Dogs Are Not Toys!

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The last I counted, there were at least seven Jack Russell Terriers ranging from just 9 months to 12 years old which are available for adoption.  Some of them are currently in SPCA‘s custody whereas others are in foster homes.

Some common reasons excuses for giving up the dogs included the arrival of a new baby, moving to a new apartment which doesn’t allow pets and a lack of time, etc…  *Yawns* 

Pets are a lifelong commitment (their lives; not yours) so don’t get one on impulse only to regret it later.  Dogs, especially Jack Russells are NOT the dog for everyone.  They are like little tornados dressed in fur coats who leave behind a trail of destruction wherever they go.  If you are not prepared to be a doggy slave OR if you have a weak heart, please don’t get one at all! 

I can’t emphasize this enough! 

CUTE‘ – is the worst reason a person could ever come up with when he wants to own a dog.  Tell me frankly, which puppy isn’t cute? (okay, apart from the Chinese Crested Dog)

If you want to get pregnant within the next 15 years, don’t get a dog!  If you need to study/work/relocate overseas, don’t get a dog!  If you have a crappy mother-in-law, don’t get a dog!  If you have whiny neighbors, don’t get a dog! 

Why do I mention that?  It’s because, these are the most often used excuses given whenever a dog is being given up.

There may be only one reason when you decided that you want to own a dog but there could also be a hundred and one excuses to get rid of him when the reality of dog-keeping sinks in. 

So, what does dog-keeping means?  To me, it could mean the poo in the living room, the vomit under the table, the chewed up LV bag, half a dead lizard on your bed or even the humping on your guests’ legs.

By this time, you might realise that the dog isn’t that cute afterall…

Please understand that dogs are pack animals and they crave for attention.  So, don’t buy a dog home only to leave him all alone in the house!  A lonely dog left to his own devices is a destructive creative dog!  (refer to picture on the left)

Whilst you have your friends, your hobbies and your job, your dog only have you.  Your dog can’t go shopping at town with his friends or even play Maple Story on the computer! 

To you, he may be just a dog, but to him, you ARE his life, his everything

If you aren’t prepared to spend so much time with your dog, then don’t get one at all!

Don’t make him pay for YOUR mistake with HIS life!  It isn’t fair!

If you cannot take care of your dog anymore, please rehome him.  You owe him that! 

Don’t pass him to just anyone that comes along.  Conduct a proper screening against dubious characters and make sure that the new adopter doesn’t have any funny ideas in his head about breeding the dog or even reselling him off to make a quick buck!  Always sterilize your dog before handing him over to the new family.  It’s the least that you could do for him.

Do take your time to screen potential adopters but don’t wait till the last minute when you are about to give birth or board the plane before you starts to panic where to ‘dump’ him. 

Asking for a token of goodwill is okay but do not ask for $XXX amount of adoption fees.  That’s selling; not rehoming.  Recouping your losses shouldn’t be the priority on your mind right now.  Finding him a owner who could shower him with more love than you could provide should be the paramount issue here.

Things shouldn’t and wouldn’t have turn out this way IF you had bothered to do your homework first before getting a dog.

The reason is simple.  Not all dogs are the same.

Some breeds are bred to herd animals while some breeds are bred to guard.  Some breeds are bred to hunt and there are some breeds that are simply bred to warm your laps.  Different breeds have totally different temperements and you should choose one that fits into your lifestyle.

It’s akin to buying a car.  You don’t just go to a showroom and buy one simply because it’s ‘cute’?  You would have find out first if the car suits your needs?  Is your family able to fit in comfortably?  Is the boot big enough to stash your golf clubs?  Is the backseat spacious enough for you to make out? naughty_raise_brow 

But most importantly is, are you able to afford the car in the long run?

You may well be able to afford the initial cost of a car but it’s the day-to-day upkeep that is the killer!  Think about COE.  What about the road tax?  Season parking?  Maintenance?  Petrol?  Insurance?

What if the car kenna buang?  Changing a new windscreen costs money.  Changing a punctured tyre also need money.  Even covering that hairline scratch mark costs money too.  

Of course, that’s just a analogy I made but the rationale is the same.  The price you paid for the dog is just a small fraction of what you are really going to spent.  Doggy stuffs are not cheap, mind you.  You still have to pay for the license fees, food, toys, training aids, vaccinations, accessories, etc and when your dog falls sick, the consultation fees with the vet costs more than what I had pay my doctor for my common flu!

