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

Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Winner of the first Animal Communication Scholarship

Veron and Lynda at a recent event
Ms Veron Lau, 38, is the winner of the very first Animal Communication scholarship, proudly sponsored by Animal Talk Ltd. 

Veron is the Vice President (voluntary) of Cat Welfare Society. She is a Communications Manager by day and cat woman by night!

Here's what Veron says ; 

I became involved with cat welfare when I moved to my own place 7 years ago. It was never an issue where I lived previously and I came to realize that it was the dedicated work of the caregivers that had kept the cats there loved, healthy and contented.

Where I moved, the neighbourhood was overrun with cats, they were constantly fighting and caterwauling and I took in my first stray, an old toothless cat with skin problems and a rotting collar, signs that she was an abandoned cat. Then 2 kittens, then more. That was when I really started my search for sustainable solutions to the issue of strays in my neighbourhood and became fully immersed in sterilizing, rehoming cats, befriending feeders and counseling residents who let their cats out to roam or abandoned litters. 

After almost a year of compulsive trap and neuter work, the situation was turned around and that is why I am such an advocate of TNRM (Trap, Neuter, Release, Manage) as a humane solution to controlling the stray population. The Cat Welfare Society (CWS) was where I gained the information required to get started. I joined CWS in 2009 so that I can contribute back and similarly empower others to help their community cats.

After I joined CWS, I had the opportunity to mediate a case for the caregiver in my old place where the Town Council officer activated pest control to catch a sterilized cat. It made me reflect on how much I had taken for granted the work it took to keep the cats that I played with every night safe. It also reminded me of a time many many years ago when I had walked past the caregiver who was getting an earful from a resident for feeding the cats. That young and stupid me felt I needed to do something, stand up for her, but did not feel I was up to it and stood rooted to the spot. It was something that I regretted for a long time. It doesn't matter if we are not the most intelligent or eloquent, it is important to speak up when it is needed. Looks like I am making up for that missed opportunity now over and over again!

Most of us who care for animals have a deep empathy towards their suffering but it is important not to project our own emotions on them where they become an extension of our own psychological excesses. They are their own beings that need to be understood on their own terms and this I believe requires a deep sensitivity towards them. This is what I hope to develop through the programme. I had the opportunity to meet Rosina at the Asia for Animals conference and look forward to study under this amazing woman. If I could just imbibe half of her poise and awareness, it would really help my work with community cats.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Wishbone's Wish-Upon-A-Bone Finale

Wishbone's granting of pets' wishes kicked off in May 2010 and concluded with the finale on 21 August at Bishan Park's Green Room. Men and dogs were dressed in smart suits for the event finale and for once, the men were ALMOST as hot as the dogs!

Attractive door gifts
The Pet Wedding begins

Red, the little Poodle
Utt and  . . .  M-utt??

The event was graced by MTV celebrity, Utt, who is Wishbone's ambassador and a fellow animal lover. Utt hails from Thailand and has a 14 year old JRT back home. In Singapore, he has a 4 year old Shiba Inu named Aiko.
 Lynda and Lady Emerald, Utt and Aiko, Ruby and Nikki. Nikki is 16 yrs old! 
Lady Emerald has her very own Facebook - do check it out!

Throughout the months of Wishbone's event, they had granted wishes to four pets, ranging from a set of wheels for Qian Qian, to having an animal communicator communicate with Jo Jo the JRT, to medical and dog training.

Lynda was asked to communicate with Jo Jo the JRT to understand why he barked so much when he was at home. A meeting was arranged by Wishbone for Lynda to meet Jo Jo and his owner, Yu Jia. Read the New Paper article here.

Source The New Paper

Owning a pet is about bonding, communicating, loving, respecting, understanding and appreciating each other. A pet is NOT just a pet. A pet has feelings and emotions just like you and I, so please cherish your pet and give him your very best.

