Friday, October 29, 2010
On 28/10/10, our jie jies (Sharon & Betty) bring us to attend to Ash jie jie's b'dae chalet...
we had our homecooked dinner at home before going to the chalet...
a lot of our photos was taken on that day.... thanks to Ash jie jie for the beautiful taken photo!
PS from Amber & Dawn: We had fun and good experience there too! and occasionally gets treats(Doggie treat) from our jie jie for doing tricks!
Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Kimberly Spykerman & Grace Chua Straits Times 4 Oct 10;
ANIMAL abuse in Singapore has hit a startling high, with the number of cases so far this year far surpassing last year's total.
The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said there were 17 cases of animal abuse in the first eight months of this year, almost double the nine cases reported for the whole of last year. Most of these cases involved dogs, cats and rabbits.
In 2007 and 2008, there were seven and 11 cases respectively.
The AVA attributed the large number of cases to growing awareness of abuse and credible witnesses coming forward more frequently. Both help provide the AVA with more teeth to pursue animal abusers.
Said AVA spokesman Goh Shih Yong: 'If there is sufficient evidence or witness accounts to show that cruelty was committed, AVA will not hesitate to take action.'
It added that in less serious cases, such as the ones that result from ignorance, offenders will be offered a composition fine up to a maximum of $1,000. But more serious abusers can expect AVA to prosecute them in court and push for a deterrent sentence.
Penalties for animal cruelty have been tightened over the years.
In 2002, Singapore passed laws which raised maximum fines and jail terms for animal cruelty offences from $500 and six months to $10,000 and 12 months respectively.
Animal activists, however, say that punishments meted out so far are more like 'slaps on the wrist'.
The president of Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), Mr Ricky Yeo, said that although there are tougher penalties for animal abuse, the full extent of the law has yet to be felt.
In 2007, a man was fined $3,500 for flinging his dog to the ground in a fit of rage following a quarrel with his girlfriend. The dog ended up with a fractured leg.
Mr Yeo also brought up recent cases in the news of a groomer and a dog breeder, who were jailed two and six weeks respectively for animal cruelty even though the maximum jail term is one year. 'There's still not enough emphasis on animal welfare,' he said.
A lack of empathy for animals may be one of the reasons there is still little information being shared about an incident earlier this year involving a pomeranian that was brutally bashed against a wall until it died. Singapore animal groups and vets said it was one of the worst cases of abuse seen here. The assailant has yet to be nabbed.
For their part, animal welfare groups like the Cat Welfare Society (CWS) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) have set out guidelines for the public to report cases of animal abuse.
CWS vice-president Veron Lau explained that while the society was receiving complaints about abuse from the public, the lack of proper documentation makes it nearly impossible to prosecute an abuser.
So it put up guidelines on its website, encouraging those who witness animal abuse to document the goings-on, take photos if possible, prepare a statement for the authorities and be willing to testify.
'If people feel so strongly about abuse, they should do something constructive and find out how to do something about it,' Ms Lau said.
As for those who abuse animals, the law may not be the only thing to worry about.
In an October 2005 paper that appeared in the United States-published Journal of Community Health, a team of researchers conducting a study over seven years in 11 metropolitan areas determined that pet abuse was one of five factors that predicted who would begin other abusive behaviours.
National University of Singapore cognitive psychologist John Elliott, who studies child abuse and neglect, said that while not all animal abusers go on to other crimes, such abusers may be wired differently: 'To contemplate abuse of another living thing, you need a certain sort of indifference to suffering, a sort of psychopathology.'
Monday, October 25, 2010
Us (Amber & Snowy) playing our bone bone in the living room...
PS from dawn: i didn't get the bone but instead i got dental star(mini) to play on...
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
You've heard of a blood donor database for humans.
Now there's one for dogs in Singapore.
The initiative is a collaborative effort between Mount Pleasant Animal Medical Centre and Zeus Communications.
The canine blood donor database is maintained by Zeus, which is also organising the first canine blood donation drive.
Zeus Communications' Lynda Goh, said the blood bank is targeted to be accessible by late next month.
She said currently appeals for canine blood are circulated by email or posted on social networking platforms and it may take days to locate a suitable donor.
Ms Goh believes a database of potential canine blood donors can help critically ill dogs to be treated sooner.
The potential dog blood donor will have to satisfy a few conditions such as weighing at least 25 kilogrammes and be between one and seven years of age.
Like humans, dogs may need blood for a wide variety of reasons, ranging from traumatic injuries from accidents to surgical blood loss.
Saturday, October 16, 2010
A typical day for beautiful golden Labrador retriever, Kendra, is waking up next to her loving master, followed by donning her full regalia of harness, leash, and ID tags, which reveals her professional role.
Kendra is a professional guide dog, and her job is to guide her master to various places—office, lunch, and the gym among others.
She is extensively trained from the tender age of two months old to be well behaved while at work as well as confidently and safely assist her master in crossing busy traffic junctions and through crowded sidewalks and shopping malls. Kendra and her master travel all over our sunny island on buses, trains, taxis, and even on board a plane at times. When they are not on the move, Kendra quietly tucks herself under Mr Kua’s chair and takes a little snooze to recharge for the next adventure.
Kendra, however, is currently a rare sight in Singapore. She is the only guide dog in Singapore now. Kendra is a generous donation from The Guide Dogs for the blind INC. (GDB) based in America, who hopes to see mobility of Singaporean visually impaired improve through the use of guide dogs.
But thanks to The Guide Dogs Association of the Blind in Singapore (GDAB), Kendra would not be alone much longer. Arrangements are currently made for more guide dogs to arrive in the coming months.