People often do not think hard enough when buying a pet but dogs are afterall living creatures.  When a car is damaged or old, we can still send it to the scrapyard but can we do the same to dogs?  Well, technically speaking, YES, you can but it’s just not right. 

I absolutely hated those owners who threatened that they would put their dog to sleep if nobody takes him in within a stipulated timeframe.  It’s not as if the dog is sick or suffering?  Just because the dogs have fallen from grace and that’s why they deserved to die?

Just what is the problem with these people?  It is a LIFE that we are talking about here!  Even an ant would instinctively know that it has to climb to a higher ground in order to survive a flood!

Let me reiterate once more.  Dogs are live, living creatures like you and me.  They breathe, eat, shit and make helluva noise (if you don’t already know by now). 

For the good of the dog and yourself, if you are unable to commit to a lifelong commitment, PLEASE DON’T GET A DOG!! 

Perhaps a Tamagotchi would have been better.

Atrocities of Men

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You think this is bad?


Think again.

You haven’t seen the worst yet.

What you are going to see, is every dog’s nightmare come true.  Severely emaciated with folds of skin covering the protruding ribs and overgrown nails that curve in all possible directions, this is the worst fate that could ever happen to a dog! 

What a painful sight to behold!

Below was the transcript written by the photographer:

This is an alert to all the east side residents, especially Kallang area.  If you spot this dog around the area, please call SPCA at 62875355 for help immediately.

I was walking to Kallang mrt station when i saw this dog trottering out from a construction site, it followed a passerby to the mrt station and along the way, it was shunned by many others. i followed it closely behind and called my friend for the number to ASD (Action for Singapore Dogs).

This is so heartbreaking. From the picture, you can see the reddish bare skin where large patches of fur were missing, bones were sticking out and when i went nearer to it to leave 2 pieces of plain bread for it, i can see the horrendously long nails on the legs. It must be d**n painful for it to walk with the long nails biting into it’s flesh. =(

While making calls to ASD and SPCA, i lost the dog. Sigh. I went around the area to search for the dog but to no avail. So i hope that if any kind souls out there should spot this distressed dog (terrier breed), please.. please do not shun it, please render your help.  Thank you very much.

Moments after this SOS was posted online, a search party immediately went down in search for the poor dog but was told by the residents there that the dog has already been picked up by the SPCA.  At a situation like this, we all knew what’s going to happen when dogs in such condition landed in the hands of the SPCA.

A check with the SPCA has confirmed our worst fear. 

A dog fitting her description was picked up on the 10th from Kallang and already euthanised the very next day when no microchip was detected by the scanner.

She had prolonged malnutrition, dehydration, a very serious case of mange and multiple open sores due to excessive scabbing that became infected. They (SPCA) decided that euthanasia would be less painful for her because her internal organs are not functioning well. 

Inititally, I had thought that this was probably a mongrel but after some careful observations made by the forum members, this dog might actually be a Miniature Schnauzer due to the docked tail and color of the fur.  This dog was probably used for breeding (see the nipples?) and thrown into the streets after she has outlived her ‘usefulness’.    

Of course, this is just our speculation but what the dog has gone through is clearly a deliberate case of neglect and abuse!  My heart goes out to this poor darling. 

I’m seething with anger to know how ‘men’, in his ugliest form could actually do such a horrible thing to a dog!

For every dog that was put down, someone out there is responsible for it’s death

More atrocities:
Braveheart left to die
What’s the big deal, it’s just a dog

abandoned hamster

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Some sicko has abandoned a dwarf hamster at the staircase landing.  It looks like a Albino Campbell to me.  Poor hammy has a bald patch on one side of the body and it’s not difficult to guess why because there’s a piece of buttered cracker inside the cage! 

What sorts of rubbish have they been feeding the poor little tyke??  And it’s not even a proper cage!  The base is not even deep enough to contain bedding.  The poor hamster only had a piece of toilet paper for comfort!

I feel so sorry for the little hamster but my parents wouldn’t let me bring him home.  They say that he looks diseased.  Period.

My father knew that I would surely sneak back to bring the hammy home and hide it somewhere in my room so he ordered my mum to march me straight home while he brought the hammy to the void deck, hoping other people would pick it up.

But my father is no simpleton.  He makes sure he left the hamster somewhere I couldn’t find and he wouldn’t reveal where he left him.  My father really took great pains to make sure that I stay away from the hammy!

