All-purpose new home for SPCA

SINGAPORE - An animal-therapy pool, a full-service clinic and more space for dogs to run around.

These are among the additional features the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) will house at its new Sungei Tengah premises when it moves there by the end of next year.

The 7,766 sq m site will be more than three times the size of its current location in Mount Vernon, which is approximately 2,200 sq m.

In an e-mail interview yesterday with My Paper, SPCA executive director Corinne Fong said that there are plans for a full-service clinic, which may be undertaken by the shelter's current private-practice vet.

She said that in the new site, the SPCA will be able to house twice as many animals - cats, dogs, rabbits and other small animals - as the 180 currently under its care. However, she stressed that having a bigger compound does not equate to "throwing hygiene and disease control out of the window".

She said: "(The new premises) will be under strict codes of hygiene and (will) maintain proper animal husbandry to prevent transmission of diseases and infections."

She added that the society was "very relieved" to have been offered the new site in 2011, which will allow it to provide the animals with better care.

She explained that an expansion of its current facility had been "out of the question", because it is surrounded by land earmarked for residential development, with heavy construction already underway.

Ms Fong said: "Now, we have an opportunity to have an all-purpose shelter designed for our animals' comfort and care while they are with us."

SPCA's new home is designed by RichardHO Architects.

In a statement in February, the SPCA said that its new premises will boast features such as an education centre, where visitors can learn about animal-welfare issues, and a dedicated merchandise store.

It said that it will have an extensive water feature which will double as a reservoir and a filtration system to recycle rain water for washing kennels.

The 66-year-old charity is ramping up its fund-raising efforts to raise the $5.6 million needed to construct its new facility. Among its efforts are the Buy A Brick programme and a gala dinner to be held on Sept 28.

Members of the public can visit to donate to the SPCA's Buy A Brick programme.

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