Tuesday, May 27, 2008

ST (27-5-08)

Here's a letter about dogs again. The problem as we've seen with cats is again, not about the dogs. Unfortunately we've often seen what happens when people who feed cats don't sterilise - the cats are the ones who get blamed and are trapped as a result. The same principle applies here.

If something can be done to ensure that all feeders are responsible caregivers then there really won't be a problem. The issue is that often when letters like these are published, it focuses attention on the wrong thing - the dogs and not the feeders . Nothing is going to happen to the feeders. After all, not sterilising is not illegal. However irresponsible behaviour of the feeders is going to lead to more animals being killed.

It would be good if the responsible caregivers - both dog and cat caregivers - speak up about sterilisation and what behaviour should be practised. With one voice, they should decry the practices of irresponsible feeders - whether they feed dogs, cats, monkeys or lizards. If an animal is hungry, it will eat - it's not the cat or dog's fault that it didn't get sterilised obviously.


Anonymous said...

Temples have been refuge for dogs, cats, turtles etc as i believe (correct me if i am wrong) it to be some kind of tradition.
For the writer Ms Kat Ong to complain about dogs in the temple is rather rude. A temple near my home plays temple music loudly - and no one in the neighbourhood has
complained about it. It is about tolerance.
How about mosques allowing cats in their premises?? Can the care-givers in mosques keep the cats in?

I find it rather hard to imagine 40dogs in a car park. If a photo is offered as evidence, then it will be believable.

If Ms Kat Ong would quote instances with dates instead of generalising like dogs are "chasing residents", she would actually be taken seriously.
I believe there are people chasing after dogs too ; )

If in a freak instance when a bird killed a rabbit (it happened to my rabbit), does it mean all birds are threatening??

It is hard to trap feral dogs for sterilisation and it is very costly too. Sterilisation is about $300 and to employ a trapper + transport + boarding after surgery - it would cost a total of $600 to get ONE dog sterilised.
Anyway, a big thank you for Ms Ong for offering to sterilise the tens of dogs she sees.
However, if the care-givers of the dogs do not know Ms Ong - i do not blame them for refusing her most generous offer. She does not come across as liking dogs at all. In fact, writing to the press would set off a chain event to get the dogs culled.
Would the dog care-givers accept an offer to sterilise dogs from someone hostile to dogs??

Anonymous said...

The more you write to the press about this, the more the facts will be distorted and the more likely that AVA will come to cull them. WHY complain to straitstimes??????
People who were previously not involved at all will start calling for the dogs to be culled and putting pressure on AVA to get rid of them. IT DOESNT MATTER THAT YOU ADVOCATE STERILIZATION! IN THE PUBLIC EYE THE DOGS ARE SIMPLY MENACES TO BE DISPOSED OF. THAT IS ALL THEY WILL PERCEIVE

Dawn said...

anonymous - exactly. the problem is that someone who doesn't like animals will probably only focus on two things. Firstly, the dog population is growing. Secondly, they have chased residents.

Often this is why there is a disconnect between feeders and complainants. The feeders will insist the cats are sterilised for example when there is a complaint. The complainants don't care. So what if the cat is sterilised? If the complaint is about an 'attack cat' for example, will the fact that it's sterilised matter at all?

Judith said...

I'm posting the following reply from Kat Ong at her request, since she has no google account. I'm judithcat.

Dear Anonymous,

I can understand your reason as to rebuke on my article....cos that journalist just pick and choose 1 part of my email ( remove the first and the last ) and have it up like that!!!!! With full understanding of the context, you have missed out facts I have stressed on.

My intention to have it publish was to provide facts & truth that the dogs groups might have not got it from the start and misunderstands deepen and sore cats and dogs group. That Article of Cats & dogs group at odd should not have come out !

1) Our initial plan is to have the dogs sterilsed.
2) Some of volunteers we have were the one ( not me ) wh seen the 40 dogs...I check if she can gwt the pictures.....
The temples alone you know have 9.....more to come as they breeds....
The dogs belongs to the temple so its consider as pets....They should not let the dogs roam at night...Do owners let their pets roam with supervision?

