coca (and his brother Cola) and Charlie
Since we began Project JK in March, we have:
- sterilised 30 dogs
- treated 17 dogs for various medical conditions: tick fever, heartworm, liver disease, prostrate cancer, demodectic mange
- rescued 5 neglected/abandoned dogs
- rehomed 7 puppies
- relocated 12 dogs to Noah’s Ark
We recognise that the most desirable outcome for our dogs is to eventually bring them into the safe haven of Noah's Ark. The streets are unsafe. So far, we have lost more than 5 dogs, believed to have been caught and killed by the authorities. We hope that we will not have further distressing news to report.
Hernia girl - one of our sweetest gal. Where are you now, girl?
As we continue in our efforts to sterilize, treat, rescue, rehome or relocate our strays, we appreciate your continued support.
Abbie's sister on the streets - she has since mysteriously 'disappeared'.
Just look into the eyes and faces of our dogs on the streets. Their anxiety, fear and sadness is so obvious when compared to the silent joy and security of our NOAH’S ARK residents.
We do not ask for big things or huge accomplishments. Our wish is very simple.
Help us create more happy endings.
And it doesn’t take much. Just an open and willing heart to reach out to our animals on the streets and offer them a right to live in peace.
* Please email us at email@example.com on how you can sponsor one of our dogs at Noah's Ark and other ways you can support us. Thank you.
- For those of you who would like to be involved in our groundwork, we do need help with transport. If you drive and are able to help ferry our strays to and from the vet clinics (for sterilisation/check-ups), please get in touch with us for more details.
- Continue to share the importance of sterilisation with your family and friends. Discourage breeding and do encourage those looking for dogs to consider adopting instead of purchasing from petshops/petfarms. There are too many puppies being bred while many homeless ones are looking for homes.
- Continue to share the importance of responsible pet ownership with your family and friends - remind them that pets are a lifetime commitment. Should the person be unsure if he can look after an animal for life, strongly discourage him from having one. Irresponsible owners are the main cause of increased number of pets being abandoned on the streets.
- Encourage dog owners to microchip their dogs as this is a good way of identification should the dog get lost, as well as a viable means to prevent irresponsible pet abandonment.
- Support us in practical ways. Your donations in monetary form or in kind will be of great support to us as we continue our mission of ending suffering of our animals. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Thank you so much for your continued support and belief in our efforts. It takes all of us together to achieve a truly positive change. And it is possible. Let's walk on towards that.
The neighbour was convincing that there is nothing suspiciously like neglect from this owner. Probably on Sunday with visitors around, the dog was temporarily placed behind. In any case, we will follow up again to make sure everything is fine.
Meanwhile, should you notice any dog being chained/caged up 24 hours a day - in the hot sun, with no shelter, no interaction, no life - PLEASE DO NOT JUST WALK AWAY.
Let us know and we will do what we can to investigate and offer the animal a decent measure of freedom that he/she deserves. There is NO LIFE in chains.
NO TO CHAINING AND CAGING DOGS
What you can do: http://www.dogpeople.org/No%20Chaining.htm
* If you are not comfortable approaching the owners, please email us for the Information Flyer which you can print out and drop it into the letter box/under the door.
Just remember: To be free is not merely to cast off one’s chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others.
That doesn't sound good cos there isn't any shelter at the back and it can get real hot during the day. That household also has a few cats wandering around the back area. But there was some communication barrier with the girl so she didn't get the full picture.
Anyway to make sure the dog is not being neglected and perpetually chained up, I popped by during lunch. Walked down the old block - no white dog chained up behind. Some cats with cat food and water among the potted plants so I know which house it is. Spoke with one neighbour who knows nothing about white dog being chained up perpetually.
Then I did another round and when I walked to the back area again, this cute fellow turned up from nowhere - whose dog are you, little fellow? He was marking the door of the family I spoke with who denied knowing him at all. For awhile, I thought maybe this was the chained dog and he was abandoned....
This fellow was happily trotting about, carefree and bouncingly oblivious to the cats, to me...just curiously exploring. I followed behind, hoping he would lead me home.
He bounded on further and further away from the block and off to the main road.
So I picked him up and walked him back, asking people along the way - do you know whose dog is this? No one knows... so I walked around with him in my arms, preparing to knock on each door to deliver him home...almost wanted to bring him to Uncle J just across the road. As I went behind the block where I found him, his owner came along. It was quite obvious cos little fellow's tail greeted him in wags. Alright, now little fellow is safe. His name is Lucky. His owner had just left him on the grass and went to open the letter box but when he turned around, Lucky was already gone.
So, all dog owners, please take note when walking your dog. ALWAYS keep a close eye on him/her. There have been roadkills and lost/stolen dog cases when owners are negligent.
Not all dogs are as lucky as Lucky.
August 21, 2006
There was this lab lookalike who was chained to a pillar. Despite being deprived of human contact and affection, this young fellow is himself very friendly and affectionate.
Soon after the authorities commenced their investigations, the 'breeder' removed all his other dogs except for this boy. No qualms about it nor any concern about his welfare. This fellow was just let loose of his chain and left there, conveniently forgotten - like a lifeless object.
* Investigation of illegal breeding is ongoing.
V noticed that no one was feeding him anymore and thus took upon herself to feed this boy. He has a big appetite! Has every potential to be pudgy like Chance, gotta take note.
Few days back, V saw that his paws were swollen and he was having difficulty walking, sometimes even collapsing after a few steps. He seemed to be in pain.
