Show tolerance to community animals: SPCA

Show tolerance to community animals: SPCA

I refer to the letters by Dr George Wong Seow Choon ("Concerted effort needed to tackle rat problem"; Monday) and Ms Dipa Swaminathan ("Dog feeders just showing they care"; Forum Online, Monday).

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is heartened to note the genuine care that many well-intentioned dog feeders exhibit.

We dispute the notion that community dogs are ultimately responsible for the rodent infestation in Bukit Batok, and thus disagree with Dr Wong's suggestion for the SPCA and Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority to "trap and remove all the stray dogs in the area".

We must recognise that the community dogs have no place to go. While the SPCA and other animal welfare groups have tried their best to house the dogs, they face space and resource constraints.

For the record, the SPCA does not round up healthy animals from the streets, unless they are injured, ill or distressed.

Often, members of the public have been observed casually feeding the dogs without cleaning up the leftover food.

There is already a core group of community feeders and caregivers tending to the dogs' basic nutritional needs and care, and they would be happy to help in resolving any issues concerning the dogs.

Community animals are part of our living environment. The only homes many of them have known are the streets and housing estates that they have lived in all this while. Removing them could create a void that would be filled by another group sooner or later.

In the light of this issue, which has understandably brought differing viewpoints to the fore, the SPCA asks for tolerance with regard to community animals that share the environment with us. A little more empathy would go a long way.

Corinne Fong (Ms)

Executive Director

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, Singapore

This article was first published on December 27, 2014.
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