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Singapore: Animal Lovers Rally to Save Stray Dogs

Categories: East Asia, Singapore, Environment, Health

After a jogger was scratched and bitten by a pack of stray dogs on December 14, 2011, at a new park in Punggol in Singapore, the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) has stepped up efforts to round up the stray dogs around the area. Almost 30 dogs have been caught. About four have been deemed aggressive and been put down.

Since then, animal-loving Singaporeans have rallied to the cause, setting up a Facebook page [1] appealing to Pasir Ris-Punggol GRC Member of Parliament Ms Penny Low and the AVA to stop the culling.

There are so many ways we could meaningfully reduce the homeless animal population. Actively discouraging people from abandoning animals. Letting people give animals a home in their flats. Supporting and encouraging sterilization of animals. All of these solutions would be better than killing tens of thousands of homeless animals under the guise of ‘public safety’.

Volunteers have also begun to rescue dogs from culling, putting their photos [2] up on the group to seek fosterers and adopters.

One of the dogs rescued and now in need of a home. (Image from Hawk Cut Weis on Facebook). [3]

One of the dogs rescued and now in need of a home. (Image from Hawk Cut Weis on Facebook).

Haslinda [4] hopes that the episode won't put people off visiting the area:

Those who are familiar with this place may have seen the stray dogs several times. I hope this news have not turned off anyone from visiting this place. Just wish to point out some locations where I had seen the dogs. So don’t be surprised if you see them loitering around. They won’t attack anyone without reason.

@jolantru [5] blogs about her opposition to the culling of strays:

…seeing them being culled hurts. It feels like SARS all over. I adopted Meow, a kitten picked up from the streets during that fateful year, and he is with me now, a healthy and extremely affectionate tom. Cat lovers were shocked and outraged by the indiscriminate culling. Perhaps, AVA was just doing its job – but killing wasn’t the answer.

However, the AVA has cited the need to ensure the safety of Singaporeans, as well as to control and prevent the spread of rabies.