June 29, 2007

"Only if we understand

can we care. Only if we care will we help. Only if we help shall all be saved."

Dr Jane Goodall

These are the 3 pups next to be sterilised soon.

Vet Care Seminar

To have a fulfilling relationship with your pet, it is vital that you make efforts to find out and understand the needs of your animal companion - physical, mental, social.

This is a great opportunity for you to hear from our vets on key topics including: Behavioural Medicine, Caring for Your Aged Pet, Canine Dermatology: Allergies Affecting Our Dogs.

Click on the poster for more details.

June 27, 2007

This is the boy

we've been trying to contact the security guard on. He is a licenced resident at the factory but not sterilised. Some months back, a female came along and chose to settle down with him. Soon after, she gave birth to a litter which the Malay guard said was 'taken away by someone'.

This female is wary and hard to reach. Even the guards cannot reach him. The next best thing to do is to neuter this boy, cos around that area, there doesn't appear to have any other strays.

Wary gal

Unfortunately, the chinese security guard who is the owner of this male dog is very hard to reach as he does the late night shift and he hasn't contacted us, though he has been informed to.

Give us some more time, we'll arrange for this boy to be neutered soon.
* We need to build up our funds to prepare for our next batch of sterilisations to be done soon. As well as one of our dogs who looks to be suffering from tick fever, though it is unsure as yet, we will monitor him for the next few days.
* We are also seeking donations to cover the expenses of our dogs who have been relocated to Noah's Ark in Johor. We have not been able to be prompt in our payments to Noah's Ark due to shortage of funds on our ends. We do not have a reserve of funds to work from. So far, we have been working from case to case with your very kind support.
The original intention in the beginning was to relocate ALL the dogs that our stray feeder is feeding along her route to Noah's Ark. We had hoped that, once all the dogs are relocated, the amount of money spent on feeding these dogs along the streets plus other expenses incurred in transport etc...can then be channelled to Noah's Ark in caring for them. That was the plan when we started working with Noah's Ark. Most importantly, we had hoped that by doing so, our stray feeder, who is already in the autumn of her life, can retire and rest in peace knowing that all her dogs are safe within the confines of Noah's Ark.

However, the plan did not carry out to fruition. We cease the relocation after 18 dogs. We have 13 dogs there at this moment. (Mommy Dog, Romeo, Charcoal succumbed to heartworms, Bongo to prostate cancer, Abbie escaped). Thus, we have to finance the dogs in Noah's Ark, and at the same time, our stray feeder persists in caring for those still along the route, with some more dogs being dumped/born now and then.
Please email us at projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg. We need your support to carry on. Thank you.

June 26, 2007

SKC will be organising

a Veterinary Care Seminar on 27 July, Friday, 7pm - 9pm.

I believe many dog owners will be very keen on the topics:

(1) Behavioural Medicine
Understand the complexities behind your dog's social behaviour & reasons for issues like anxiety, insecurity, excitability, aggression.

(2) Caring for Your Aged Pet
Make the life of your ageing pet more comfortable by understanding his/her changing needs interms of nutrition & exercise requirements. Learn how to recognise symptoms of common diseases in geriatric animals for early disease detection & understand how therapeutics & supplements can ease your pet thru their final years.

(3) Canine Dermatology: Allergies Affecting our Dogs - The Facts & The Fiction
Understand the causes of common skin ailments that plaque our dogs in our environment & climate, and how to prevent & treat these conditions.

Each topic is of great value to all dog owners, even cat owners will benefit, esp on the topic for aged pets. And if your dogs seem to be plaqued by recurring skin problems, hotspots, eczema etc..and you're wondering if it's environment, food, immunity .... this will be a great chance to hear from Dr Simon Quek, Animal Medical Centre. He has completed post-graduate studies in Veterinary Dermatology and in collaboration with Murdoch University Dermatology Clinic & NUS, he started Singapore's 1st Intra-Dermal Skin Testing & Immunotheraphy for allergic dogs.

So mark your calendar down for this date. More details will be provided once all is firmed up.

June 25, 2007

Tiger & Tommy

are good and well. Thanks R once again for sponsoring their sterilisation fees. As promised, here are some recent pix of them, taken on Sat.



