Contribute Positively To Animal Welfare
If you are concerned about animals and their welfare, you can play a part by not contributing to the stray population.
• Pet Abandonment: Keeping a pet is a lifelong commitment. Think very carefully before getting a pet. Owners should never abandon their pets under any circumstances. It is cruel to throw away a pet that does not know how to take care of itself. If you must give up a pet, try rehoming them first. Surrender them to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) or AVA as a last resort.
• Indiscriminate Breeding: Do not breed your pets indiscriminately as there are already many pets looking for homes.
• Casual Ownership: An owned pet is one that is kept indoors. Do not encourage stray cats to come up to your house. Allowing your cat to go outside to urinate and defecate is very inconsiderate to your neighbours.
The above actions bring problems to the community and cause suffering to the animals. Simply removing the animals without addressing these irresponsible behaviour will not solve the problems.
• Sterilisation: Sterilisation, also known as neutering, is a well-established and reliable method of preventing unwanted pets. It is a routine surgical procedure to remove the reproductive organs of animals. Sterilisation is likely to make pets less aggressive and may minimise many anti-social behaviours like marking of territory, biting and mating calls.
• Adoption: Adopting a rescued animal also saves a life and helps reduce the stray population. Animal welfare groups have many rescued animals that need a home. They can also offer advice and information to help guide and support adopters. Contacts and links to more information about the animal welfare groups can be found here.
In many estates, the Town Councils and AVA are working with animal welfare groups and concerned citizens to ensure that the stray population is controlled and managed. For example, AVA is working with animal welfare groups on the re-homing of stray dogs. Impounded dogs that are assessed by AVA to be suitable in terms of health and temperament will be handed to animal welfare groups for re-homing. Those deemed unsuitable will be humanely put down.
In addition, sterilisation is recognised as one of the important pillars in stray cat control. The Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme (SCSP) is available across all public housing estates. Under it, volunteers who take strays from HDB estates to selected veterinary clinics will not have to pay a cent to get them sterilised and micro-chipped. The AVA funds half of the costs, while the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) or Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) funds the rest. There are also groups sterilising stray dogs such as Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), Animal Lovers League (ALL), Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS), Exclusively Mongrels (EM), Mercylight (ML), Noah’s Ark CARES (NAC) and SOSD Singapore. These programmes combined have made a difference in stray numbers and your help can make more of a difference.
Stray or lost?
If you find a dog and suspect it is owned, bring it to a vet clinic or AVA to scan for a microchip. If there is a microchip present, AVA will be able to check its database for owner details and inform the owner.
If you find a cat that is scared and generally not street savvy, it could be a lost or abandoned cat.
You can post lost animal notices by writing to animal welfare groups to see if they can help connect to the owner who may be frantically looking for his/her pet.
Owners should ensure that they do not subject animals to cruelty or permit cruelty to be inflicted on their pets. Cruelty to animals include:
• Cruelly beating, kicking, ill-treating, torturing, infuriating or terrifying us
• Neglecting to supply animals in confinement with sufficient food and water
• Causing or permitting unnecessary pain or suffering to us
Abandonment is also an act of cruelty to animals, as abandoned pets are unable to take care of themselves and often suffer from accidents, abuse, fights with other stray animals, illnesses, etc.
Not allowing your pets to wander outdoors can prevent abuse to your pets.
Anyone found guilty of animal cruelty, or pet abandonment, can be fined up to $10,000 and/or -sent to jail for up to 12 months.
Talk to your neighbours!