He added: “Guide dogs are especially important in Singapore as our fast pace of life often means family members or passersby do not have the time to help a sight challenged person cross the road or get to the place he or she would like to go.”
Mr. Kua is deeply passionate about helping fellow visually challenged individuals be able to lead independent and more productive lives. He has been campaigning for the lawful use of guide dogs by the visually impaired in Singapore for more than three decades.
In 1982, Mr. Kua brought an Australian trained guide dog to Singapore but had to return it, as the culture here, such as establishments and public transport, was extremely unreceptive of a guide dog. Saddened but not discouraged, Mr. Kua continued to lobby for improvements in public areas for the use of guide dogs so that the visually impaired of Singapore may better travel about.
Finally, in 2005, Mr. Kua came together with a few philanthropic friends bound by their love of dogs and their compassion for the visually impaired, and formed GDAB. Their vision is to provide a high level of quality care for the visually impaired by providing a trained guide dog for suitable individuals, as well as to make changes in our environment to integrate guide dogs. The GDAB also hopes to raise funds for professionally trained mobility instructors to provide continual support to beneficiaries and their guide dogs after training.
Since 2005, GDAB has improved the infrastructural support for the use of guide dogs in Singapore. For one, they obtained approval from the authorities, allowing guide dogs to live in HDB flats (public housing), where usually only small dogs are allowed as pets. Also, through GDAB’s continuous lobbying, guide dogs are now exempted from legislations that prohibit the entry of animals into food establishments and onto public transport.
Nonetheless, more doors need to be opened for the ease of guide dogs use in Singapore. GDAB still has much work ahead of them as they aim to make Singapore a friendlier city for the visually impaired. Currently, some of GDAB’s projects are working on raising awareness in the general public through school and community talks as well as visiting businesses and service providers like hotels and hospitals all over the country to invite them to be guide dogs-friendly establishments.
According to Mr Kua, the challenges of having a guide dog now are similar to that of 28 years ago. Although media interviews have helped broaden awareness and access to guide dogs here has improved, there is still much to be done to educate the public about the legislation in order to ease the use of guide dogs in Singapore.
For example, people are still afraid that guide dogs may bite them and taxi drivers fear that guide dogs may dirty their taxis. All these misperceptions are largely due to lack of awareness—the general public would often label a guide dog as just another pet. Most are unaware that guide dogs are even better behaved as they are professionally trained to help enhance the lives of their visually impaired owners.
In the past, Mr Kua, a very active sportsman, was reluctant to visit the gym in fear that it would inconvenience others who might worry for his safety. Because of the many fitness equipments there, people would often stop their work out fearing Mr Kua’s white cane would get caught and he would fall or jam the equipment.
Now with the help of Kendra, he could now confidently and safely make his way around them in the gym. Additionally, his social life blossomed whiles taking Kendra downstairs to relieve herself—he got to know more of his neighbours.
There looks to be a happy ending for Mr. Kua’s dream of enabling the visually impaired to enjoy life better through the use of guide dogs. Now, in partnership with the guide dogs school in America and with the expertise of GDAB’s board members, which includes veterinarians, opthalmologists and lawyers, what was once a dream is slowly but surely turning into reality.
To find out more or if you wish to lend a helping hand to GDAB, please visit GDAB at http://www.guidedogs.org.sg/.
Wednesday, October 13, 2010
Saturday, October 9, 2010
TAIPEI : Call it a yogic twist, as canines in Taipei join their owners to stretch, crouch and twist themselves into a knot.
Like their human owners, dogs are also finding peace and calm in yoga.
Yoga has always been popular in Taiwan, and for those who want the same benefits of yoga for their dogs, "doga" courses are available.
"Doga" or dog yoga is established in the US and Japan.
But it was not until two years ago that the yoga instructor Elsa Yang brought this brand new exercise in Taiwan.
And that's thanks to her schnauzer.
"She'd (schnauzer) come to me whenever I lay down the mat. She would also follow my poses. I tried pushing her away but she kept coming. So I thought of including her," said Yang, a yoga instructor.
Yang said the doga postures are all modifications of key human yoga postures.
During doga, owners begin with massaging their dogs and gently stretching them into positions.
Aside from exercising, canines and their human partners can spend quality time together during the doga session.
"You become a family after building up relationship. So you won't abandon them," said Yang.
Eva Huang Yu Chung has been attending doga classes for 18 months.
Though she said her 10-pound dachshund has helped deepen her stretches with its weight, she enjoys the bonding even more.
"If I want to fetch something, she'll get up before I do. It's like she knows what I want. Words can't describe the bond," said Huang, a doga practitioner.
And the one-hour doga sessions do not start until a 10-minute "happy hour" is completed.
Yin Ting, a doga practitioner said: "He (pet dog) got to know many dog friends. He used to be intimidated by humans, but not anymore. This has also helped our relationship."
That looks like proof that the bonding is good for both human and canine. - CNA /ls
Friday, October 8, 2010
Internationally recognised certification programme for dog groomers
A dog groomer at work
SINGAPORE : The Dog Groomers Association of Singapore (DGA) is launching an internationally recognised certification programme for dog groomers.
It will assess a groomer’s competence in three key areas — safety handling of dog and equipment, neatness of the dog’s trimming, and skills & techniques.
This is to ensure that professionals are equipped to handle the various aspects of dog grooming, ethics and basic first—aid skills.
The association said there are currently no industry standards as to how groomers should be certified.
Hence by certifying them, it will raise their level of competency and enhance the credibility of the profession.
Alex Ang, president of DGA said: "With the DGA International Groomers Certification, we will see more dog groomers take responsibility and ownership of the pets in their hands. Hence, it is of paramount importance to have competent professionalism of the industry.