We will be sterilising 3 pups and a few more adult dogs very soon. To enable us to do that, we sincerely seek your support and donations towards the sterilisation expenses. Pls email projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg for more details.

The authorities has told us that they never had and does not have now a Catch-Neuter-Release program for strays. As such, any stray, (whether sterilised, microchipped, collared,licenced), so long as they are straying, ie, walking around the streets unsupervised and unleashed, they can be caught and destroyed if no one claims them back.

* It would appear that Animal Control in our country is solely missioned for catching and culling of strays. There is no programme, no support, not any plans for a Catch-Neuter-Release program that other countries are adopting.

Thus, it would also appear that: to keep our stray population numbers controlled in a humane way, proved to be effective in the long run by countries who have the CNR program, we will have to depend on public funds (donations from supporters like yourself) to pay for the sterilisation expenses of the strays.

But even then, even after we have sterilised our strays with our pooled efforts (leg work from us and monetary support from you), to assist the authorities in keeping the stray population controlled - in a humane way - the authorities will still catch them off the streets for culling. Because they violate their regulation of: DOGS ARE NOT ALLOWED TO STRAY.

From the authorities:

22 June 2007

AVA's assistance in catching strays

I refer to your email and our discussion yesterday at my office concerning stray dogs.

As mentioned we cannot allow the release of sterilised dogs to the environment. Dogs must be licensed and kept in homes and must be on leash when out in public places.

I would like to inform you that there are some pest control companies that provide services to catch dogs. You may engage their services to catch dogs.

You may call me if you wish to seek any clarification.

Thank you and kind regards


It may appear a daunting and hopeless task - catching and sterilising our strays when there is no support from a governing body to relook at current regulations to review the feasibility and explore other options of stray population control - instead of keeping to a method used for decades which has been proven in many countries to be short-term, ineffective, and not to mention, inhumane.

* What is it about a Catch-Neuter-Release program that is rejected by the authorities? Why is Culling their preferred method? If culling is so effective that it is the method of choice, then why hasn't there been significant reduction in our numbers of strays? Why does culling need to be done and done and done again - if it is effective?

And if it is NOT effective, why is it still being used as the SOLE means of stray control?

June 23, 2007

Xiao Bai is all

sterilized, microchipped, ear-tipped. All done.

Note his left tipped ear to indicate that he has already been sterilised.

On the way back to his home - he looks like he knows, doesn't he?

Back home. It must have been an adventure of sorts for him since Tues. Many like him never make it back home. Stay safe now Xiao Bai.
His owner is only able to pay $100 to cover part of the AVA fine, which he has given me. And we received $180 in donations so far. Including his medical bills (sterilisation, microchip, tick treatment, vaccination, deworming, transport), we are still short of about $100. We will appreciate any amount of donation that you can offer towards Xiao Bai's expenses.
Please email us at projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg on how you can be part of this.
Thank you.

June 22, 2007

The Grizzly Man premieres

this Sunday, Discovery Channel 12, 9pm.

The media is always intrigued by characters with great passion, though at times, it borders on obsession. Obsession that blinds and kills.

I am personally very curious about the very man of Timothy Treadwell, who died at the hands of the very animal he loves. Mauled and devoured by a grizzly. How did that happen? Has he forgotten to honour that shred of respect that every being must accord to the other - that respect of self in a world of others. The respect of a time to come together, and a time to be alone.

"I discovered a film of human ecstasies and darkest inner turmoil. As if there was a desire in him to leave the confinements of his humanness and bond with the bears. Treadwell reached out, seeking a primordial encounter. But in doing so he crossed an invisible borderline." (Werner Herzog)

We should always bear in mind: in our walk with the animals, we are not desiring to trash our humanness and bond with them, nor do we want to humanise them and force them to live like us.

Embrace our commonness and honour our differences. Enjoy each other's company on earth. Never force. But rather, be patient and wait.

One of the most beautiful moments, to me, is when an animal comes up to you, out of pure choice of his own. No bribery of food or praise. No fear of threat or hurt. Just 2 living beings, side by side, nothing to give and nothing to take. But each becoming fuller just by a mingling and connection of souls.

