Tuesday, November 15, 2011
Posted: 30 October 2011 1830 hrs
SINGAPORE: Authorities are looking into better ways of encouraging responsible cat ownership and are exploring a pilot project that may involve registering the animal.
Foreign Affairs and Law Minister K Shanmugam revealed this at the launch of a cat feeding station at his ward of Chong Pang in Nee Soon GRC.
Having a designated area for strays will help minimise disturbance and mess.
"It creates a mindset and you train the cats also to come to that place. It is a convenient area for feeding, it will be useful, and it's easier to clean up as well. Otherwise, you have people feeding cats at many different locations, and it becomes more troublesome," noted Mr Shanmugam.
The cat feeding station is located at Blk 115A, Yishun Ring Road.
A recent survey by the Cat Welfare Society showed that 85% of respondents were happy to keep sterilised strays in the estate, and that many would support a common feeding area.
But the Cat Welfare Society says managing the cat population needs to involve pet owners too.
It says pet cats are usually to blame for problems faced by residents, such as cat droppings.
Mr Shanmugam said he has had discussions with the National Development Ministry and animal groups on the pilot project in Chong Pang.
Besides registering their cats, owners may also be persuaded to have only one cat.
Channel NewsAsia understands the project could be launched as early as next month.
Mr Shanmugam said: "We do a pilot because it has not been done before, and this will help us understand the issues, how to do it properly. And if it's successful - and I don't see why it shouldn't be - it can be replicated elsewhere. So I was prepared to take the lead and put in the resources."
Responding to Channel NewsAsia, a spokesperson from the National Development Ministry said the pilot scheme is one of several suggestions that surfaced during public consultation on pet ownership and the management of strays, and that discussions are still on-going.
Veron Lau, vice-president of the Cat Welfare Society, said that such a project will "close the loop" on managing the cat population as current efforts are mainly targeted at sterilising and managing strays, and more needs to be done to tackle problems like pet abandonment.
Ms Lau said that responsible pet ownership will involve people keeping their cats indoors, sterilising and registering them. But limiting households to only one cat is not ideal, as animals require companionship.
"It's not the number of animals you have; it's how responsible you are as an owner," Ms Lau said, when asked if allowing more pets might result in greater disturbance.
Sunday, November 13, 2011
Saturday, November 12, 2011
Children aged under 16 should be banned from buying pets, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said on Friday.
These youngsters may not have the maturity or money to take care of them properly, the group added.
They are also more prone to impulse buying, which could lead to pets being abandoned once the novelty wears off.
The recommendation was one of several proposed changes to the law contained in a draft document released by the society on Friday. Others include doubling the maximum penalty for people who abuse animals, banning them from keeping pets in exceptional cases, and publishing a list of what counts as animal cruelty.
A miracle dog that did not die when put into a gas chamber has come to New Jersey for adoption after his incredible survival.
Daniel the beagle was a stray in Florence, Ala., when he was placed into a shelter by animal control officials. After he was not claimed or adopted, he was put into a gas chamber to be put down with other unadopted dogs.
But after the animal control officer went back to the chamber, there was Daniel, still alive.
“They were all dead except for Daniel who was wagging his tail," said Linda Schiller of Eleventh Hour Rescue, the group that rescued Daniel and brought him to New Jersey. "He’s a miracle.”
Gassing chambers work by pumping carbon monoxide into a sealed space, eventually suffocating the animals.
Some argue it takes only minutes for the animals to lose consciousness and die, but the gas cycle is run for much longer, as much as 30 minutes, to be sure it has worked.
According to Vincent Grasso, an animal control officer in Florence, Daniel had been inside the chamber with the other dogs for a scheduled 17-minute cycle.
Grasso said it is highly unusual for a dog to emerge from the chamber alive, and it is shelter policy that if that happens, a dog would be given a second chance.
Grasso said they brought Daniel to see the veterinarian and to make sure he was OK. Once Daniel was found to be in good health, they began to search for a permanent home.
Schiller and her rescue group learned of Daniel’s miraculous story and brought him to New Jersey, where they are looking for a family to take care of him. She also hopes that this tough little beagle will become the face of a campaign against gassing.
According to the Humane Society, many states still allow animal gassing in some form. A growing number, including New York and New Jersey, have banned it.
Alabama has also banned gassing but the law will not take effect until next year. The Humane Society estimates that between six million and eight million animals are brought to shelters every year, and that as many as four million of them are euthanized.
“It’s a common misconception that they only gas bad or mean dogs,” said Schiller. “They gas nursing moms and babies, they gas 8-week-old puppies. They gas a dog like Daniel, who has a lot of life and is a good dog.”
Schiller hopes that the publicity around Daniel’s story will generate new interest for people to adopt shelter pets.
“There are thousands of dogs dying as we speak,” said Schiller. “So if you can’t adopt Daniel then maybe you can adopt another pet from Eleventh Hour Rescue or from your local shelter.”
Eleventh Hour Rescue can be reached at 973-664-0865 or at ehrdogs.org
Thursday, November 10, 2011
You should consider the sort of pet you own. In general, says Dr. Heng from The Joyous Vet, breeds with thick fur coats like Siberian Huskies, Golden Retrievers and Collies shed seriously. This is due in part to humidity-led skin problems like heat stress. That being said, "Short coats like the Jack Russell also shed continuously as their fur growth cycle is short."
