May 27, 2008

This is humanity

A man strapped his dead wife to his back and drove to give her a decent cremation/burial - Sichuan earthquake.

May 18, 2008

Street dogs/cats management update

An important purpose of my trip with V on last Tuesday was to make sense of the street dogs and cats populations along the routes she taxis and think about the next steps to take in bettering their plights, easing V's load and managing the populations of her animals.

Here's an encapsulation of part of V's experience as a caregiver. Behind every street animal, every community of cats or dogs, is a story tucked away in the innocence of stray life.

Case 1

V bemoans the ever-increasing number of dog she has to feed and keep an eye on. At her age, she finds it tougher as the frailty of old age creeps on her to tend to her dogs. Hurling bags of food, getting out of the car, talking to ignorant farm workers, beckoning for her dogs... can be sapping on her energy. At this place, an employee who is a dog lover herself feeds 4 adult females and 15 puppies. She intends to keep two of the puppies, and we're making long-term plans to capture and sterilise the elusive mothers. This is a mini sterilisation project we hope to benefit V and the farm.

Case 2

Our eight dogs (now 10, actually) are doing ok and greeting V ever-so enthusiastically. Come Tuesday, V will update me on the status of the plot where they reside. In the interim, we intend to apply special licenses for the rest of the dogs (outside the initial three), but this can get teethy with a land owner who has issues himself to solve and the authorities' resistance to this pack--often the subject of complaints by the people of the farm.

Case 3

The healthier, more dominant and confident males get to the food first

At this part, throngs of street dogs, some mange-inflicted, some healthy and some heavily pregnant, gallop towards V, the source of their daily nutrition. You can see from the above picture that a mother has given birth to over five puppies--the puppies are feeding from her teats. Main aim is to capture and spay the elusive and nimble mum, and seek the farmer's support in managing the small, scurrying puppies, who are learning from their mum to be instinctively wary of humans--including V.

One problem with this lot is that they reside at a farm whose owner is not keen on V entering her area to feed, so access could mean more conflicts. A headscratcher still.

Case 4

Scruffy (right, cream-coloured). As usual, she seems to be smiling and joyful all the time, but equally wary of us when we inch closer. The world, including the authorities, has been "after" Scruffy but she remains miles away from our grasp. Scruffy is always joined by abandoned pups that seek her for surrogate motherly care. The puppy in the picture is Scruffy's newfound child to baby. Again, hoping to sterilise Scruffy.

Case 5

Not far from Scruffy's group is Mama Rock, and the three friendly teenagers we had managed to neuter--thank goodness. Mama Rock on Tuesday seemed ok after her mysterious disappearance and bounded all around with meat chunks in her mouth. Thanks again for your support in her!

Case 6

This area... I just learnt 6 kittens were added to the colony near the dumpster. These cats used to be cared for by a caregiver but after an episode in which her personal safety was put into question, V took over and now daily slides under the gate trays of catfood for these unsterilised felines. To ease her load, we plan to trap and sterilise them asap.

Case 7

We are not sure if this female has given birth, but she seems to be on the brink of delivery.

This suburban spot is near where our neutered, collared, friendly hernia-girl was suspectedly culled and robbed of her earthly existence. Hernia girl left a few puppies who grew up and roam the field, and are on-and-off joined by other females, such as the one above with the bloated tummy--we don't know where her puppies are, or if they're alive, if she's given birth. In the immediate picture above, the female dog on the right is the friendlier one. At the very least, she should be sterilised.

With this rediscovery, there is a need to DO SOMETHING. This set of actions includes working with the farm people to locate the dogs, find out the times the elusive ones appear (often in response to feeding times), possibly engaging dog catchers, loaning traps, arranging with vets to sterilise them, neuter, vaccinate and microchip those we can get, boarding them after surgery, on top of feeding and transporting them. I'm foreseeing a mini 'project' of sorts that should stretch over time, but whatever it is, it's worth the try, even if we wrap up empty-handed. If we don't try, we won't know.