An act of trust - so simple and yet so full of what it means to know and be known.

When I see a person whom an animal trusts, that person will also have my trust.


June 21, 2007

Have gone to bail Xiao Bai out.

We paid $230 to AVA for: impoundment fee, boarding fee, fine for no licence, fine for straying, application for licence.

Xiao Bai handed over to us.

With cab driver I met yesterday who happened to know the farm people, small world.

Xiao Bai is now at Dr T to be sterilised, microchipped, ear-tipped. He'll also be dewormed and vaccinated and treated for ticks. All in all, estimated cost will be about $200++.
The farm people will not be able to foot the entire bill. We've spoken with him and he agreed to pay as much as he can. I'll speak with him again when we bring Xiao Bai back to the farm this weekend. For the remaining, we seek for your kind donation. If you can offer any amount of donation, it will surely help us cover our expenses.
Pls email projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg for details on how you can contribute.
At the vet. He looks like Bicycle doesn't he?

June 20, 2007

In the opening paragraph of "Man Meets Dog",

Konrad Lorenz (1954) makes the following statement:

"Today for breakfast I ate some fried bread and sausage. Both the sausage and the lard that the bread was fried in came from a pig that I used to know as a dear little piglet. Once that stage was over, to save my conscience from conflict, I meticulously avoided any further acquaintance with that pig."

This casual observation actually contains 2 very important theoretical ideas:
(a) people find it difficult to eat or mistreat animals they have developed any sort of attachment for, and
(b) if one finds it ultimately necessary to eat or mistreat an animal, it is sensible to tske active steps to avoid becoming too attached to it beforehand.

[Taken from "Best Friend or Worst Enemy: Cross Cultural Variation in Attitudes to the Domestic Dogs - James A Serpell]

I guess this is the only way for some people to deal with the things they do - avoid any acquaintance with the animal that they are going to mistreat, or going to destroy. Any other way will surely kill the spirit and conscience of a normal man. And no one can live for long a peaceful life with a crushed conscience.

For what you come to know, you will never destroy.

It may seem futile fighting little bush fires like this, bailing out one single dog like Xiao Bai, who is a pin prick in the sea of strays. Whose life or death won't change the current landscape one wee bit.

However, NOT saving him amounts to agreeing with the present animal control methods that seem to focus solely on culling on the grounds, with no aid and no plans for a capture-sterilise-release programme.

That there is nothing wrong in what was done yesterday - and will continue to be done - for the violation of a regulation they seem to adhere so strictly to: All dogs found straying can be caught and culled.

How I wish to see this same passion in their checks on our many breeding farms. Or are we waiting for yet another undercover mission to expose the horrors of puppy mills out there, smelling so awfully right under our noses? What will we discover next?

Tomorrow we will pay the fine of $231 to bail Xiao Bai out.

We could have gotten 2 more dogs sterilised with that amount. Now, won't that be a better way to spend public funds?

We will be bailing Xiao Bai out tomorrow.

Otherwise, tomorrow being the 3rd day since he was caught, by this Friday Xiao Bai would have been destroyed.

For 'straying' just outside the gate of his farm.

"Any dog, even if he is wearing a collar,

even if his ear is tipped (to show that he is sterilised), any dog so long as they are straying, we will catch".

This came from a staff of the Animal Control section of the authorities.

Me: How do you keep a dog WITHIN the confines of a farm, when a farm is just like an open, sprawling area, the gates are all open during the day?

Him: "The owner should tie up the dog la".

Me: Tie up the dog the whole day?

Him: "No la, the owner should tie up the dog during the day, and when he has time, take the dog for a walk...." ---- ......(??!!).......

[never mind...breathe......]

Me: How much do we need to pay to get this dog out tomorrow?

Him: $93 for compoundment, $100 for straying and no licence...

Me: That's a lot of money

Him: No la, to save a life what....

Me: To save a life?? In the first place, your team should speak with the farm owners there and find out from them, whether their dog is licensed at all? At least explain to them what they can do, give them a chance. This one is not licensed cos they can't get the main owner to sign the documents. What if in other cases, the dog is already licenced, already sterilised, wearing a collar....will you just catch the dog without speaking with the owners??