I really don’t know what to say about these idiots who goes round dumping the poor animals.  Didn’t they know that having a pet is a big RESPONSIBILITY of a LIFETIME?  The hamster is now paying for his owner’s deadly sins with HIS life through no fault of his!!

This reminds me of the SPCA slogan:

What you pay with your money; the pet paid with its life!

I curse the owners to suffer the same fate through the law of cause and effect. 

Replies To My Article

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Both the HRRS and SPCA have replied to my article in the Straits Times Forum.


WE REFER to the letter, ‘Having a pet is a lifelong commitment’ (ST, May 10), by Mr Foong Zee Kin sharing his experience with abandoned rabbits found in a park.

Unfortunately, his experience is not unique. The House Rabbit Society of Singapore (HRSS) receives about 20 such reports every month.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) runs the largest animal shelter in Singapore and it received 1,187 unwanted rabbits last year, an increase of over 40 per cent from 2002.

Most of these animals had to be put to sleep due to the limited number of adoptive homes and lack of space. HRSS volunteers too respond to numerous requests to rescue rabbits dumped around our neighbourhoods.

However, given the small size of our fostering programme we can accommodate no more than 10 rabbits at any time. Domestic rabbits lack the survival instincts to fend for themselves and less than 10 per cent of those abandoned survive long enough to be rescued.

They become food for everything from cats and dogs to crows. And the ‘lucky’ ones which don’t get eaten, get run over by cars or die from heat or disease.

These are tragic statistics for a nation the size of Singapore. HRSS attributes this trend to the increasing proliferation of pet shops and private breeders.

The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) has established customer-education guidelines for pet shops. However, most shops pay scant attention.

HRSS is also distressed about the increasing number of unlicensed private breeders who breed animals and then sell them over the Internet. To arrest this disturbing trend we have been urging AVA to impose tighter curbs on sale of animals, introduce compulsory micro-chipping, and step up enforcement checks at pet shops.

However, our pleas have gone unheeded. Individuals can play a part in controlling the unwanted-pet population by sterilising their pets. This will not only prevent pregnancies but also improve the longevity and behaviour of pets.

Before committing themselves to owning a pet, we urge all Singaporeans to seriously consider the responsibilities. Pets are for life and rabbits live on average between eight and 12 years. We also encourage adopting a pet from an animal-welfare group instead of buying from a pet shop or a breeder.

When you adopt a rabbit from HRSS or SPCA, you are actually helping two bunnies – the one you take home, and the one that takes its place at the shelter.

Vice-President House Rabbit Society of Singapore

And this is from SPCA:


I REFER to the letter, ‘Having a pet is a lifelong commitment’ (ST, May 10). The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) would like to thank Mr Foong Zee Kin for rescuing four abandoned rabbits recently and for creating more awareness of the plight of abandoned pets.

Small animals are increasingly being abandoned or given up by their owners: over 2,000 were taken in by the SPCA last year, including more than 1,200 rabbits. Last month, we received 177 small animals, including 77 rabbits.

The SPCA urges the public not to buy pets on impulse or to give in to children’s demands unless the family is prepared to keep the animals for the rest of their lives – a rabbit can live up to 10 years.

Too many animals’ lives are ended prematurely because owners are not prepared for such a long-term commitment. As Mr Foong rightly pointed out, domestic pets that are released into the environment will not be able to fend for themselves.

The SPCA appeals to the public not to abandon their pets in this manner. It is an offence to abandon a pet and anyone found guilty of such a cruel act can be fined up to $10,000 or jailed up to one year, or both.

Anyone who sees a pet being abandoned should make a report at the nearest police post or station so that action can be taken.

DEIRDRE MOSS (MS) Executive Officer
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

This is what Cottontail has to share on the second day after my article was posted:

Sad to say, the day after this article was published, a similar case happened near my friend’s place.

A bunny with scabies was folded in half (nose touch toe) and cruelly squeezed into a small pasar plastic bag. The auntie who wanted to dumped the bunny, got no gut to do so and asked a school boy to dumped it for her at a park across the road. The boy didn’t know it was a rabbit inside the plastic, took over it and got a shock. He can’t bare to do so but then the auntie already went off.

This boy tried to bring the bunny to his classmate’s home nearby and met my friend. My friend out of pity took in the bunny as the boys don’t know what to do.

The bunny got very bad scabies till the nose got extra piece of “meat” growing on it. Looks like a pinochio. His toes were all sore and couldn’t walk much. My friend has brought him to the vet for the 1st jab of ivomec.

What has the world become.