3) Some of our volunteers ( not me ) who have talk to some feeders but I think they do not want to sterilse the dogs way before AVA came to the picture.
So it has nothing to do with what you have mention who want to work with me if I am not of dogs lovers?
They find that sterilsation CRUEL!

4) All mentioned are based on remarks given by feeders and animal members in Jurong. I don't mind giving you evidences but please don't feel I make it up or I could be sue......

5) I have foster dogs beofre and I own a dog whom passed away at 17 years old. All of us love animals...its just that we cannot understand why it is so hard for dogs feeders to let us sterilsed the dogs????

here is the full email I gave to papers......it was meant to patch up the 2 groups and clear the misunderstanding. end up I think it makes things worse............

I am responding to the ADS that was published 20 May - yesterday >

Jurong residents at odds over stray dog problem

I hope you would publish my reply as this concerns the Hidden FACTS that have to be brought to LIGHT to Clear Air.

We were working on this case from the start. Our initial plan is to have the strays dogs sterilized.

Initial reply from ASD:
We have no idea on how to trap these dogs down and also down on manpower. You have to do it yourself.

Last week reply from ASD:
We do not represent them and we also do not see the point of wasting time money and effort on sterilizing them only to have the AVA destroy them after a few days.


1) Temples are breeding dogs everyday and allow them out at nights to roam.

2) Dogs feeders DO NOT Want to sterilize them when they could touch the dogs. One spot in Jurong Carpark have a headcount of 40 dogs. Not to mention other areas which feeders are taking care of.

3) Dogs have also seen chasing after residents. You might like to interview the residents about it.
One friendly Dog had been killed by the packs of Dogs. We tried to save her out of streets but she refused to let us catch her.

All of us have talk to the Dogs Feeders and Temples and AVA have came to Temples to advocate Sterilization too. But they won't to let us sterilize them even we are doing it at our own COST. They also won't listened to AVA stop letting their dogs out at night.

Dogs Lovers / Feeders who have commented to us some time ago similar to what the following reader posted:

Yesterday, 10:09 PM
Since HDB residents love to complain about dog-owners, my friends and I will start reporting every single cat owned by HDB residents, and have AVA and HDB get rid of these illegal residents. So much for bullying dog owners. We have enough of it. The cat lovers in HDB estates can say goodbye to their cats. All those cats with collars and cats with HDB homes, it's time to blame your owners for hating dogs.

To be rational, let's look at this:

When strays cats overpopulated, Residents calls Town Council or SPCA to have them cull and rounded up. The residents who complains can be Residents who simply don't like 4 Legged Animals or Dogs Groups. Have any of the Cat Groups threaten the residents or Dogs Groups? Instead, Cat Feeders work with other caregivers from other estate to help resolve the situation for the residents. Eg ; Rehoming that problem cat have been creating noise by fighting with other cats. If cannot re home, Town Council will take the cat away. FEEDERS TAKE INTO CONSIDERATION ABOUT RESIDENTS CONCERN & CARE about STRAYS CATS WELFARE BY sterilizing ALL THE CATS so that the population stops multiplying.

Just because the first call to AVA were made by some Cat Lover and it straight hit back that Cats Group are BIASED?
What if the first call were made by Residents who aren't animal lovers?

Animal Lover must not be SELF CENTERED.
WE should show consideration to all mankind and beings. To us, CATS & DOGS ARE EQUALLY TREATED

Same goes for cats. There are feeders who leave food remains everywhere and will not clear them. As a result, the Residents complains and spoil the image of many of us who upkeep the cleanliness of the public areas.

One feeder at a carpark are feeding a stray dogs of 40 and the number of headcount will grow further. Not to mentioned other areas where feeders are caring for. When it comes to a time where you could see hundreds of Dogs, sooner or later, someone ( don't have to be cats group ) will call AVA again.