Him: Ya. So long as the dog is straying, we will catch...

Me: How do we get a licence for him now? Can his owner, the tenant, sign on the form?

Him: No, the main owner of the farm must come down personally and sign...

Me: But the main owner is not interested at all and not very helpful in this...and the tenant is the one looking after the dog and he's now willing to take legal ownership of the dog and asked me to ask you if he can be the one to authorise for the licence?

Him: Cannot, cos what if the main owner does not allow the tenants to keep the dog?

Me: The main owner is basically not involved and hardly at the farm at all...and this dog has been at the farm for a few years already...you say it's good to save a life, so how can you help us in this licensing issue?

Him: If you are bringing the dog back to a private property, that's ok, but if you bring him back to the farm, the main owner must come and sign the documents.

Me: We do not have a private property to bring the dog to, and it is not easy to find homes for local breeds like him, I'm sure you understand. We'll bring him to the vet tomorrow, get him neutered, tip ear, microchip, everything done, and I'll get the tenant to apply for a licence. Let me know how you can help me with this licence part.

Him: Maybe you just come down tomorrow and discuss with Mr M, he's in charge and see what he says....

* This boy was caught just in front of his farm yesterday. The authorities did not attempt to find out who is the owner, nor did they offer any explanation nor advice to the owner. They came, loop the boy up and left. He is an easy target. Now, we have to pay them to get the dog back.

Our white boy is in the pound now.

AVA said that he was caught because he was wandering on the streets. They didn't know who is his owner, and that he was caught away from the farm where he belongs. That was not what the farm people saw and told us. I will verify that again.

He was wearing his blue collar. Isn't that an indication that he most possibly belongs to someone? And he was apparently the only one who was caught yesterday at the farm area. They don't have the other black and tan boy, they said. We'll have to check on that again.

To bail this white boy out, we will have to pay:

$86 - impoundment
$50 - for straying
$50 - for not having licence
$15/day - for boarding at the pound

Total $231 if we take him out tomorrow.

Have told AVA to hold the boy and they will do that till tomorrow, while we speak with the farm people on what they intend to do, if they able to pay this fine.

They are unable to take licence for this dog as the farm is sub-let to a few tenants and to get licence, you need the main owner to sign on the documents and produce his IC for verification. The main owner of that farm has not been helpful in that area at all.

Was all this taken into account before the dog was taken away?

June 19, 2007

What is Animal Control?

Take a read of WSPA's Dog Control Techniques and let's think about what exactly is ANIMAL CONTROL?

Animal control is not simply a matter of removing animals from the streets, but requires a comprehensive and proactive programme, ideally implemented by local governments of municipalities.

An effective programme will aim to encompass:

- animal welfare legislation
- humane capture & handling of animals
- efficient removal of public waste/garbage
- providing shelter suitable for the animals' needs
- providing veterinary care
- spaying/neutering programmes
- humane euthanasia of animals when necessary
- public education
- liaison between government authority and non-government organisation

Read in particular page 13 on Euthanasia:

* While euthanasia is an option, on its own it is ineffective. Simply catching and killing animals does not work as a stray control programme ... By neutering animals, populations can be stabilised and gradually reduced. Shooting and poisoning therefore have no place in an effective humane stray control programme.

* Strict criteria should be applied to animals considered for euthanasia: eg, very young puppies, sick animals, dangerous animals, animals unsuitable for rehoming or return to the streets.

The 2 dogs caught from the farm today do not fall into any of the categories above. But if no one claims them in the next few days, they WILL be destroyed.

And to claim them back, you need to pay compounded fees amounting to more than $200 for each dog.

Let's see if they are in the pound now. We'll update tomorrow.


We were informed:

2 AVA vans went to a farm area this afternoon. 1 van was already full of dogs who were caught (from where?)

The AVA team of dog catchers parked outside a farm. And without speaking with the farm owners nor giving them a chance of explanation, they went into the farm and caught 2 of the dogs there.

They used cable loops.

And in case you are wondering, yes, these 2 boys are friendly ones. You would never call them a menace. 1 is a gentle fellow, quite slow in movements, at times, he will come close and stay a while for some pats, but it is still tough to catch him down. The other, a handsome white-furred fellow, has never disturbed anyone at all. He strolls along quietly and settles down well with the farm owners.

