Thursday, September 29, 2011
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
I was asked recently, as a medical doctor, to advise a woman who adopted two cats nine years ago, which have given her much joy and are both healthy. However, her allergy has worsened and her doctor recommended that she give up the cats.
A fortnight ago, I visited a patient in her home, where there was a Maltese dog that her son-in-law adopted two months ago from a couple who just had their first child. A doctor had advised the couple to give up the dog "or the health of the child will suffer".
Two years ago, I bought a Maltese dog from a family who kept it in a small playpen in the kitchen for four to five years because a general practitioner had blamed the dog for causing the runny nose of their first grandchild.
I wonder how many pets have been given up or confined to a small area on the advice of doctors and how many pets have ended up being euthanised or abandoned on the streets. There are ways to live with pets even if the allergies are confirmed.
There is also evidence - for instance, a study that tracked 474 babies and which was released in 2002 in the Journal of the American Medical Association - that babies who grow up with pets are healthier as far as allergies are concerned.
There are other psychological benefits for a child growing up with pets, such as developing a caring attitude towards others.
I hope my fellow doctors will be mindful of the repercussion of a "simple" advice that "the dog or cat is the cause of your child's asthma, eczema or rhinitis, so get rid of it".
Sunday, September 25, 2011
Saturday, September 24, 2011
Friday, September 23, 2011
Thursday, September 22, 2011
Wednesday, September 21, 2011
Tuesday, September 20, 2011
Monday, September 19, 2011
Saturday, September 17, 2011
Friday, September 16, 2011
The SPCA said most people do not realise that neglect is also a form of passive cruelty. One common trend of neglect is leaving dogs unattended in locked vehicles with the engine turned off, sometimes for up to two hours.
Said SPCA executive director Corrine Fong: "Most people believe that animal abuse means causing intentional harm or death to an animal, but many do not realise that neglect is a form of passive cruelty. Severe animal neglect can be painful and even fatal to a pet."
Some examples include failure to provide an animal with enough food and water, medical care and treatment, and adequate shelter from the sun and rain.
In many cases, passive cruelty stems from ignorance on the owners' part or done out of convenience, or the inability to manage the pet or an ignorance of proper pet care, noted Ms Fong.
Several animal groups - the Cat Welfare Society (CWS), Hope Dog Rescue (HDR) and Action of Singapore Dogs (ASD) - told Today that the uptrend in animal neglect is due to an increase of awareness in animal welfare and a correlating trend in the pet trade.
"More people are buying pets but aren't prepared to love the animal, and pet shops are in the business of closing a sale," said CWS vice-president Veron Lau.
ASD president Ricky Yeo told Today that social media and camera phones have made it "easier" for people to report abuses.
Mr Yeo, who mans ASD's hotline, also noted that the welfare group has received more calls from people reporting abuse compared to the past.
Another reason for the increased incidence of neglect is that veterinary bills are "expensive and have gone up", and lifestyle change, said HRD founder Fiona Foo.
"I rescued a Schnauzer in a tiny cage, placed in a toilet for six months and was hardly fed. The owner neglected his dog of two years after the arrival of his child," she said.
Ms Fong told Today that the SPCA's efforts to highlight animal abuse could have made people more aware of animal welfare, which in turn could have led to the association receiving more reports on neglect and abuse this year.
To raise awareness on animal neglect, the SPCA will be organising an outreach event on Sept 25 at East Coast Park.
Thursday, September 15, 2011
Wednesday, September 14, 2011
Tuesday, September 13, 2011
Sunday, September 11, 2011
Pet abandonment is an offence, during Ramadan 2011 120 cats were known and reported abandoned. Be a responsible pet owner do not abandon CWS does work with authorities to investigate and will push for a prosecution for people caught abandoning their cats
Saturday, September 10, 2011
Many people have the misconception that community cat feeding is an easy job, they just need to go around when they are free, feed cats and go home.
Many people have the misconception that community cat feeding is an easy job, they just need to go around when they are free, feed cats and go home. How many people actually realised the dedication, the sacrifice the community cat feeders have to go through?
When we started feeding the cats in NTU, there were just the few of us. However, the fast expanding cat population required us to open up quite a few feeding sites. Feeders often have to forgo their chance to meet up with friends in the evening, just so the kitties have their proper meals and not mess up the place or tear the place down. Evening is when most of their friends and family are free, yet they have to take out previous time to feed the cats. Furthermore, do you know that all cats have at least one internal clock in them? When the alarm rings, they would be waiting at their allocated site. Be late often and the cats could just disappear to find a new feeding site and you could lose the cat forever. You can only hope its new site has nothing which spell "A.V.A.".
Other than that, some cats can be elusive and come only at a very late time, causing feeders to wait for them. Feeders cannot come late for the elusive ones as the earlier cats would get real angry and start to harass passers-by and thus invite complains to Town Council. Leaving food at that place may not be conducive too as the ever industrious giant ants would be scavenging for food and cat food is one of their fave too.
Very often, a round of feeding would take an hour or two, including Saturday and Sunday. We would also take the opportunity to observe to see if any cat is injured or not feeling well and that would mean more time would be required to trap them to send for check up at the vet.
So in all, community cat feeding is not merely a past time but a full-time job which only the real cat lovers would undertake. Therefore, when you next see them, cheer them, thank them and not chide them. Respect them for their dedication and love for our feline friends. Thank you, community cat feeders.
Sunday, September 4, 2011
Saturday, September 3, 2011
Friday, September 2, 2011
By Micah Sulit, who joined the Cat Welfare Society in January 2011. Her growing love for animals, vegetarianism, and volunteer work in animal welfare all began with a community cat.
Whether you live in a private estate or a Housing Development Board (HDB) flat, you probably know of at least one “stray” cat in your area and sometimes more. At the Cat Welfare Society (CWS), we call them “community cats,” because they are part of our communities too. Love them or hate them, they are sentient beings that deserve tolerance and kindness in our neighbourhoods. That is what CWS volunteers, including scores of community cat caregivers all over Singapore, work hard to give them.