Another point to think about is when the headcount grow, your pocket grow. Howe long can any feeder be financially sustain?

In short, we should asked ourselves this:

As An Animal Lover, we care for all animals and will do something if the other is being harmed. Like the case of the tamed dog which was killed by packs of dogs. We tried to save her by removing her out of streets but it refused to let us catch her. Someone post online on the same subject to say that puppy was killed by strays Dogs. If they were BIASED against CATS, they would not have cared for the Dogs.

Today, 10:19 AM
During a night when I was on duty in NS, I was awaken by growls, howls and fierce barking. Thinking that it must be the pack of strays - 'kept' by an OC of one of the companies - in camp fighting over who to hump the b i t c h first, A puppy was lying in a pool of blood barely alive with limbs torn and puncture wounds all over. I rushed the puppy to a medical centre but unfortunately, the medic on duty refused to attend to it. It died a very slow death because I could not bear to put it down even though it would have been the better choice. I love dogs. Strays have to be kept off the streets.

Support Sterilsation which is FAIR TO EVERYONE.
YOu can be a GOOD Citizen by Sparing a Thought for Others & Keep our country litter free.
Feeders of Dogs, you are the best person to get near the Dogs, please work with us.

AVA - Can you don't cull them
ASD - Will you funds us with sterilsing if AVA Don't cull them?

Please write to me if you are keen to have this starts off: Kat Ong

Kat Ong
83 Clemeneau Ave, UE Square, #17-01 ( West Wing )
Singapore 239920
Tel : (65) 6733 2882
Fax : (65) 6210 6967

Dawn said...

Hi Judith, first of all, let me just clarify that you do not need a google account to post here. There are several people, including the Anonymous posters, who have posted without one.

As for the points raised by the writer, here's a few thoughts I have to share. Whenever you write to the press you take a huge risk. They have no duty to publish your entire letter and in fact, the forum page has stated in the past that letters should not be more than 500 words long. From what I can see, if this was the piece submitted, it was far too long. It was also confusing as it seemed to contain other postings by different people. The ST would certainly edit it.

If you want to write to the press, bear in mind the word limit. The closer you keep to it, the more likely they are to publish the piece. Secondly, be concise.

Most importantly, what do you want to achieve? If you want to get across one point then focus on that one point. Bringing in extraneous factors often muddies the waters and confuses the issues.

For example, if this was a piece about sterilisation and irresponsible feeding, then that's what it should have focused on. Issues such as dogs chasing people detract from the main topic. It only reinforces the issue in people's minds that animals - and this includes cats - can be dangerous.

Dawn said...

Judith, could you also please ask Kat to post directly as there is no requirement to be a google/blogger (or any other account holder) to post? Does she want all her personal information on the Internet?

Kat Ong said...

Hi, it seems so easy but its not....I thought just create the new account in this blog by clicking the button ( create google account here ). instead, now I know I have to go to gmail website to create account first then go back to this blog to activate the gmail account.....

ok, now I am in.

Anonymous said...

Hi Anonmyous, I fully agree with your statements - temples is a place for homeless strays.

But are you aware that the temples aren't just doing that. They take in the dogs is to intend them to BREED & MULTIPLY.

Their plan is to have more dogs to guide temples. While they could have compassionate in ways like accept homeless dogs from other fosterers or from the streets but why are they creating more dogs and cats out of their compound?

Secondly, we know legally, we are not allowed to BREED in private. Unless we are a registered Breeder for commercial business? something like that?

Thirdly, they let the dogs roam at night and you say it is all right. correct? Since the temples takes them in, it refers to PRE OWNED.
If you can allow these animals to roam about, then why can't pet owners let their cats & dogs roam without leash or supervision?
That meakes sense on who is rational....on logic. If Breeding in temples is ok, why are we against breeders who breeds for sale? Both are the same. We have enough of animals that created and GIVEN UP. right?