Among the strays in that area, these 2 are the closest to what you would call to be 'belonging to someone'. While the rest are obviously hardcore strays.

Yet, why were these 2 the ones who were caught today? And did the AVA team speak to the farm owners at all to verify if these dogs belong to them?

Btw, the white-furred boy was wearing a collar.

So, what do you think about this?

June 16, 2007

I am sorry to say

that Guppy has passed away this morning.

Very sorry.

I went to Dr T too late, an hour odd after he passed away early this morning. We wanted to know what was the actual cause of his death so we did a necropsy. The infected growth at his testicles was full of pus, extending a little distance upwards. But that didn't looked like anything that could have taken his life.

That leaves the heartworms. What we thought could be a moderate case presented itself as a very chronic stage of heartworms - masses and masses of worms were colonising and clogging Guppy's heart and lungs.

A segment of the heartworms that killed Guppy.

Guppy has been given the first line of treatment for heartworms. What has occurred clearly shows the complications in the --

"Elimination of the Heartworm Parasite:

This is a two-step process. The adult worms and the microfilaria are eliminated separately. No one medication kills both. The adults are treated first then a different treatment is used to kill the microfilaria and migrating larvae.

The most serious side effects usually occur with the treatment of the adult worms. As the worms die they lodge in the lung arteries and block even more blood vessels than before treatment. Besides the usual inflammation caused by the presence of the worms, the inflammation is amplified due to the decomposing worms within the blood vessels. This worm destruction releases foreign substances in to the dog’s circulation as the worms break down and are eliminated from the dog by the immune systems. A large amount of inflammation and swelling generally occurs during this period. "

Guppy has passed away at a young age of 2. And Discus has lost his brother.

Very sorry to share this news.


June 14, 2007

Guppy is not well.

It is always sad to see a person or an animal taken over by the strains of illness. Especially so when the person or animal has always been so full of the joy of life.

Guppy at 3 months

Guppy & brother, Discus

Guppy has always been the happy fellow in his neighbourhood. Ever full of grins and fishy wags, he and brother Discus roam the fish farm, strutting around with his head held high, tail a beacon of welcome whenever he sees us.

Guppy trying to steal someone's gal

He is a handsome fellow, at times a bully to his meeker brother. But other times, he totally relishes grooming Discus to bits, and good 'ol Discus will grin and bear thru the Guppy-sessions.

Grooming time for Discus!

But now, Guppy is not well. His sturdy frame has diminished into near skin and bones. He is sick and not eating. He is also running a fever. Diagnosis - Heartworms and badly infected testicles with an inner growth that could be benign or malignant.

With heartworms, his heart condition is compromised and to put him under GA for an operation to remove that growth, will be too dangerous for an already weak heart. He might not wake up.

Dr T asked if we want to carry on with the treatment as it would cost quite abit. We've gone thru this a few times. The issue of cost versus life. There shouldn't be any consideration at all, should there?

When money is brought to the foreground of issues, the plain truth is frosted over and an answer that is clear becomes foggy by the fear of not being able to afford the treatment, and clouds the good news that hey, heartworms can be treated if detected early. And hey, when his heartworm condition is cured, the growth can be operated out and Guppy will get his young, active life back.

So, yes, the answer is always "Yes". We will proceed with treatment.

And we will need your help.

Guppy is now at Dr T's. He will start his heartworm treatment now, and his infected testicles will be medically treated first until he is fit for operation. This will require him to be hospitalised.

Costs (estimated):

- Heartworm treatment: $200-$300
- Medication for fever, infection: $150-$200
- Operation: $350-$500

I will get a better estimate on the expected cost this Sat as well as photos of Guppy to show to all.

* If you, like us, have a heart to see Guppy all well and back with his brother again soon, pls email projectjkteam@yahoo.com.sg on how you can contribute to his medical expenses.


June 13, 2007

In the midst of deep thoughts,

of fighting the urge to fight back, I am reminded of this beautiful verse:

"I shut my eyes and see the little girl I knew myself to be, eighty years ago, racing barefoot down a slope after a bunch of colourful, fluttering butterflies. Not to catch them. Not to break their wings. Not to preserve them in a jar to show off to friends. I know now that the girl was chasing after them to share their freedom."

