If you pick up a starving dog and make him prosperous, he will not bite you. This is the principal difference between a dog and a man. Mark Twain

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

About Lynda

As a child, Lynda had always loved animals. She found great joy and pleasure being with them, helping them and being surrounded by them. Her journey in animal welfare seems to have been carved out for her, even before she knew it.

At a tender age of ten, Lynda would save her school pocket money, catch a cat or puppy from the streets, take them home and hide them in her bedroom. After school, she would take the cat or puppy in a taxi, to the Vet, to have the animal sterilized, before releasing them back on the streets. Of course there were some animals that she couldn't bear to return, and they ended up living with her! Most children at this age would be either too busy playing with friends or on computer games, but Lynda knew her purpose in life. Some adults might not even know enough about sterilization, let alone a ten year old.

She continued sterilizing street cats and dogs with her own savings till she was in her late twenties, when she heard of Noah's Ark and realized that she and the society had been doing rather similar work. In the late 90s, she visited Noah's Ark (then located at Jalan Kayu, Singapore) although her visits were not regular. Throughout these years, Lynda had many pets, mostly given up by friends or rescued from the streets.

When Noah's Ark moved to JB, Malaysia, Lynda lost touch with them and it was only after some years that she found out where they had moved to and asked a friend to show her the exact location. That visit in 2002 was the start of Lynda's commitment and dedication to Noah's Ark and its animals. She realized that they needed funds to maintain and upkeep the animals, so Lynda used her own money, bought merchandise and sold them at events to raise funds for Noah's Ark. It was an uphill climb when she first started volunteering as most Singaporeans, like herself, had no idea where Noah's Ark had moved to in Johor so Lynda spent a lot of time, money and efforts creating an awareness again. She spent her own money printing name cards, buying merchandise etc all for the benefit of the animals.

Lynda started as a Volunteer in March 2002 and she became the Vice President of Noah's Ark CARES from June 2005 to April 2010 and those eight years saw her commitment, passion and dedication to the animals. She often slaved till the wee hours of the morning, especially before an event - designing new merchandise, ensuring the merchandise would be ready for sale at the event, getting volunteers, banners, promotional flyers - it was mostly a one-woman show for most part of the eight years. Lynda also took the initiative to design and sell Noah's Ark calendars which has now become an annual affair, launched a book and video in 2009 in tribute of the founder, Raymund Wee, and ensure that the Noah's Ark's blog kept readers, friends and supporters abreast of its events and rescue work. In July 2009, Lynda organized Noah's Ark's inaugural fund raising dinner and the evening was a sell-out.

Apart from organizing events, Lynda also utilized her annual leave to give school talks to children from Primary schools, right through to Junior College, and even office lunch time talks as she truly wanted to share the work of Noah's Ark, as well as educate the young generation on sterilization, respecting their pets and not abandoning them.

As if she didn't have enough on her plate, apart from holding a regular full time job, Lynda would also spend her nights checking on foster dogs, interviewing prospective owners keen on adopting dogs, conducting house checks, follow up visits on adopted dogs, attending meetings with organizations who were keen to organize events or partner Noah's Ark in events, as well as going into industrial estates to catch female dogs for sterilization. Sometimes she would come across injured dogs and she would rescue them and take them to the Vet. Often her days would not end till after midnight. Its amazing that her passion drives her to do such wonderful things for the animals.

Lynda believes that pets make good companion animals, especially for the elderly and often when she came across an abandoned pet, she would take them home to foster, nurse them back to health, and then find a new home for the animal. Sometimes she would meet elderly people living on their own, who would truly benefit from having a companion animal. Lynda would give them the dog, buy all the food bowls and necessities and provide them with dog food supply and help pay the pet's vet bills, all from her own pocket. She also does regular visits to ensure both the elderly person and the pet are doing fine. There seems no limit to her kindness and compassion.

It has always been her belief to adopt dogs above 5 years old, because they have a slimmer chance of being adopted and she always believes in giving them a second chance in life, even if they don't have many years with her. Her present brood of dogs consists of the old, deaf, blind and three-legged. Lynda feels that even if they only had a few months with her, they would have at least known what love and happiness meant.

In 2009, Lynda went to Hong Kong to attend workshops on Animal Communication (website: http://rosina.wordpress.com/)  and animal healing and armed with new knowledge, she continues to enjoy her work with animals. With animal communication, Lynda is here to help pets and owners to solve emotional / behavioural issues.

Often animals "misbehave" because they want to bring your attention to something but they just dont know how. Sometimes also, the animals take on the stress of the family or its owners. Lynda is also able help sick pets who are in pain or discomfort by comforting them. This does not mean that your pet does not need to visit the Vet. Visiting the Vet is always topmost on the list but healing and positive energy can sometimes help alleviate the pain that the pet feels.

In March 2010, Lynda was nominated and in the top 5 running for the Singapore's Woman Award. Although she did not win the award, it was a milestone as it was the first time that someone from an animal welfare was recognized for her work.

Many volunteers, friends and supporters have been inspired by Lynda's work and we thank her for her years of unfailing passion, dedication and commitment to the animals, always believing that she is their voice. She has touched many lives, humans and animals alike, and they'll always be grateful to her for crossing their paths. I know I am.

Source: TODAY, 25 March 2010

Source: TODAY, 26 March 2010

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