Category Archives: Dogs

Foster Mum’s Homeseeker: Kanly, lovely doggy needs a home

Kanly-Dog_Foster_20090404_013_DSC_0152x

Kanly is a 8 month old black female puppy, medium-large size. She is sterilised and seeking a permanent home.

Kanly-Dog_20090404_001_DSC_0145x

Temperament: Friendly, trusting, affectionate, and calm. Does not bark. Shy with men.

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Kanly seems ok with cats. The orange blob in the lower right is Yo-yo aka Bonnie, a female ginger kitty in the cattery.

Her Story

Kanly was picked up of the streets as a young pup  5-6 months ago by a young brother and sister pair. She lived in a HDB flat happily, and without problems as she does not bark.

However, as she grew and grew, her family’s neighbours decided they would not tolerate her presence and made a complaint to HDB. Of course, the ultimatum was issued to her young owners. The kids were distraught but luckily, they were able to seek help. Kanly was rescued by Noah’s Ark and is now being fostered by Foster Mum.

Kanly is a victim of the same draconian HDB pet rules that threaten cats. As such, she cannot be rehomed to someone living in HDB.

ENQUIRIES: ADOPTION AND PROCEDURE
Please email sephycat@gmail.com with the following:

  • your name
  • contact
  • a summary of your background and experience with dogs

Serious adopters only, please. All info will be treated in confidence and forwarded to Kanly’s guardian.

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Today 20090326: A little compassion will help pet owners

Another follow-up to TODAY 20090316: Rise in lost dogs, despite laws. This was sent in by a friend. She’s a dog-owner who also does TNRM. It is a bloody shame that her comments on the cat stats in the report were all taken out. I’m appending her original letter after the printed version for reference.

But before reading the letters, here’s an idea: after reading it, please follow the letter link on today online and post comments there. Do the same for the other letter, which is online only. Maybe we’ll get more some visibility about the facts behind the stats in the print version.

Today Online Voices Logo

A little compassion will help pet owners

Thursday • March 26, 2009

Letter from Lilian Teo

I REFER to “Rise in lost dogs, despite laws” (March 16).

The Housing and Development Board only allows one dog per flat from a list of small-sized dog breeds. The abandoned dogs reported by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals may have been owned by those who have had to downgrade from private property to public housing.

Also, large dogs may have been bought before the change in rules, and their owners feared running afoul of the law. For them abandoning their pet was the answer.

Exceptions should be made for such cases where the dog is not a dangerous breed.

Part of the problem is that behavioural training is not mandatory. Most dogs require instruction in how to behave around people.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority should legislate behaviour training for dogs and make it compulsory for pet shops to counsel dog buyers to send their pets for training. This is so as to reduce the number of dogs abandoned for being unmanageable.

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

Here’s the original version:

Subject: Response to “Rise in lost dogs, despite laws” (Mar 16)
To: news@newstoday.com.sg; cheekong@mediacorp.com.sg

Dear Editor and Mr Loh,
This report gives me mixed feelings as I am a dog lover who also manages the community cat population in my neighbourhood.

I believe the reason why the tighter dog-licence rules are proving ineffective is due to these rules being out of synch with the aspirations of the modern Singaporean who wants to have pets.

HDB only allows 1 dog per flat from an approved list of small-sized dog breeds. The abandoned dogs reported by SPCA may be former HDB pets or pet dogs whose owners have had to downgrade from private property to public housing and got hit by this rule. Also, large dogs may have been bought before the new licencing rules, and had owners who fear running afoul of regulations. For them abandoning their pets was the answer.

Therefore AVA and HDB should show compassion and empathy, and make exceptions for such cases where the dog does not come from a dangerous breed.

I also feel that part of the problem is that behavioral training is not mandated. Despite their image as obedient animals who are eager to please their human masters, most dogs do require “schooling” in order to know how to behave among people. The AVA should legislate behavior training for dogs and make it compulsory for pet shops to counsel dog buyers to send their newly bought pets for training to reduce the potential of dogs being abandoned for being unmanageable.