I have to keep reminding myself -- no matter how much fight in me there is, to fight for the freedom of animals in silence -- Do not fight. Even when my whole being launches in ready flight of attack...when my guts abhor the injustice so plain in my eyes yet hopelessly overlooked by others. Especially then, do not fight.

I still fail. I still find myself fighting.

And in such fighting may I fail. And when I do, so goes the freedom I 'fight' for.
Date: 21 May 2007


We are aware that the AVA has sent letters informing farm owners of the stray dogs situation at their farms in PR farmway.

In the letter, it is stated that 'any dogs found in a premise is deemed to be owned by the occupier/owner of the premise' and it asks the owner to license the dogs to avoid a fine. It also state that 'action will be taken against a licensee if dogs are found kept in premises without valid licences'.

Most of the dogs around farm areas are not owned by anyone in particular. They are strays. In fact, your officers would understand the difficulty in getting farm owners to take up legal ownership of the dogs by applying and renewing licences annually as most of the dogs are not their dogs in the sense that a home owner's dog is his/her dog.

In most cases, many of these dogs will be deemed as strays, and thus they are subject to being caught and culled.

Your officers will also be aware that animal welfare volunteers have been on the streets helping with stray population control by catching and sterilising strays with own expenses or public donations. However, we are able to catch the friendlier ones, leaving the more wary ones at loose.

We noted that the letter ended off by saying, "If you have any unwanted dogs, please contact our office for collection".

Looking at the situation, we hereby request for AVA's expertise to help us catch the more wary dogs that have escaped us, as we do not have the expertise nor the proper equipment and techniques that AVA team has. With your cooperation and expertise, AVA will be able to reach the dogs while we, on our part, will raise public funds to have the dogs sterilised and returned to their communities. And after that, advise the farm owners to license the dogs, while taking into account that many may not accede.

But the more important and pressing issue here is to help AVA with your mission in stray population control, and to do it together, in a humane way.

We look forward to working with your team of dog catchers.

Thank you.


Date: 6 June 2007

From: AVA

Thank you for your emails of 25 and 21 May 07.

We had written to the farms because some of them were found harbouring and feeding stray dogs. This compounded the stray dog problem in the farm areas as the dogs multiplied.

We are asking the farms to be responsible and to apply for dog licences and confine the dogs properly if they want to take care of the stray dogs.

However, if they have stray dogs that they cannot take care, they can surrender them to AVA.

As you are aware stray dogs that are wary of strangers are very difficult to catch. However ,with the farms' help, stray dogs in the farm areas can be reduced.

We would suggest that you approach the farms for assistance with your sterilisation programme. However, we would like to remind you that sterilised stray dogs must not be put back on the streets. They should placed in suitable homes and licensed.

Thank you for your concern for the dogs. You may call me if you wish to seek further clarification.


Date: 13 June 2007


Thanks for your reply. However, you missed out in your reply on our request for a meeting.

1. We are all aware many of the dogs around farms do not exactly 'belong' to anyone.
2. Yes, unsterilised dogs breed and add onto the existing number of dogs.

3. There are various reasons why these dogs are not sterilised and licenced:

a) the farm owners do not take legal ownership of these dogs
b) they cannot afford the expenses in sterilisation and licensing
some of the dogs cannot be caught for sterilisation, not even by the farm owners

4. Confining dogs: It is difficult to confine dogs on farm areas, especially when many farms do not have enclosed boundaries nor gates. The alternative of chaining/caging the dogs the whole day is also not humanely feasible.

5. Approaching farm owners for help: For reasons stated in point 3, farm owners are unable to help, which is why we are approaching the AVA for help, with your expertise & experience.

6. Is culling the sole means of AVA's stray population control? Or does AVA set aside funds and manpower to assist the public in catching & sterilising these strays? If not, would AVA consider doing this?