If you wish to learn how to communicate with your pets, read this and watch the videos at the end of the article. Its simple. You don't need to be intuitive to learn Animal Communication.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Little Joe goes home

Volunteers discharged Little Joe from the vet and returned him to the factory on Sunday. He was very quiet on the way there and kept looking out of the windows. When volunteers turned into the lane he lived on, Little Joe immediately jumped up and was visibly excited - he knew he was home!

On the way home
The moment Little Joe got out of the car, he raced up and down the road as if he was doing an invisible obstacle course - he was lucky that it was Sunday and there were no other cars on the road! Little Joe proceeded to mark every single tree and lamp post, as if to let everyone know he was finally home.

Can't wait to get out of the car
The security Uncle came out and Little Joe jumped up on him with lots of excitement and happiness. Uncle patted him and commented that Little Joe had indeed put on some weight and that his wound had healed very nicely. Little Joe went for a walk by himself down the road while volunteers chatted with Uncle and updated him on Little Joe's condition. He willingly agreed to feed Little Joe his medications. Our team of volunteers really appreciate this man's kindness and hope to see more people like him.

As Little Joe needs to put on a lot more kilos, volunteers have provided Uncle with a carton of dog canned food and a carton of cat canned food. Volunteers will visit Little Joe regularly to ensure that he is healthy and well.

Little Joe needs to put on a few more kilos

Little Joe eating his beef and eggs cooked by volunteers

A friend, Pauline and her daughter, Yitian, contributed the outstanding $400 to Little Joe's vet bill - settling his bill in full. They also gave 2 big bags of dry cat food for Uncle to feed the 14 cats in his compound. A big thank you to Pauline and Yitian.

Donated cat food

Out of the 14 cats in Little Joe's factory compound, volunteers have brought 9 for sterilization and the remaining will be sterilized over the next month or so, when they are ready.
This is Little Joe's home. Under the lorry.

Thank you everyone for helping. Without your support and contribution, we would not have been able to help Little Joe.

Article put together by Jo-Ann.

Friday, August 20, 2010

A Tribute to Max

Max, a Bull Mastiff, passed away peacefully this morning at 9am, in the comfort of his home and in the loving arms of his owner, Ms CL. She had adopted him some years back and had given him the best of everything - from numerous car rides, to swims on the beach, to his very own swimming pool. 

Max had tick fever slightly more than a month ago and despite two blood transfusions over the past week, he got weaker by the day and finally passed on this morning.

To all who knew Max, he was a gentle giant - he lived to play! Ball games, swimming - those were his greatest pleasures. And when Max came near you - be sure to scram because his saliva would definitely give you a refreshing foam bath.

Max lived to play!
Rosina and Max in Club Pets
(Read full article)

Animal Communicator, Ms Rosina Arquati, loved Max dearly as well. Ever since she met him in March this year, they have been communicating and having long discussions about Max's swimming pool! No kidding! Rosina arrives next weekend and was scheduled to have a dinner date with Max. Alas, he couldnt wait for her. Rosina will however, attend Max's private cremation when she arrives in Singapore.

To all that have loved and lost.

Do not stand at my grave and weep
I am not there; I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow,
I am the diamond glints on snow,
I am the sun on ripened grain,
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush
I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.I am the soft starlight at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry,
I am not there; I did not die.
by Mary Frye

A song for Max. Bless you, Max. 

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Little Joe's 3rd Update

Little Joe has been staying at the Vets for the past 15 days. This is the longest we have ever warded a rescued stray. His bill too, has come up to a rather substantial amount. We thank everyone who has contributed to his bill, visited him and cooked nutritious food for him –Little Joe says Thank You!

Little Joe and his doleful eyes

We have tried our best to help find him a home but sadly, there has been no takers, so Friday our volunteers will discharge Little Joe from the Vet and he will go back to live in his factory.