While I do not need the statistics for cats to confirm the success of my Trap-Neuter-Release Management (TNRM) programme, which is self-financed, it is good to see formal statistics affirming TNRM at the national level.

TNRM is both humane and effective. It will be even more successful if our leaders and the government agencies they run acknowledge this fact and support sterilisation instead of removal and culling, which is ineffective in managing cat issues. For example, Town Councils instinctively round up cats without first verifying the validity and true cause of cat-related complaints, leaving TNRM managers like me to sterilise the new cats that appear because of the vacuum effect.

HDB’s cat ban also causes problems: how can cat owners be made aware of their duty to be responsible if their pet cats are “illegal”?

Obviously, Singapore ’s pet rules have much room for improvement.

TODAY Online 20090323: Pet issues can’t be legislated away

A follow-up to TODAY 20090316: Rise in lost dogs, despite laws. (Links and emphasis mine)

Today Online Voices Logo
Online Only – Pet issues can’t be legislated away
04:16 PM March 23, 2009
Letter from Goh Boon Choo

I refer to “Rise in lost dogs, despite laws” (Mar 16).The dog abandonment statistics released by the SPCA is alarming but not unexpected. When the tighter dog licence rules came into effect on 1 Sep 07, there was an immediate increase in large dogs being abandoned. I wrote a commentary on Singapore’s pet issues for TODAY, “Pet project: Let’s work together”, which was published on 7 Nov 07.

The SPCA statistics show the situation for dogs, and to a large extent cats, has not changed since then. 85 per cent of Singaporeans and Singapore residents stay in HDB flats, where only certain breeds of dogs are allowed, determined by size when temperament should be the determining factor.

HDB also categorically bans cats as pets even though animal experts and the AVA have said sterilised cats make perfect flat pets. Though HDB’s ban applies only to flat interiors, the Town Councils took it upon themselves to extend it to the streets.

Most cats surrendered to the SPCA are homeless, or community cats. That the number of cats it receives has dropped to 300 from 500 monthly is concrete testament to the success of efforts by residents who sterilise, stabilise and manage their neighbourhood’s community cat population. This is TNRM: trap-neuter-return-management. It is humane and effective, compared to the AVA and Town Councils’ penchant for cat killing.

In Singapore, TNRM is commonly self-funded. I am one such Singaporean and I have been running TNRM for 3 areas in my estate for 10 years.

However, TNRM programmes are still not recognised by Town Councils, nor even some of our Members of Parliament as active citizenry, organic community building at its best. In fact, successful TNRM programmes are sometimes undermined by Town Councils’ enthusiasm to respond to all manner of cat-related complaints by rounding up every cat in sight to be killed at the AVA, without even investigating the root cause. It is a vicious cycle as the removals create a vacuum effect, leaving the neighbourhood open for new, often unsterilised, cats to take over. Resident volunteers like myself have to sterilise the new cats if we don’t want to see our TNRM programmes down the drain.

Despite more than 2 decades of cat culling, new cats keep appearing. Town Councils and the AVA need to address the pertinent question: where are our community cats coming from?

Out of Singapore homes, just like the abandoned pet dogs.

With changing demographics, Singaporeans’ needs and wants for a cuddly pet will continue to evolve and grow, ban or no ban.

The Singapore Government needs to recognise pet issues, like every other problem, cannot be legislated out of existence. The key is in acknowledging that people want to keep pets, that cats and dogs are very popular pet choices regardless of what type of residence they live in, and to manage the situation accordingly.

TODAY 20090316: Rise in lost dogs, despite laws

[EDIT 20090324]

Follow-up chronology:


A fallout of the tighter dog licencing rules that didn’t give due consideration of the actual situation. I am surprised though that the impact is still so acute since the rule changes were effected in 2007. Perhaps economics was also a factor. It is great to know less cats are being sent in, but it is sad that the situation for dogs has deteriorated.

Here’s what Dawn said about it.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Less cats sent in, more dogs

Thanks eslina for sending this in! The good news – the number of cats surrendered to the SPCA seems to have dropped. 600 less cats are coming through their doors, according to the article. It is fantastic to think TNRM is having an effect.