7. We acknowledge AVA's efforts and finances spent on education. However, education alone, with no immediate help on ground level to rectify stray issues, and also no strict laws and penalty on abandonment and illegal breeding, will drag the resolution of current issues. * As in the recent case of Junior and Ginne, ( found all the way in Punggol from their home in Bkt Timah and Punggol being where Ginne was adopted), but due to no concrete evidence, no charge of abandonment was made to the family, which sends a negative message to the public that they can easily get away with abandonment. And the illegal breeding of bulldogs on Pasir Ris Farmway 1, with all bulldogs seemingly adopted after investigation was made.

8. Sterilised strays cannot be placed back on the streets: Opportunities of adoption for local breeds in Singapore is very low, with so many dogs (small breeds included) for adoption in SPCA, ASD etc. For lack of homes, where should the sterilised strays be placed then? If boarding shelters is the answer, from where will the finances come from to pay for each sterilised dog in a shelter for the rest of his life?

9. If a stray has been sterilised and ear-tipped, will he still be caught and culled?

10. Private dog catchers: We had hoped to work with AVA as we believe your team of dog catchers are well-trained to capture strays in a humane manner. However, if AVA is unable to assist in this area, please provide us a list of AVA-approved dog catchers / pest control companies whom we can engage, those that AVA is assured of their skills and treatment of animals. We will then raise funds from public to pay for this service.

For the past years we spent on the streets, looking at our stray issue, the solution is beyond small groups of volunteers, both in terms of manpower and finances. Now, lay public are putting in time and their own money to catch, transport, sterilise, licence our strays just to give them a legal lease of life.

Ironically, we are a small island, manageable if actions are taken on a large and supportive scale. My personal opinion: in a gracious society, culling should be the final option after all possible solutions are taken in hand and given the efforts and financial commitment to see them through. I am certain, with AVA's support in a nationwide sterilisation program, you will see much support coming towards you from our people. We just need you to lead the way.

On our end, we will continue to:

- try to catch those strays that we can reach
- raise funds from public to pay for their sterilisation expenses
- raise funds from public to pay for boarding of abandoned dogs/dogs hurt from catching process by dog catchers
- report cases of illegal breeding/abandonment to the AVA.

There may be areas in which we are not clear about on AVA's responsibilities and ability to assist in this stray control issue. We will be most appreciative if you could advise us accordingly.

Thank you

June 6, 2007

Was watching Animal Planet just now

on the illegal wildlife trade in Thailand. Sad and angering. For both the people and the animals.

It shows the great numbers of wild animals captured from their natural habitats, the babies snatched from their moms after the poachers shoot the moms dead, ripping the babies from their tight clutches to the safe comfort they will never feel ever again...thrown into tiny cages...and sent straight to the many markets peppering Thailand to fetch some quick bucks from people who have taken to this illegal trade as a means to put food on the table. However, with the exorbitant prices labelled on these animals, I guess some of these poachers are putting a whole lot of food and more on their tables.

The episode follows the rescue of 2 sun bears who have been bought and kept as pets in a fish farm, in small rusty cages with no room for such magnificent animals to run or swim or climb - to BE simply bears and do the things they are born to do.

Day in, day out, the 2 bears never got to smell the fresh air outdoors, never knew how grass feels like under their feet, never seen pools of water other than their rusty water bucket, and so very sadly, NEVER FELT THE SUN ON THEIR FACES.

For 5 long years.....1 of the bear has lived a dead life. He must have wished many times that he has died.

The rescue crew was going around some areas talking and convincing the people to surrender their illegal pets so that they can be brought to the animal sanctuary for a better life before all sense of hope in their souls is crushed.

The lady owner of these 2 bears eventually agreed to let the rescuers take her 2 bears, and at the point of rescue, few other people came to surrender their illegal wildlife as well.

The pivotol moment of these 2 bears' life - after 5 hard years under men who have betrayed the wildness they were born for - one of the bear was released from his quarantine cell to the sanctuary that is to be his new home.

You can see the utter apprehension on his face and his slow, careful movements. That must be the first time he has seen so much SPACE, with no bars blocking his view. After 5 long years on a concrete flooring, he carefully takes baby steps on the concrete perimeters of the sanctuary....then a lick at some ants crawling up a wall.....

and then very slowly, in a moment that made one rescue team member cry, and which made my eyes water as well --- very slowly, his face almost void of expression, still lost in the zone where dreams come true....this wondrous creature, robbed off his life in the wilderness where he belongs --- he very slowly turns his head up to the sky....and for the very first time after 5 years in captivity, he basks in the glory of the sun.

