Original Photo: Unsplash/Kristijan Arsov
It is almost impossible to verify the actual number of stray animals around the world, but you wouldn't be wrong if you guessed "hundreds of millions".
In fact, in a 2015 post on his website, Emmy-nominated dog trainer Cesar Millan claimed that "there are over 600 million stray animals all over the world that suffer lives of misery - starving, cold, sick, and abused".
"Anyone who knows my philosophy knows that I only like to support no-kill animal shelters because I can’t stand the thought of euthanizing a dog simply because it’s unwanted. But an even crueler form of euthanasia is what these animals face on the streets. Starving to death. Dying of untreated injury or disease. Dying painful deaths at the hands of cruel humans," writes Cesar.
"I think many people look at stray animals and see them as a nuisance. But these are actual living feeling beings that lead incredibly brutal and painful lives. And it’s largely because of things that we humans have done."
In light of World Stray Animals Day (4 April), we highlight some local organisations giving a voice - and a second chance - to the unnoticed paw prints of homeless animals in Singapore.
The volunteer-run organisation, which used to be called Save Our Street Dogs, is on a mission to "to eliminate cruelty and abandonment of animals, enhancing their welfare, and improve the lives of animals and humans, through rescue, education and advocacy".
Read more and watch a video about SOSD's co-founder and president Dr Siew Tuck Wah in our piece, "Aesthetic Doctor By Profession, Street Dog Rescuer By Calling".
How you can help: To commemorate World Stray Animals Day, SOSD is asking for donations to feed Singapore Specials roaming our streets. From now till 15 Apr 2021, you can sponsor a large bag of kibble (to feed one stray dog for 40 days) here. Another way to stay updated with SOSD's efforts and rescues, and find opportunities to help: follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Another pair of helping hands always helps - sign up to be a volunteer here.
Love Kuching Project
For the past 12 years, this animal welfare group has been promoting cats as companion animals through its outreach programmes, and using its shelter in Joo Chiat to rehabilitate sick and injured community cats.
Read more and watch a video about Camellia Abd Gani, who began as a volunteer and now spearheads the project, in our piece, "She Combines Love For Cats With Her Desire To Do Good".
Action For Singapore Dogs
To date, this charity organisation has rehomed over 3,000 dogs and has about 100 under its care at its Adoption & Rescue Centre (ARC) in Kranji. As the organisation receives no government or corporate funding, it relies on donations to carry out and maintain it rescue, rehabilitation and rehoming acitivities.
How you can help: Make a donation here, sponsor a rescued dog (waiting eagerly for its forever home) here, or consider making yours a forever home for one of those up for adoption here. Want to provide more hands-on help? Sign up to be a volunteer here.
Causes For Animals Singapore
Although the Stray Management Programmes (for dogs and cats, respectively) run by this animal welfare charity are partially subsidised by the government, donations are still required.
The programme comprises three steps: trapping, neutering, then releasing the stray animal. But processing these creatures also means having to vaccinate them, microchipping them, and housing them while in recovery - and all this requires funding.
This is mind-blowing: Did you know that SPCA Singapore was founded not in this century, nor the previous one, but the one before that in 1876?! After 145 years, it is still doing the good work of creating "a compassionate Singapore where animals are treated with kindness and respect".
In one Instagram post, the organisation states that its clinic alone needs about $600,000 yearly to run. In fact, a whopping $3 million is required to run all its services, which include 24/7 emergency rescues, cruelty and welfare investigations, sterilisation and adoption programmes, an animal shelter, education outreach, and more.
How you can help: Make a donation here.
Cat Welfare Society
In 1999, a staggering 13,000 stray cats were culled in Singapore in a bid to control the stray population. If you do the math, it'll tell you that that equates roughly 35 cats killed every single day. That same year, Cat Welfare Society (CWS) was formed.
Today, the work is still focused on humanely managing the community cat population, but also centres around community mediation. "Through mediation, we have impressed upon the nation that the humane management of cats is both feasible and desirable," says CWS.
"Cat-related feedback and disputes can be resolved through responsible ownership and accountability for actions."
Governmental support covers about 30-40% of the sterilisations carried out by CWS. Donations are required for the rest.