In all his two weeks at the Vets, Joe has put on only one whole kilo, despite having four meals a day. Dr Ang has voiced her concern that Little Joe might not survive when he goes back to the factory because not only is he submissive, he may not get an opportunity to eat if there are other bigger dogs around. He is also a picky eater. He nibbles his food and usually eats only half of what is given, unlike most strays who will gobble their food like there’s no tomorrow. The Drs have tried all brands of canned food to entice him to eat, but to no avail. Finally Dr Ang tried buying him the lowest, cheapest brand of canned food and Little Joe ate! Isn’t that sad that he only appreciates cheap, low quality canned food? We then found out that it’s the same brand as what we have been feeding him at his factory. Poor little Joe was only used to what we fed him. Dr Ang then mixed in some cat canned food to make his food smell better and Little Joe enjoyed it – and the reason? He lives with 13 cats in his factory and the security guard leaves food for the cats, he must have been eating that too.

Cats at Little Joe's factory
Cats going for sterilization

Over this period of two weeks with Little Joe at the Vet, we have been going back to his factory to update the security guard about Joe, as well as sterilize the cats in his compound. A kind sponsor, Ms Moo, has paid for all the cats there to be vaccinated and sterilized. To date, we have sterilized nine cats and there are just four more to go. These four are too young to be sterilized, so we’ll follow up in a month or two.

Before and now

Volunteers will visit Little Joe on alternate days to ensure he is well, eating and taking his medication. He really needs to put on weight – his bones still protrude from his skinny frame. His blood count is still below the normal range, thus we need to visit him regularly to ensure he takes his medication. We will also provide the security uncle with two cartons of Little Joe’s favourite canned food and some cat canned food, and hope he eats.

Sometimes in what we do, its not easy letting go. We know what our objectives are; to help, to heal or sterilize; but sometimes, its not easy. Little Joe is extremely sweet and tiny and we do worry about him. Some dogs, like Dawn or Tiger, we know they will survive, but with Little Joe, we’re worried.

If you know of anyone keen to adopt him, please do let us know. We will be glad to rush down to the factory, pick him up and send him to you.

Always happy to see us

Thank you everyone for being so supportive of our work. Without your support, we would not have been able to give Little Joe the blood transfusion he needed, nor the love and affection he experienced, for the first time in his life.

Little Joe's Medical Bill

Little Joe has an outstanding bill amount of $400
Little Joe's bill has been settled in full. Thank you Pauline & Yi Tian for contributing the difference. (22 Aug 2010)

To read about Little Joe's rescue, please click Twist of Fate
For Little Joe's 2nd Update at the Vet, pls click Updates on Little Joe

Sunday, August 15, 2010

End Abuse and ill Treatment of Dogs in Puppy Mills

Dear Friends and Fellow Animal Lovers,

The puppy mill industry in Singapore is currently poorly regulated. A puppy mill is a factory that churns out puppies for commercial profit. In Singapore, due to inadequate puppy mill regulations and the lack of clear and enforceable best practices and guidelines in the industry, irresponsible puppy mills are able to mass produce puppies solely for profit, with little or no regard for the welfare of the breeding dogs. Most of these dogs are kept in appalling and inhumane conditions including being confined in uncomfortably small cages, some too small for them to even turn around and in the worse cases, all live in the midst of their excrement. They are also severely  malnourished as to cut cost, most  of them are fed only once every 3 days with just rice mixed with some kibbles. 

Sentenced to life for being sweet?
Passing the days by staring at blank walls with no future to look forward to
A slow lonely death
These breeding dogs are usually in poor health, rarely vaccinated or given adequate healthcare and are therefore highly susceptible to infectious diseases and parasitic infestations and other conditions that are prevalent in the appalling conditions in which they are being kept. Even siblings from the same litter are mated (as well as fathers with daughters or grand-daughters) resulting in congenitally-diseased pups which are sold below the Singapore Kennel Club-accepted age and standards to the unsuspecting public. 