His eyes and expression still lingers on my mind and I can still see and feel his sigh of inexpressible relief ... not exactly joy he was feeling as yet for I think he has forgotten how to be joyful anymore and it will take time to remember it......but this deep, deep resonance of relief that knows no words but is understood by all who were watching him.

This heartwrenching moment of what exactly men has done to creations out there whom we have no right of authority over, for they are of a life of their own, with their very own dignified and meaningful path to take in nature. In nature is where they are born to live, to feed, to rest, to fight, to mate, to die.

That scene -- a bear feeling the sun on his face after 5 long years -- it makes me shameful of mankind.

I am very sorry for the many animals out there at this very minute who are groaning out for help, many whom will never get to feel the sun on their faces ever again, many whom I will never know of and never get to touch and save.

It makes me angry at the many frivolous distractions of our earthly life out there - the frivolity of manicures and pedicures, of what color dress is nicer over another, of branded stuff so low in quality and utterly devoid of a shred of meaning -- more and more, better, faster, newer THINGS that are lifeless and yet we allow them to eat into the precious minutes of our ONE DAY where so much can be done, so much needs to be done.

Make full use of each day. Waste not an opportunity where you can make a difference. Every day is FILLED with moments where you can step forward and make a difference. It is every moments like these that will make up the LIFE you look back on when you have lived richly and fully and are ready to move on.

Yes, I do feel angry and disappointed at mankind at times. And yet, in the ironical twist of truths, it shows yet again that beneath our screaming platform of animals in need, lies a jungle of human beings who have not open their eyes and hearts to accept the rights to life of all living beings, for their own lives are in desperate need.

Save the people and they will save the animals? The question - where do we start?

With the very person next to you. Cos every one of us has something deep within, that needs to be saved.

Tiger and Tommy

are well and fine back at the farm. Tommy has the misfortune of being not so welcomed by the gang though, and this is from the beginning. Some members of the old pack just don't take a liking to him.

It's interesting to see and wonder how animals make up their minds whether they are going to like you or not - a human or another one of its kind.

Some take an immediate fondness to another, buddying up all chummy and nice. Others just stir up wrath of displeasure and persistent attempts to drive the newcomer away.

It is quite sad to see a newcomer being ostracized by the pack. Being ignored brings loneliness, but being disliked to the point of being attacked can be dangerous.

Little Tommy is slowly but steadily doing all he knows how to be welcomed into his new pack. he is all submission and belly up in silent politeness when the resident female comes baring her teeth at him, with one or two other accomplices lending power to her intimidation.

But I'm sure Tommy boy will win their hearts eventually, if his inherent macho size doesn't catch up and win first!

For now, all at the farm are well and fine. All sterilised. We just hope that they will be left alone to live out their lives in peace.

* Thank you so much to our supporter, R, for coming forward with his donation to fully sponsor Tommy and Tiger's sterilisation expense. We can only say THANK YOU again.

June 3, 2007

Yesterday, we brought 2 brothers

brothers to Dr T for sterilisation. These 2 had appeared at one of the farms out of the blue about 2 months ago. One is the boy who looks just like Tiger, the lovely brindled, roly-poly fellow who just walked into the farm one fine day. His brother (we presumed) came along a few days later. Very friendly guys so very likely they were handled by humans from young. No fear of humans in them, which may or may not be a good thing for our strays.

We went in the morning to get them both. They have put on much weight, especially Tiger, he is a tub of puppy fats now! While in the car on the way to Dr T, and thinking of a name for Tiger's brother, we happen to talk a bit about Tommy Koh....so okie! Tommy it shall be.

So off to Dr T both Tiger and Tommy. Both were curiously gazing at the passing scene, then after a while Tommy settled down next to me, his tail wagging almost all the way to the clinic.

Today, they are sterilised well and fine, and back to the farm and gang. Judging from their size, especially Tiger, at just about 6 months now, these boys are gonna be big fellows towering over most of the rest in no time.
In a couple more months, we'll be bringing 3 more pups for sterilisation.