The bad news – that more dogs are being surrendered. I think most people involved in animal welfare were to the contrary, worried about dogs being dumped once the new rules on licensing came into effect. Once the penalties are greater, the irresponsible owners are more likely to get rid of the dogs, not to license them.

Click on the title to read the comments there.

And here’s the article


Rise in lost dogs, despite laws

Monday • March 16, 2009

LOH CHEE KONG

cheekong@mediacorp.com.sg

DESPITE recent laws making it compulsory for dogs to be licensed and implanted with microchips,the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) received more lost dogs last year, even as the population of stray cats appears to be under control.

The ruling, which animal activists hoped would discourage pet dumping, took effect in September 2007. But it did not stop the SPCA from receiving 1,162 lost dogs last year, a marginal increase as compared to 2007, according to its latest statistics.

Last week the SPCA said in a press statement that most of the lost dogs were “pedigree or pedigree crosses and the majority had no microchip or identification”. Only just over a third was claimed by their owners.

The dumping of such dogs — a concern the SPCA had flagged last year — continue unabated, with 1,550 purebreds received. Mindful that some could have been lost pets, the SPCA reminds owners to microchip their dogs at veterinary clinics.

“More importantly, they must license their dogs with the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority for the microchip to be effective,” it said. Jack Russell Terriers, Maltese and Golden Retrievers were some common breeds surrendered or abandoned, as well as a “considerable number” of Huskies.

The Society receives around 700 animals each month, with only two out of every 10 possibly finding new homes. The good news is that the number of cats coming through its doors has dropped by 13 per cent — or 600 cats — year-on-year. The average number of cats taken in each month has also fallen from 500 to 300.

Such a “significant change” was likely due to more stray cats being sterilised, the SPCA said.

Since 1991, the SPCA has implemented a free voucher scheme under which it pays for the sterilisation of neighbourhood cats brought by volunteer caregivers to participating veterinary clinics. More than 2,000 vouchers were distributed last year.

“Although the demand for vouchers always exceeds the supply, many community cats are being sterilised, which ultimately means the number of births should decline,” the SPCA said.

Copyright MediaCorp Press Ltd. All rights reserved.

NYT 20081017: In Hard Times for Humans, Hardships for Pets, Too

The ongoing crisis is causing hardships for all but really, when abandonment is rampant in good times, leading to an annual cat and dog kill rate of 21,000 in Singapore, what more can we expect when poo hits the fan and people have difficulties with money? As a reminder that pets are not ornaments or possessions but members of the family, I quote the closing section of this New York Times article:

But some people may find that as their savings evaporate, their need for companionship may grow stronger. This weekend at Madison Square Garden, the Mayor’s Alliance for NYC’s Animals will be holding its annual Adopt-a-Cat day, with hundreds of cats and kittens looking for new homes. Prospective owners can fill out a survey that will color-code their personalities to match with available animals.

On average, a cat costs $1,000 a year to maintain, compared with about $1,500 a year for a dog, Ms. Levine said. Having a pet can bring healthy returns, especially during bear markets.

“They comfort us; they don’t care if your 401(k) lost money today,” Ms. Saul of Petfinder.com said. “They’re one of the few people in the family who are not going to be stressed out about what you did with your money.”

(Click here to read full article)

NYTimes 20080401: A Push to Stop Swiss Cats From Being Turned Into Coats and Hats

Just to balance the sheets a little, fashionistas are as culpable as gourmands when it comes to killing cats and dogs:

Lucerne Journal
A Push to Stop Swiss Cats From Being Turned Into Coats and Hats

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Nicolas Righetti for The New York Times

Tomi Tomek at her home, a 260-cat shelter, in Noiraigue, Switzerland.

By STEVE FRIESS
Published: April 1, 2008

LUCERNE, Switzerland — Had just one of her cats disappeared last October, Isabelle Nydegger would simply have assumed it had lost its way in the nearby forest or been attacked by a dog or wild animal.

