May 20, 2010

Spotty and her puppies

Yesterday, 6 hours spent on the road with the six dogs that were the target of culling bodies. We received an appeal from a stray caregiver that she needs help, and yesterday for the first time after many online correspondences, ventured into one of the spots of the remaining wildernesss of Singapore. What greeted us was actually a nice place, a heaven on earth for the dogs. The quiet of nature, the vastness of space, bushes, a hut and an enclosure to keep the dogs from running into neighbouring premises.

We targeted to bring about 3 dogs to the vet's, but the Kangoo could fit in more, so we took 6 of them all at one go -- Spotty and her timid but friendly kids. At the clinic, the dogs were verified sterilised, dewormed, vaccinated and microchipped -- the latter in compliance with statutory prescriptions.

5 young dogs, over one year old. They are all sweet-natured Spotty's children. Disgruntled, they waited for their turn at the vet's after what must have been their first horror of a car ride. And they resorted to lying low on the floor to cope with all the stress; shut themselves from the rest of the hubbub. Occasionally, they wagged their tails or inched to sniff at the caregiver discreetly, their pack leader, when she approached to pat them. We could tell these beautiful dogs are very fond of their caregiver.

Save for one sturdy male, the rest of Spotty's offsprings are females. Thankfully, all are sterilised to prevent multiplication of stray numbers. The caregiver made it a point to have all of them sterilised.

That's spotty on the extreme left of the photo. She sayangs the white dog the most and would mouth into his ear to clean out the dirt, dropping fat grey ticks on the floor in the process. Motherly grooming. Whoever adamantly believes dogs are without emotions is gravely miseducated.

Waiting for their turn. We brought them into the doctor's room one by one to have their surgical markings verified. No frills, not much of a struggle with any of the dogs. They were really very obedient, considering they are not home pets.

In the back of the vehicle. Nary a car sickness. While her kids cowered and curled up on the floor, Spotty kept standing, like a mother watching over her kids. I took the opportunity to spray Accurate on them and ticks (dead ones, fat ones, shrivelled ones and baby ones) dropped like flies. On one of the dogs that weighs only slightly over 12kg, there were so many ticks lining inside and outside her ears that if you were to run your fingers across, you could feel a deliberate "texture" on them. Absolutely gross. Parasites.

The leashes criss-crossed as the dogs moved frantically about in the car. That's Spotty's side profile.

A male dog that's been skinny for a long while even though he eats a lot. Newcomer to the community. We'll need to get him castrated as well, lest he roams and mates with unspayed females.
This case is one out of the many we encounter in our collective attempt to keep the stray numbers at bay. Like many caregivers, we receive no government or organisational funding to help the street animals, and many times, depend on individual donors and friends to support our work. While the existing number of dogs needs to be controlled, the same should be done at the side of imports and breeders. For now, we'll focus on what we can do, as there is nary a statutory application of animal welfare laws that effectively CURTAILS the unnecessary imports, breeding and sales of dogs. The key here is effectiveness and sadly, we have yet to see what that can be done, done effectively here.

The total bill for yesterday's expenditure is over $500. And there'll be more to incur with sterilisation of the strays in the area, if you'd like to contribute, kindly email projectjkteam[at]yahoo[dot]com[dot]sg. Receipts will follow.

Thank you.