Old Beagle. Despite her blindness, you can see pain and hopelessness in her eyes.
And despite being old and blind, she was still being bred for profits.
You would never have known what your cute puppy's parents looked like

It's here in a puppy mill that they spend all their sad lives of utter misery and suffering with little care, exercise and social interaction. In properly regulated puppy mills in other countries, female dogs are only permitted to breed a maximum of 2 litters a year only after they have had their first heat and not beyond the age of 6 years. In the puppy mills here, female dogs are forced to produce litter after litter which leads to terrible pain, uterine infection and suffering. And after they have outlived their productivity, they are discarded like old furniture and sometimes abandoned to die. The “luckier” ones are killed. Death is their only relief.

Such irresponsible breeding at puppy mills constitutes cruelty to animals and contravenes the prevention of cruelty to animals’ provision under the Animal and Birds Act. All animals including breeding dogs are entitled to reasonable care and supervision and to be protected from unnecessary suffering. How is it possible that such puppy mills are able to get away from being punished? 

Would you buy her puppies? NO?
Did the breeder show you your pup's Mom before you bought?

Would you please buy this not-so-cute puppy and take her out of her living hell?
Who would buy a not-so-cute puppy?
Does that mean this poor puppy will never see the sun nor walk on grass?
Animal welfare volunteers have often-times rescued these abused dogs from the mills but this is neither a long-term nor sustainable solution . In April 2010, 2 puppy mill owners abandoned their farm of 85 very sick dogs and animal welfare volunteers had to rescue all the dogs and  clean up the mess they left behind. (Read the newspaper articles here.) They have been working diligently  round the clock to nurse the dogs back to health and are still in the process of finding homes for those that have not been rehomed or adopted. (Read about the rehomed and remaining dogs.) The irony is that one of these 2 owners has set up another similar farm shortly after the whole fiasco. Why is he able to do that?  Because of minimal commercial and legal barriers to entry, inadequate regulations and penalties. We believe this is not an isolated case and this suggests there are gaps in the system. [Also, the maximum composition fine that the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority can impose on these breeders under the Animals and Birds Act is only $1,000. All the breeders have to do is to sell an unhealthy pup to cover this amount.] 

If only dogs could commit suicide . . . .perhaps they would.

In line with prevention of animal cruelty laws in Singapore, where animals including breeding dogs are protected from cruelty and unnecessary suffering, we wish to prevent further acts of cruelty, raise the standard of care and improve the welfare for all breeding dogs by strongly appealing to the relevant authorities in Singapore to step up and to close the gaps via improved legislation, regulation and implementation of clear and enforceable best practices for this industry. 

Labrador used for breeding. He had skin cancer and a deformed leg. 
We want to urge the government and the relevant authorities to collaborate with the existing animal welfare (non government organizations and volunteer) groups to review the puppy mill issue. We believe the government of Singapore and relevant authorities are supportive of nurturing a caring and responsible society including nurturing the right attitude towards the welfare of animals . In this regard, we, as concerned civil citizens wish to pledge our full support and help to assist the authorities and animal welfare groups to achieve this. 

Please help me. Please put an end to our suffering.
With your support and signatures, we can win the hearts and minds of the government,  authorities and citizens to undertake the necessary and critical steps to close the loopholes in the puppy mill system to create a cruelty-free  and responsible industry. 

Thank you. 

“The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated...I hold that, the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by (people) from the cruelty of (human kind) - Mahatma Gandhi 

To read more about Puppy Mills please click Away from Prying Eyes

A song for all the dogs who continue to remain behind bars for the rest of their lives. Waiting, hoping, for someone to save them.
Acknowledgement of Photos: Monica Eng and Davis KK Lee

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Updates on Sharpei and Little Joe

Updates on Sharpei

Volunteers had taken the little Bear to visit her big brother, Sharpei, at his foster home a week after the both of them went to different foster homes. They were absolutely ecstatic to see each other and the little Bear licked Sharpei continuously. The little one followed him all around the house and they played and rolled happily in the garden, just like the good old days. It was a bittersweet moment – seeing how happy they were together and yet knowing that it was unlikely they would be rehomed as a pair.

Best of Friends
Playing together

 I miss you, little Bear.

The two best friends spent the evening playing and just being near each other. It was such a joy watching them together, the bond between them strong as ever despite having been apart.