But first Zeus, a 2-year-old black tabby, vanished. A few days later it was her 2-year-old black and white tabby, Zorra. And, finally, the prize of her brood, 4-year-old Merlin, a fluffy white Siberian whose perky visage remains in her mobile phone six months later. All were gone within the first couple of weeks of the fall hunting season.

The cats, Mrs. Nydegger and others are convinced, were shot by hunters near this central Swiss city and sold to tanners for their fur, which is used in garments and blankets in the last western European nation where such a trade is still legal.

Legal, that is, but increasingly stigmatized — and soon Switzerland is likely to outlaw the practice.

That the first country to outlaw it, Italy, did so only six years ago reflects the long European history with cat fur and how quickly the public has soured on its use in the face of an international campaign to redefine a centuries-old practice borrowed from traditional Chinese medicine.

While it is legal in Switzerland to shoot feral cats as well as domestic ones that stray more than 200 yards from their homes, it is not clear how many cats are hunted every year here and across the border in France, where residents have also complained about disappearing felines. One government official put the number at a couple of dozen. Luc Barthassat, a legislator with the Christian Democratic People’s Party, said about 2,000, but members of S O S Chats, an advocacy group, say tens of thousands are killed.

Estimates of the value of each pelt vary wildly. Mr. Barthassat said he had been told by tanners that they pay only about $5. But animal rights advocates say that hunters make much more than that, noting that some blankets made from 10 pelts sell at retail for more than $1,700.

But the numbers almost seemed beside the fact this fall, after a series of TV reports created a public furor. Three TV news crews from Switzerland and France conducted hidden-camera investigations that caught tanners who had officially denied trading in cat fur actively doing so and, in at least one case, explaining that cat meat was also available.

Soon S O S Chats had collected more than 123,000 signatures urging the government to ban the practice. Brigitte Bardot and Michael Schumacher, the popular Formula One driver, signed the petition, as did leaders of animal-rights groups around the world.

“This is probably the most popular subject we are dealing with this year,” said Mr. Barthassat, who has introduced a bill that would ban the import, export and domestic commercial trade in cat fur. “By this summer, it will be resolved. It is very personal for many people because cats are more than animals to us.”

Regardless of how common it is, news media reports over the past year across Europe portraying Switzerland as a cat-slaying haven have helped S O S Chats press its case. “The politicians must be careful what they say, but that they are helping us is a good thing,” said Tomi Tomek, the director of S O S Chats, who has lived since 1981 at a 260-cat shelter nestled in the rugged western Swiss mountains near Neuchâtel. “All of this publicity has driven the trade underground, and that is good, too.”

The matter would most likely have reached the Swiss Parliament in some form this year regardless of the activism and publicity because the European Union has required member states to prohibit the import and export of cat fur by the end of 2008 anyway. Switzerland is not a member of the Union but does have treaties that require it to adhere to many of its rules on trade matters. Mr. Barthassat’s effort to end the domestic trade, however, is a step beyond the European Union’s demands.

Ms. Tomek said her organization had spent a decade trying to bring attention to the use of cat fur and the theft of domestic cats. She said one of the biggest problems her group faced was to convince people that there really was a trade in cat fur.

“For a long time, nobody believed us because we had no proof,” she said. “We would call up the tanners and tell them who we were and ask them, and they would never admit they did this. Then we started just pretending we wanted to order some cat fur, and they sold to us. Now we are not seen as liars anymore.”

Armed with a thicket of receipts showing purchases by S O S Chats of cat fur garments as recently as last August, Ms. Tomek approached journalists from across Europe, persuading several to look into the matter.

Until she saw the news reports, Mrs. Nydegger herself dismissed Mrs. Tomek and others as radicals. But the loss of her third cat, Merlin, was particularly shocking because he was so loyal and well behaved, often taking walks with her and her dogs without a leash. That Merlin would have wandered off, she said, is “just completely impossible.”

