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My Paper

Moving Beyond “Animal Friendliness”

Fewer animals have been abandoned and more adopted over the last five years at the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), which runs the largest animal shelter here” (Singaporeans More Animal Friendly, Miss Sia Ling Xin).

I refer to the article, “Singaporeans More Animal Friendly” (October 5, 2009), by Miss Sia Ling Xin.

It is indeed heartening to hear that more pet-owners are taking proper ownership of their pets, and that more are moving to adopt them.The SPCA, indeed, deserves a great deal of credit for their active involvement in developing the culture of “animal-friendliness”. Whilst doing a wonderful job of maintaining the shelter, the campaigns and media advertisements – advising individuals to be prudent and considered before getting a pet – have been effective in both delivery and presentation.

From companionship for the elderly to the instillation of responsibility within the younger ones; pets do present a multitude of benefits for owners. Therefore, an equilibrium can be struck between the encouragement of pet-adoption and the need for the future pet-owners to be cognisant of their duties to the pet. Furthermore, since parents are often cajoled by their children to purchase pets for the family, future campaigns can be more audience-specific to educate about the commitments entrusted upon the owner. A “step-up” approach can be employed, such that the kid starts from a smaller animal that is easier to manage, before the parent decides if he or she is ready to take care of a physically-larger pet in the future.

It would also be positive if the SPCA could continue working with the AVA and various pet-shops to highlight the importance of pet-care, and provide caveats on acts that might be detrimental to the animal. There should be the assurance that pet-owners should be informed and aware of the characteristics of their pets – such as how dogs cannot ingest grapes and chocolates – so that the health and well-being of the animals are maintained and assured.

The eventual message would ultimately be that pet-owners must realise that taking care of a pet is a long-term commitment; with the providence of not just shelter and food, but love, care and concern. Only then would the relationship be reciprocal.

A version of this article was published in My Paper.

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About guanyinmiao

A man of knowledge lives by acting, not by thinking about acting. Carlos Castaneda.

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