When volunteers left with the little Bear, Sharpei had wanted to go along too and you could see the sadness in his eyes, when our car drove off. We had promised to see him again, when he was due to have his stitches removed.

Removing his stitches

 An absolute darling
The following week, volunteers and Sharpei’s foster took him to the Vet to have his stitches removed. As always, he was a brave dog and sat quietly while Dr Lesley Teo removed the stitches from his hip, paws and cheek. He had been well taken care of by his foster and seemed much happier, more confident and showing less ribs. He can afford to put on a few more kilograms and we think he will, gradually, especially if he is to be a future blood donor.

Sharpei at the Vet, after having his stitches removed

His foster, Stef, told us that he is comfortable in her home and gets on well with her other dog, a yellow Labrador. Sharpei is also getting pickier with his food, occasionally choosing not to eat the same menu more than twice consecutively! We also found out that poor Sharpei has a great fear of rain and thunder; and would shiver hours before the storm. We wondered how terrifying his stray days must have been for him; imagine having a fear of rain and thunder, fear of humans and possible abuse and the other Alpha dogs fighting for food. What a sad life it must have been.

Gorgeous again!

We’re so thankful that Stef has been fostering and caring so much for him. We are also grateful to the many friends and readers who have shown their love, care and support in various ways. Everyone has made a positive difference in Sharpei’s life and shown him that he does mean a lot to us.

To read about Sharpei's Rescue, please click How Tough Can Life Get? 

Updates on Little Joe

After Rex’s gift of life to Little Joe, he is doing a little better. His gums are slightly pinkish; however he is still anemic and his breathing, laboured. He does not seem to like his kibbles and canned food, preferring to go hungry and wait for volunteers, Lynette and little Sara, to bring his daily ration of beef, liver and eggs. Dr Ang is extremely concerned about Little Joe as he still looks like a skeleton and really needs to put on a lot more weight. He needs to eat lots of carbo but Little Joe simply refuses to even eat rice. Dr Ang mentioned it could be because he is still not feeling too well and thus, his tiny appetite. His wound on his neck is healing faster than we expected it to. This could be because he has had a blood transfusion and some proper nutrition. The planned surgery to remove the dead cells from his neck will no longer take place as the wound is gradually closing on its own.

The wound is healing really well
Little Joe, however, will not be able to undergo sterilization as yet because he is too thin and weak. This can only be done many months down the road.

Little Joe is still extremely weak
Look at his tiny frame

Dr Ang says that Little Joe will need to stay at the Vet for a few more days as his life is not entirely out of danger yet. He needs to be further monitored and his wound dried before he can return to the factory.

We thank the many people who have offered to cook nutritious meals for him and friends who have contributed to his vet bills.

If there is someone out there that has a place in his heart and home for Little Joe, would you kindly take him in? The factory and living under trucks is not a life for this skinny, little sick dog.

To read about Little Joe's Rescue, please click Twist of Fate

Friday, August 6, 2010

Twist of Fate

On Monday evening, on one of our regular feeding rounds, we came across an emaciated dog. We had seen him a few times previously, and have always made an effort to feed him more, but this time he had a deep wound on his neck. He lived outside a factory and the night guard there cared for him. He told us that one night when he came to work, he had seen the wound but was not aware how the deep wound came about. He had been trying to medicate it with some “Chinese powder” but to no avail.

We immediately told him we would come back the following night to take the dog to the Vet.

The next night when we arrived with the carrier, the Uncle had kindly put the dog in his office earlier that day and kept him inside to ensure he would not escape. He helped carry the dog out. We named the dog Little Joe. Little Joe was very friendly and submissive. Little did we know how unwell he was.

Guard carrying Little Joe out
When we arrived at Mount Pleasant Animal Clinic (Redhill), we were attended to by Dr Lesley Teo. Dr Teo commented that Little Joe was extremely thin, that he was a real sweet boy and estimated him to be between 2 to 3 yrs old. He was given some food but he refused to eat. This was not a normal behavior of a street dog, who would usually gobble up as much as they can, not knowing when their next meal would be. Little Joe weighed a mere 13kg.