The age of your pet also informs the effort that goes into managing your companion's fur. Younger pets are more prone to parasites, which leads to skin problems, excessive scratching and shedding. For older pets, the problem tends to be hormonal as their levels go out of whack. Sterilised pets are more prone to such issues.
If there seems to be excessive shedding, look out, anywhere on your pet, for bald patches, intense itchiness (along with heavy-duty scratching), redness, dried skin scabs, severe inflammation and pus production. If you find any of these, the problem is probably an underlying condition that can only be addressed by your vet.
Stress is sometimes a determining factor in the amount of shedding your pet does. Dogs have to be walked regularly or you might find them ripping chunks of fuzz off themselves in sheer boredom.
A good Essential Fatty Acids (EFAs) supplement is paramount for skin health, particularly Omega 3. While most dry pet foods "claim" to have it in oodles, more often than not, they don't. This is due to Omega 3's extreme sensitivity to light and oxidation. EFAs supplementation applies more to dogs than cats, says Dr. Ly form The Animal Recovery Centre. Stress causes internal inflammation and Omega 3 is an anti-inflammatory oil. "A large percentage of dogs have an inherited inability to neutralize inflammation caused by stress."
Dr. Ly also recommends a good multi-vitamin, and zinc supplementation. Dr. Heng adds that Vitamin C, Flaxseed oil and cod liver oil are good, too, although you'll need to check with your vet for the recommended dosage.
For Dr. Ly, a healthy diet is the panacea to your pet's woes—or in the case of minimal shedding—yours. To minimise this, a mixture of fresh food and commercial food is ideal. He points to the denaturation of protein in high temperature food processing in some kibble brands. "When food is processed at high temperatures, a lot of the essential amino acids are damaged and a lot of nutrients are completely eliminated. And a lot of the nutrients are completely eliminated. And a lot of the micronutrients including enzymes are not found in processed foods even though a lot of them meet the Recommended Daily Allowance (RDA) requirements. But these requirements only meet the minimum daily needs of your pet."
I usually tell people that fresh is good, but raw is even better, says Dr. Ly, who observed that undomesticated animals on a diet of raw prey "look better" than their counterparts in captivity. He also noted that some animals, for example, might be allergic to processed lamb, but when given raw lamb, they do not show signs of allergy.
Make sure your pet's groomer is professional enough to recognize skin and coat problems. There are groomers out there who are nothing more than glorified shampoo salesmen. A "professional" groomer, says Dr Ly, would also check with the pet's owner for allergies, past and present. "What I see very often is animals coming in after undergoing grooming, because they break out. They shed even more, they develop skin problems."
The more humid the weather, the more knots there are in your pet's fur, the more knots, the more skin problems, which lead to excessive shedding. Regular brushing of your pet helps. Dr. Heng suggests daily brushing in Singapore's climate. Hiroshi, a groomer with School of Pet Grooming, suggests paying more attention to the neck and back area (where the tail is), because these areas shed more.
Regular grooming might be the single most effective way of keeping fur off your furniture. Use a slicker brush and a shedding comb, go through your dog's hair until it runs smoothly. For dogs with undercoats, consider using an undercoat rake to pull out loose hairs. Use a dematting rake to untangle the matts. Don't be worried if you pull out chunks.
Go to the vets'
Regular visits to the vet would be your final defense and safety net to minimise shedding. We will make sure there are no parasites or underlying skin problems, that the shampoo is correct, and that the diet is adequate, says Dr. Ly. "The skin is a reflection of your internal organs, if your pet's skin is unhealthy, it has internal health problems. What is on the inside will show on the skin first. You should take care of the internal problems first before treating the skin. It's a sign that your pet has internal problems when it has skin and coat problems."
Use low-allergen products
A lot of animals with skin and coat problems find perfumes shampoos intolerable. These often exacerbate the condition, so it is advisable to get a low allergen shampoo. Make sure it is not perfumed and harsh chemicals like Sodium Lauyl Sulfate (the foaming agent that is present in most shampoos) are not present. Dr. Ly doesn't believe in using products for his pets (he has two dogs and a cat) that he would not use on himself. "If I don't believe in the products, how can I use it on my animal companions? 80 to 90 per cent of the supplements, foods, drugs and shampoos I dispense in my practice are fit for human use."
Monday, November 7, 2011
Jie jie saw us sleeping on the sofa together.. we share the sofa on our own... we don't usually share the sofa and our jie jies used to think that dawn is always scare of amber while amber don't usually shares her spot but today was a surprise to jie jies and gor gor!
Saturday, November 5, 2011
Bonnie, a springer spaniel from Britain, has been a tracking and detection dog with the Singapore Police Force's K-9 Unit for the last few years.
Now aged six, it has begun a new chapter of its life - retirement - and was adopted by a family here. Of the more than 10 former police dogs offered for adoption this month, at least six have been rehomed, a police spokesman told The Straits Times.
About 40 such dogs - german shepherds, belgian shepherds, springer spaniels and labradors - are retired each year, reported Home Team News, the online community newspaper of those in the Ministry of Home Affairs and its safety and security agencies.
The police have made a practice of rehoming retiring dogs since 1984, holding up to three adoption drives each year.