Dear supporters, do get in touch with us if you'd like to contribute to managing the street dogs and cats -

More updates to come as we progress. I believe good things will happen.

Thank you.

May 13, 2008

Mama Rock returns just this morning

Thank you for your enquiries, suggestions and good prayers. Mama Rock reappears at the farm this morning 6plus, after a night of worrying.

Our girl didn't just saunter back to farm after a surprise disappearance or venture into the woods, but was returned by the very person who took her away, after our caregiver pressed the people at the farm for it. She took the pain to call the family every hour last night, combing the farm area, asking around all on her own until midnight, and finally, whoever did it relented after enormous pressure put by our elderly caregiver.

This is not a simple lost/found case, but our hunch says it is foul play. If you remember Sparky, the corgi, Mama Rock's mysterious disappearance and almost calibrated reappearance, bear traces to Sparky's episode.

We have withdrawn all appeals made to the various authorities and organisations. SPCA rang me up first thing in the morning and shared my joy in the good news that she's returned. Great thanks to your collective support from far and wide of the island, no matter what.

If you'd extended Mama Rock's appeal elsewhere, would you be so kind to withdraw them as well, please? Very sorry for the extra effort, but right now, nothing beats the relief of our dog appropriately returned to the place she has called home all this while. A dog supported by the public, a dog who's given value in an almost 'non-existent', neglected street dogs scene.

Where street dogs are plentiful and hard to nab for sterilisation, we are always caught between a rock and a hard place, having to hope for the farm people's tolerance to these dogs, depend on them, and at the same time, doing what's right in the name of justice. One could lodge a complaint about a neighbour's barkish dog, but things at the farm are, well...never so simple. Never so symmetric.

THANK YOU. Mama Rock's return is a true blessing.

Mama Rock - missing

As of 6plus in the evening, May 12, Mama Rock has gone missing. We suspect she's been deliberately taken away, as she's a very friendly dog and she roamed the community, being the resident dog of the vicinity.

Mama Rock is a five-year old female, sterilised, microchipped (No. 702198100000972) and has some Rottweiler genes. She looks like a smaller Rottweiler, although she is not completely one.

We really hope to find her, as she's been our sweet-natured dog among the many that the caregiver manages. With support/funds from the public, Mama Rock has escaped culling efforts and survived the ill treatment from her previous home, before she was rescued. She belongs very much to the public who have reached out to her. She is not nobody's dog.

Be it online forums, lost/found websites, or email forwarding, we appeal to you to help circulate this message and gratefully appreciate any clue that could lead to her location. Thank you.

May 12, 2008

Our farm dogs - updates

Things have somewhat mellowed over at the farm. So far, no complaints and no news of the authorities heading down to cull our ultra friendly pack. The last time they went down, the men arrived in two vans, sets of wires and nooses, fully equipped to return to their stations with our captured dogs. I dread to imagine that.

The farm is going through a great deal of 'reorganisations'. While we have pacified tempers and softened tensions, we still hope that the people who live and work there will treat our dogs as part of the picture. For the dogs are the ones who ward off strangers, alert the residents and offer a good sense of protection to those who are okay with the dogs.

Seeing each of them greeting the caregiver with so much eager as she drives into the plot... it warms my heart. While the workers load goods onto the trucks, our dogs sometimes leap on it to 'kaypoh' in all the action. They scamper around, challenging a few newcomer dogs with mischief.

Until certain things are firmed up, we can only set contingency plans, in case these dogs are to be removed completely.

Sorry if I tend to romanticize our pack, but it's only natural to associate them with doses of sentimentalities. In the few years we've known the family, we got to know much about LOVE, innocence and pack cohesion -- these dogs have taught us much.

Surrounding the caregiver, as we went around to bond with the pack

The brothers confronting newcomer, black/tan Jimmy in the background. Jimmy is recently brought there with his owner who's moved here to work

Let's carry this hope for our dogs, and continue in the education to others that dogs, even street dogs, shouldn't be feared, but respected as part our environment.