Little Joe's neck wound

Dr Teo examining Little Joe. Look how emaciated he is.
Dr Teo told us that she would let Little Joe rest for the night and clean his wound the following day. He had a lot of dead cells around the wound, and he needed a surgery to remove the dead cells and allow new cells to grow. She reckoned the wound was at least more than a week old. Of course, in the process of the surgery, Little Joe would also be sterilized, vaccinated and ear-tipped.

At 9pm, Dr Teo called to inform us that she had done a blood test on Little Joe – results revealed that the poor little dog had severe tick fever and needed a blood transfusion as soon as possible. Our hearts sank. That explained why he had a loss of appetite, pale gums and looked like a walking skeleton. His tick fever and blood transfusion took priority and we felt sad that this sweet little dog had suffered so much. Dr Teo mentioned that with his deep wound and his tick fever, it was a miracle that he was still alive.

Immediately the search started for a doggie blood donor. We needed a big, healthy dog to donate blood, and of course, we had to do tests to ensure the blood types matched as well. We asked around and yes, miracles DO happen. Sharpei, our sweetheart, is to be a future blood donor, but having lived on the streets for the past six months, he needed to be beefed up and was not ready yet. Then again, there was Sharpei’s “brother”, Rex. Sharpei’s present foster, Stephanie, has another dog, Rex, a five year Labrador. Rex gives true meaning to the words, BIG, STRONG AND FRIENDLY! We asked Stephanie and she gladly agreed to take half a day off from work to take Rex down to the Vet and have him tested to see if his blood type matched. And the greatest miracle of all, it matched perfectly! Some call it coincidence, some call it fate. We say God works in wonderful ways. He had sent Sharpei to a foster home that had a sweet Lab who would then be a life saver to a street dog who came from the same industrial estate as Sharpei!

Rex the saviour
Dr Teo proceeded to draw a bag of blood from Rex. Rex was very relaxed and while blood was being drawn, Little Joe looked at Rex with such gratitude in his eyes, for saving his life.

Looking for Rex's vein
The gift of life
Little Joe becoming a mongrel x Lab with Rex's blood

Right after having his blood drawn, Rex was rewarded with food! His favourite! Bet Rex would love to donate and help more dogs knowing there was food at the end of it all. Rex was tough and after his food, he was back to his usual self, running around the clinic, while Dr Teo then started on the process of transferring the blood to Little Joe.

Rex's favourite part of the deal
We know street dogs are tough and hardy animals and over the years of rescuing street animals, we have often seen their will to live. Little Joe was no different; all they need is that little help and love and they blossom. Within a few hours of his blood transfusion, Little Joe was perkier and he finished all his food. Food was brought to him by little Sara and her mommy Lynette. His gums were pink, he was wagging his tail and there was HOPE in his eyes!

Dr Teo will wait for Little Joe’s condition to stabilize before she performs a surgery on him to remove the dead cells from his neck wound.

The neck wound after it has been cleaned

We believe he will recover very quickly and will soon be ready to head home to his factory, where the Uncle awaits his return.

Often we think, isn’t it sad that these street dogs have to be hurt, injured or sick before a human shows them love and attention? Had he not have had the neck wound, we would never have known how sick he was and he would not have received the medical attention he badly needed. We would just have thought he was submissive and timid and didn’t get to eat. However, because of the deep neck wound, we took him to the Vet and in the process, saved him from a slow death.

Little Joe receiving blood

We will keep you updated on Little Joe’s progress and he will be staying at the Vet for a few days. When his wounds have healed and he has put on some weight, we will then take him back to his factory. All he needed was some love and care to turn his life around. If you would like to make that difference in Little Joe’s life as well, please send us an email and show Little Joe you care too.

For an update on Little Joe pls click Update on Sharpei and Little Joe

Visitor Count

"He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion."- Unknown