Staring death in the eye

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By Sumiko Tan

The time had come for me to put my dog to sleep, and with it came the closing of a chapter in my life

The night before my dog died, the smell of death was already in the air.

It was a suffocating mix of vomit, urine and the Dettol which we’d use to clean up after her.

The stench seared into our nostrils, leaving a salty aftertaste in my throat, though that could also have been the residue of my tears.

When Sunday came, I knew that I had to let her go.

She was already 16, or 112 in human years. That’s a mighty long life.

And she’d had a good life. She had food to eat, space to play in, and she was loved.

Her condition had degenerated drastically over the past month.

She was a skeleton covered with beige hair that was shedding by the handful.

She could hardly walk. She slept standing up, her crooked legs splayed, her head crocked near the floor.

Her eyes – badly cataracted and with a small hole piercing the right cornea – were baleful.

Look, my mother said, she’s in pain and begging us to put her to sleep.

No, I said, maybe she’s pleading with us not to do so.

Veterinarians always give this advice when you ask them when your pet should go: quality of life.

If he can still eat, then maybe there’s some life yet worth salvaging.

But my dog was no longer eating. And when I found her late last Sunday morning next to a pool of bloody vomit with flies buzzing over it – and on her – I knew it was time to let her go.

I CALLED the SPCA to find out what I should do.

They said that their vet doesn’t work on Sunday and that they also don’t do housecalls.

They gave me the number of Mount Pleasant Animal Hospital, which is where I take my dogs to, in any case.

The nurse – bless her – remembered my dog’s name.

Yes, they do housecalls, she said, and a doctor could come over that day.

A housecall costs $100. Euthanasia is $40. For cremation without ashes, it is $180. You pay more if you want the ashes back, or if you want to keep them in the pet columbarium.

She said the vet would come by before 3pm.

Which meant I had three hours with my dog before she went to doggie heaven, or wherever animals go when they die.

I’D witnessed putting one dog to sleep before, a terrier who had gone mad.

I knew what to expect: The vet injects an overdose of anaesthetic drug into the dog, and in seconds he is dead.

I was wretched about putting my mongrel Shiroko to sleep for so many reasons.

I’d miss her, for one.

I’ll spare you the sentimental details, for every pet owner has many, but suffice to say she was a sweet, low-maintenance dog.

I also knew that if I put her to sleep, the other two dogs would be traumatised.

And haven’t I read that when one dog dies, those close to it would follow?

I felt especially sorry for the shih tzu, who was like a husband to Shiroko. They slept together all the time, back-to-back, and never fought.

Most of all, I was afraid that if my dog were to die, a chapter of my life would go with her.

And what made it worse was that she was not going to die accidentally or suddenly, but that I would be deciding her moment of death.

By putting her to sleep, I was deliberately deleting a big and important chunk of my life. Did I want to do that?

For 16 years is a very long time.

My dog had been with me through the ups and downs of my working life, through various relationships, family happiness and woes.

Anyone who means anything to me would have met her and got her sniff of approval.

If she goes, then so do, in a way, all those good times.

And by dying, she brought home how I, and everyone I care for, cannot avoid staring death in the eye, sooner or later.

She had been nothing but a good dog, and here I was, planning her execution.

THE three hours were long, yet short.

One part of me wanted it to be over. Another wished the minutes would stretch.

We put her on the floor outside the kitchen. She lay there for a while, then stood up. Shaky as a drunk, she stumbled into the kitchen.

As was her old habit, she stole the water from my other dog’s bowl. We gave her two pieces of chicken. She ate them.

If she could still drink and eat, wasn’t it premature to kill her?

But she was also emitting a strange, foul-smelling bloody liquid from her mouth.

She lay on the kitchen floor. We put a towel over her and waited.

Her body was still, and cold to the touch. Her eyes looked exhausted. Even the ticks were fleeing from her body.

Shiroko, I said inside, why don’t you die now? At least if you did, I won’t be responsible for killing you.

The vet came at 3, with an assistant.

They were both gentle and kind.

I chose not to witness her dying. I went to console one of my dogs. My maid went to console the other. My mother couldn’t bear to watch.

It was over in five minutes. They injected her with a chemical, and she was gone.

She looked as if she was sleeping, though her eyes were open.

We wrapped her in a towel, slipped a stalk of hydrangea from the garden between her legs, I paid the fees and they took her away.

‘Take care,’ said the vet.

And, so, there.

The end of a dog’s life.

And the closing of a chapter of mine.

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