So on Sat, V brought him to the vet thinking that his paws were probably infected by some strong detergent/chemicals on the ground. That wasn't the case. What happened was - flies somehow managed to lay a host of eggs in between his toes and UNDER his nails! Eggs hatched into maggots and those critters were feeding on him in the tight corners of his paws. Poor fellow - it was a painful experience.
Couple of his nails have to be extracted to flush out the eggs and maggots, and he has to wear an e-collar to prevent him from licking his wounds. But hey no worries, this fellow is well on his way to recovery! Still jolly and waggy and affectionate. And one thing we found out - he is not just a lab-wannabe. This fellow is the REAL THING - yes, he is a genuine 100% lab. Young lad of about 8 months.
Shall we name him LUCAS?
* Let us give our boy a promise of a genuinely loving and committed family who will be in return blessed by his steadfast loyalty and friendship. Email us at email@example.com if you have someone in mind.
August 20, 2006
A STARVED and abused dog was found dead beside a refuse chute in the common corridor of Block 652 in Punggol Central last Tuesday. Its mangled remains were already decomposing and had begun to smell.
Residents in the neighbourhood had an anonymous appeal slipped under their doors two days later, a copy of which was sent by reader BOTR via e-mail to Stomp, The Straits Times' interactive portal.
The writer of the appeal, which carried a picture of the dog, urged neighbours to call the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) if they had information about the owner of the dog.
'Most murderers/serial killers start off in their early years by abusing/killing animals. Would you feel safe living in an environment where an animal abuser exists?' the appeal read.
BOTR suggested to some dog owners that they use their dogs to trace the dead dog's home, but they were reluctant to do so for fear of exposing their dogs to possible diseases in the location of the carcass. BOTR said he was disturbed by the thought that the dog abuser could go free.
On Stomp's discussion forum, readers expressed their outrage. Laetitia wrote: 'I feel so sickened by people doing this... They are living creatures too and we should show respect to living creatures.'
Nur Amira Abdul Karim
Two weeks ago, they nailed a suspected cat killer after pressuring a town council to hook up a series of closed-circuit TV cameras in a carpark where the mangled bodies of cats had been found.
Another cat killer was tracked by volunteers in Bedok after they started active patrols.
At first, the animal welfarists handed out fliers and spoke to residents, encouraging them to keep a lookout for the cat killers. They also appealed to the authorities for help. But nothing happened.
Education consultant Sandy Lim, who is in her 40s, said she grew tired of waiting for the authorities to act. She said: 'If the authorities or the public have no interest in ending the killings, then it's really up to animal lovers to help. Body after body was found and still the killer wasn't caught. We couldn't just sit there, do nothing and hope for the police to catch the person.'
Said teacher Rebecca Ng, 34: 'It was quite disheartening to see the bloody paw prints splattered everywhere.'
Miss Lim, Ms Ng and four others - graphic designer Fiona Yuen, 32, IT consultant Lynn Lam, 33, graphic designer Mel Lim, 36, and assistant accounts manager Sharon Lee, 36 - decided they had had enough. They started a nightly patrol and enlisted the help of the neighbourhood cleaners to report the abuse to them. The going was slow and the sleepless nights wore them down but the support they received kept them going.
The Cat Welfare Society stepped in with a $1,000 reward for any witness who would testify against the cat killer, and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) funded the printing of the fliers. The women also received $1,200 from online donors, which helped them buy the CCTV cameras.
But their break came when the Marine Parade Town Council agreed to install six closed-circuit TV cameras in a multistorey carpark where several of the mangled bodies had been found over five months. A camera caught the abuser swinging a cat from a rope tied to its neck. Bloodstains splattered the walls of the sixth storey of the carpark in Jalan Dua.
Not long after, they caught their suspect.
Mr Ishak Puteh, 42, a cleaner, alerted cat sleuth Sandy Lim when he found a cat's bloody body on Aug 1. The film footage showed a van, which Ms Lim soon tracked down. She then tailed the driver to his workplace in Eunos and called in the police.
It led to the arrest of a 28-year-old air-conditioning technician, who faces charges of animal abuse. If found guilty, he could be fined up to $10,000, or jailed for up to 12 months, or both.
In the Bedok case in March, another group of sleuths took a census of the cat population and made nightly patrols to protect the creatures. For seven hours a day, they kept watch at void decks, staircase landings and streets until they caught the serial cat killer five months later.
The killer, 42-year-old packer David Hooi, was caught in the act by Miss Ngiam Mui Wah, 46. He was jailed for three months for animal abuse.
Organisations like Action for Singapore Dogs, the Cat Welfare Society, the House Rabbit Society (Singapore), Noah's Ark Lodge and Animal Concerns Research and Education Society (Acres) are run mostly by volunteers brought together by their love for animals. And their numbers are on the rise.
Ms Sandy Lim provides food daily for about 60 stray cats and funds their sterilisation. Her efforts and those of others like her have been received warmly by the SPCA, which believes that the recent movement towards grassroots animal activism is a healthy sign that Singapore society is becoming more mature.
Mama dog and Grey now run free in the front compound. Grey follows her like a shadow. Inseparable!
Kimo pranced around in the kennel when he saw his benefactor/caregiver. Charlie looks like a cross between a rottie and a doberman, sturdy stallion!
Of course, Bicycle, has made the lodge his very comfortable, cushion-loft and is confident in practically every spot.
Despite in quarantine, Summer and Ally shine like flowers in full bloom.
Bongo was *figuratively* sent to Congo because of some bad blood with Chance. Chance is pudgy but a contented dog, while Bongo will take some time to settle in the quarantine before he is released.
Coca cola: STILL in quarantine!