May 11, 2008

Wang Wang, Alaskan Malamute

This is an overdue post of Wang Wang, an Alaskan Malamute seeking an adoptive family who knows the kind of care needed for a huge, nordic breed in the context of Singapore.

Hope comes in the way of this lovely girl.

"The dog has always been in the petshop since young, the old couple who take cares of her does not know how to take care of this special dog and so she is not in a tip top condition. After a few attempts to persuade them, they have decided to give her up for adoption."

Breed: Alaskan Malamute
Name: Wang Wang
Age: coming to 4 yrs old
Gender: Female
Spayed/Neutered: No
Reason for Being Given Up: Personal Reasons
Good with Children: No info
Good with Dogs: Aggressive towards small dogs
Good with other animals: Good with male dogs and dogs about her size.
Dog's Temperament: Friendly towards humans, love to be sayang, can spend the day laying in her fav corner slp through the day.
Dog's Problems: Aggressive towards small dogs.

Ideal Owner: Someone who knws the breed well, can bring her out to social more and for walks or runs. She will need space to regain the active side of her.
Ideal Home: Landed or Condo

Other information: Wang Wang she has been staying in the petshop since a pup, she will need time to adapt to a new environment. She is out door trained. Prospective owners who already have dogs, will suggest to bring ur dog to see if she will be ok w the present dog.

Member putting up this adoption notice: Friend of the petshop owner.
Contact: 9826-9621
Adoption Fee: None
Note: New owner MUST spay/neuter dog after successful adoption, I will personally try to follow up.

Sometimes, I wonder if

I'd bitten off more than I could chew.

May 10, 2008

Today, Lucky will be

cremated. Cremation and transport fees to be paid for by the company that licensed him and endorsed his short existence in a space where boundaries have been drawn up by humans, "rules" and "regulations" imposed by humans ourselves... whether a dog can be in/out of the space prescribed by humans, or whether he carries a number inscribed on his body, to legitimize his existence.

Ah Girl is left alone now at the compound. Her children have been adopted to two different locations.

On Shin's end, our once-deprived husky is on the good road of recovery and here are updates provided by SB:

Faces of Shin - now

Shin - at time of rescue

"He has shown remarkable improvement. He has put on some weight, the furball at the back of his body has dropped off. The fur around his neck is starting to grow. Most importantly, he has the freedom to explore the surroundings and smell the fragrance of trees, plants and be in contact with people. Attached are latest pictures of Shin."

Also, just communicated with SB briefly yesterday. Foster mum actually wanted to let Shin access indoors but our boy peed around the place, so well (nevermind), he's still outside (but sheltered well) with the rest of her rescued victims.

At the same time, Shin is looking for an owner now, so if you have any truly reliable contact who'd like Shin as a family/home companion forever, and who knows how to take care of a nordic breed in Singapore's warm climate, and most important of all, has the heart to care and love him... do let us know.

We underscore the importance of reliability because we've met too many cases of irresponsibility to cast my faith out blindly. Let's all be more careful.


We just got news that Lucky, Ah Girl's son, was knocked down by a car a few hours ago. A hit-and-run incident.

All Uncle (the security guard) heard was a tremendously loud bang and when he rushed to him, Lucky had coughed a great amount of blood. Ah Girl and Lucky were let out of the compound, and ventured to the road--the main road just right outside the premise where they're legally licensed and taken care of.

Ah Girl let out three bursts of cries when she found her son dead, and I guess no one can be more saddened by the passing of a loved one right before your very eyes. This also goes further to show that animals, however elusive from the urban mainstream, are sentient beings. And maybe even more so than humans.

We are contacting dog transport and burial/cremation services to handle Lucky's body. Let's see what happens tomorrow morning.

God bless Lucky's soul.

Lucky, a few months ago