No less than Christophe Darbellay, the president of Mr. Barthassat’s own party, has said he is alarmed by the growing international outrage over the trade in a Western European nation otherwise known for its high regard for animal welfare. The Swiss are a pet-loving people, more than 60 percent of whom have a dog or cat, he said. Companion animals are often seen sitting with owners in restaurants and on public transportation.

“Switzerland is becoming the place where the most cats are being killed for the import and commerce to sell the cat fur,” Mr. Darbellay said. “We don’t like to be seen this way.”

Friends or food? Cats and dogs tortured for Cantonese palette

What will it take to stop East Asians, especially the citizens in the Chinese province of Guangdong eating dog/cat meat? Especially when even the Olympics warrants a clean-up, Chinese style where Beijing 2008 propagate death camp for cats and dogs.

But it seems there is hope. From animalsasia:

If you want to help, write a polite letter to your local Chinese embassy (www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/) explaining your concerns, and the urgent need for legislation to protect dogs, cats and other animals from this kind of horrific treatment. The Chinese authorities must be made to realise that these kinds of practices reflect badly on China and her people on the international stage. Also, please consider helping by donating to Animals Asia’s Friends….or Food? campaign.

For more info – Cats:

Cats in China are on the menu, and in the media

Recent increase in media reports and public outrage at horrific trade

Cats bound for the Guangdong catmeat market
Stacked on top of each other in horrific conditions, cats await sale in a Guangzhou market.

The struggle to end dog and cat eating in China, and the horrific cruelty associated with the trade, was a major reason for the formation of Animals Asia 10 years ago. Through our Friends….or Food? campaign, this issue remains very much at the core of our work.

Recent reports in the Chinese media have once again focused attention on this barbaric practice. The Southern Metropolis Daily newspaper, based in the southern city of Guangzhou in Guangdong province (the centre of dog and cat eating in China), reported on 17 December that a group of traffickers had shipped around 1,500 live cats from Jiangsu province into Guangdong, for sale to restaurants in cities there, and that thousands more were being transported every day.

Con’t reading…

Dogs:

New year brings hope for Chinese dogs
Animals Asia helps save 149 dogs from illegal meat trader

Animals Asia Foundation is funding the rescue of 149 dogs from an illegal trader in Sichuan province. The dogs, crammed together in tiny cages, had been bound for a meat market in the southern city of Guangzhou, China’s dog-eating capital.

The dogs were confiscated from the trading station in Pengzhou, 30 kilometres north of Chengdu, by the local Animal Husbandry Bureau after it discovered the trader was operating without a licence. The officials were notified of the situation by Mr Qiao Wei, the operator of Qiming Rescue Centre in Chengdu, who had received a tip-off about the dogs.All 149 dogs were taken to the rescue centre yesterday (31 December) and released into the quarantine area.
A truck containing cages crammed with petrified dogs arrives at Qi Ming rescue centre.

Animals Asia’s Founder and CEO, Jill Robinson, along with a team from the foundation’s Moon Bear Rescue centre in Chengdu, including Education Manager Rainbow Zhu, vet Leanne Clark and vet nurse Emily Gorman, were at the shelter when the dogs arrived.

“The dogs were in an appalling condition, many of them very thin and clearly in shock,” Ms Robinson said. “I hate to think how long they had been in those cages, many of them packed in so tightly that they were piled on top of each other. We heard terrible screams coming from some of the cages, where terrified dogs were biting each other.”


A terrified dog waits to be released.

She said many of the dogs were wearing collars and were possibly stolen pets; some were pure-breeds, including two dalmatians and a chocolate labrador; others had been collected as strays from the streets. She appealed to families in Pengzhou that had lost their dogs to contact the rescue centre.

Con’t reading…

Once again:

If you want to help, write a polite letter to your local Chinese embassy (www.travelchinaguide.com/embassy/) explaining your concerns, and the urgent need for legislation to protect dogs, cats and other animals from this kind of horrific treatment. The Chinese authorities must be made to realise that these kinds of practices reflect badly on China and her people on the international stage. Also, please consider helping by donating to Animals Asia’s Friends….or Food? campaign.