Firstly, it was not me to talk to feeders. Secondly it was the cat Feeders and the dog feeders says it cruel to sterilsed them. So even if we can catch the dogs and not involved the AVA, what can be done? NOTHING....We have no right to snatch their dogs and have it sterilsed. We need their approval.......

Like what it is commented in this page, true we cannot force them to do it, we need to be patience. we need to buy their heart.but wile this takes times, cats and tame dogs dies...

Dawn said...

Hi Kat, you don't need a google/blogger account at all.

As you can see, many people post with other accounts or as Anonymous posters. All you need to do is NOT click on google/Blogger. Click on one of the other buttons. There are options for Open ID (ie other blog programmes), name/URL (which means your name and your website if you have one) or Anonymous.

Dawn said...

Hi Kat, a few things I want to mention. I think your statement that 'But are you aware that the temples aren't just doing that. They take in the dogs is to intend them to BREED & MULTIPLY.' is an overgeneralisation. How do you know that? Do all temples take in dogs and intend them to breed and multiply? I know for example of temples that run sterilisation programmes for both dogs and cats. One temple I know of has run a very successful TNRM programme - they do not wish to advertise this because they are aware that more people may dump cats there.

Secondly, there is no law against private breeding. You may want to check with the AVA. If you are breeding commercially, THEN you need a license.

thirdly, I don't understand your argument about pre-owned. From what I understand most of these animals are community dogs and cats. If so, then your analogy with pet owners is flawed. They don't 'take in' animals - the animals are on the premises much as dogs and cats who are in HDB estates. It would be akin to calling community cat caregivers 'pet owners' which I might add is a fallacy many complainants make - ie 'since you feed the cat, why don't you take it home'. Surely you aren't suggesting that community cat caregivers keep THEIR cats on leashes?

Next, why do you need approval to sterilise the dogs? It's the same with the cats - if someone isn't sterilising and you think you'd like to do it, these dogs and cats are not 'owned'. If these people 'deny' you permission, then ask what the basis of their ownership is. If they have none, then their 'permission' is unnecessary.

I'm not sure what writing in and not involving the AVA have to do with each other. The point is that unfortunately, your letter, however well intentioned, has brought the matter up into the public eye again. This puts all the animals in danger.

Dawn said...

Kat BTW, are you sure that you want your address and number on this website?

Chinky said...

I agree with Dawn that Kat should not be generalising.
There is a tendency for some people to "abandon" or "liberate" animals onto temple ground with the hope that they will not be killed. However the temple's management may not know how to cope with a large number of animals and hence sterilisation may not be an item on their agenda or may not be high up on the priorities on the use of donated fund. To some people, helping human beings must always be top priority.
Perhaps with a younger lot of people joining temples, the concept of animal welfarism that include sterilisation will be given due importance.
There are temples that have TnRM in place and dogs too are aterilised. So please do not generalise.

Anonymous said...

If a sterilization fund were set up for stray dogs I'm people would be willing to contribute. Funding is not the biggest problem its HOW to do it. This is obviously not something that one person can do alone. I saw on tv how animal control officers used cage traps to catch dogs for sterilization. Only AVA has dog traps but they are unwilling to use them for anything besides KILLING. If the caregivers were cooperative you would not have to resort to trapping the dogs as it would be easier if they are handled by someone they are familiar with. Explain to them that sterilization means fewer unwanted puppies born, which means fewer dogs for AVA to cull. Perhaps they might not have listened in the past but with all the negative press recently it would be even more dangerous to let the dogs roam

Dawn said...

Sometimes also it may be overwhelming if too many dogs and cats get abandoned in the temples. This happens to caregivers too and in the case of the temples, there may not even be regular caregivers. As Chinky said, it may not be a priority as a result.

As anonymous said, if the feeders can be corralled in to help, then it would definitely be easier. However more press attention on this matter isn't likely to make them more likely to work with the rest of the caregivers, especially if they think that the 'cat caregivers' are asking for their dogs to be killed.