Monday, November 30, 2009

Pet shops to be certified

Thanks to yskat for this article on how people running pet shops will soon have to undergo a compulsory training programme. While this is a good step in terms of hopefully at least impressing about pet shop owners what they should do, and how the animals should be treated while under their care, the real issue is that most pet shop owners who sell animals are in it obviously to make a profit. If they're too fussy about whom they sell the animals to, they'd go broke. In addition, why sell animals when there are so many animals that need to be adopted? I don't really see this making any real impact unfortunately.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

No Kill

Thanks to Aminah for sending this video. It's very sad - and also upsetting, so you should skip it if you don't think it's for you.

It brought to mind the larger issue for me of shelters and No-Kill. Obviously, the situation is different in different parts of the world, but then I saw this on the No Kill Advocacy website - apparently, shelter. Apparently shelter directors in Australia, New Zealand and the US are now in a 'competition' to see who can first reach No-Kill status (Scroll down on this page to "The Race is On"). It leads me to wonder why in Singapore, a country we pride as being First in everything, that the authorities are not supportive of a No-Kill ethos, which is more humane and effective.

Interestingly as well, the No Kill Advocacy Centre is offering Redemption free to No-Kill shelters and rescue groups. I've bought a few copies to give out to people, all of whom found it a really insightful read. Winograd has just come out with another book - Irreconcilable Differences.

Even though this book is also supposed to be about American shelters, I suspect it will be much like Redemption, with lessons that I think are applicable to everyone.

I'm going to order a copy for myself - and because I thought Redemption was such a fantastic read, I'm going to order an extra copy of Irreconcilable Differences for one of you. If you'd like a chance to get your hands on a copy, please post a comment by 30th November midnight Singapore time, letting me know why you'd like to have it. The most creative/insightful/interesting comment 'wins' :) Don't add your email or mailing address on the blog - I'll ask you for it later if I'm mailing you the book. By the way, I'm not being sponsored in any way - and I haven't read Irreconcilable Differences yet either so don't ask me if it's good yet!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Cats for rat patrol

Thanks to Chinky for sending this article. I like that it explained that rats tend to stay away more because of the smell, not always because cats are actively catching and killing them. I've found that when we moved into a rental home, that was certainly true.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


Some of you may have read of the case of Oreo who was thrown off a building last year. He was then sent to the ASPCA - and the ASPCA said they found that he was unpredictable and aggressive. Oreo was then killed on Friday. I can understand that he might not have been able to be adopted out - but it's strange that when there were other supposedly reputable shelters with experience with traumatised/aggressive dogs, that Oreo wasn't given to them for adoption. Here's a good opinion piece by Nathan Winograd.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Contact Information on collars

Today, a little bulldog ran into my garden. It had a collar on, and didn't look distressed, but it also looked lost. I've never seen the dog before, and no one seemed to know where it came from. No one came running after it either. The dog was running full speed around and checking everything out. I tried to lure it indoors.

The dog had a collar on - and I could see that the collar had a tag on it too. Unfortunately, the side which would have had the phone number on it was facing away from me - so I couldn't see a number to call. The dog was also friendly enough but skittish - every time I made an attempt to look at his tag, he would leap away. By the time I went in to get some food to tempt it with, the dog had taken off and couldn't be found.

This then is the problem with tags. If your dog or cat is shy, chances of someone being able to read the tag is really a coin toss. If the side with the number on it is facing outwards (AND the animal stays still long enough), then your contact information can be read. However, there's also a good chance that it ISN'T facing the right way - and in that case, the tag does no good at all.

One solution around it is to put your contact details on the collar itself. Here's an example of one of the collars sold. The other way of doing this is just to get a permanent marker and write your number in large letters on whatever collar you're using. As long as it's a plain collar, this works just as well. Either way, people can easily see your contact details and call if they see your cat or dog lost.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

ST (4-11-09)

This still doesn't explain why, if shooting is used as a last resort, that there are regular shooting sessions.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Animal Grief

A great article on animal grief. If animals can feel emotion, then they also have a level of intelligence, despite what some people argue. Some of these videos are really sad - the one with Koko and her kitten, especially.

Monday, November 2, 2009


Watch this video - and then tell me crows are dumb. I love that Joshua Klein tried to think of a way to make a 'pest' animal do something useful so that people would stop trying to get rid of them.

If anyone is going to try and make a crowbox, let me know. We're thinking of trying one!