Ministry of National Development had recently set up an online survey, to collate public feedback on pet ownership and stray management policies. If you have not already done so ( in giving your feedback), it’s high time you do so, whether you are a pet lovers or not. At least, the authority would be able to tweak their policies so to protect the innocent animals while making sure all the ‘troublesome’ human-beings happy (Note: I am referring to both pet and non-pet lovers, as I think human beings are always the problematic one, not the animals themselves)
For me, I think the stray issues need to be dealt with a multi-pronged approach;
1. Pet Homing policies to curb the overcrowding situation in the animal shelters.
The HDB policy on pet ownership should be revisited, so that it would be more supportive in homing of medium dogs. In helping to re-home the stray animals which a significant number of them do not meet HDB guidelines, whether it’s an “all inclusive” or “by exception” policy, it will go a long way to address or mitigate the overcrowding challenge that the animal shelters are facing today. This will also give some hope to the poor homeless, abandoned animals as they deserve better than what they are receiving today.
2. AVA policies to protect the puppies who are helplessly mishandled by the unethical pet commercial entities
OK, not all pet shops or farms are unethical. But that does not mean there is none in this “dark” industry as they disregard the welfare of the baby animals. We do not expect any pet commercial entities to run like an animal welfare association. But at minimum they should and must be pet lovers. A pet lover would not have done what some of us had encountered ourselves, which I had recently blogged in a true revelation of a pet warehouse and the feedbacks I had gathered from the like-minded pet lovers.
The authority could do more to keep such irresponsible entities in check. Do not believe on what some of the companies would say in their “PR-tically” right statements, as some of them are just wolf wearing the skin of a sheep. They might project themselves to be animal lovers, but in reality they are just taking the poor animals as a mere commodity.
We need AVA help to weed out such socially irresponsible dog breeders/sellers, so we do not have a situation of animal ill treatment. We would also be able to minimize the number of stray dogs. Many of these dogs were abandoned partly due to these scrupulous commercial entities. They will hard-sell their “commodities” to potential pet owners who are not ready yet for pets.The end result? Abandoned animals.
3. Educate potential pet owners about the responsibility of being one
The saying goes, it takes two hands to clap, and the stray situation is no different. If all potential pet owners were to do their homework, on what their duties are in owning a pet, then we would know the pet will be in the goods hand of a responsible owner. The unfortunate truth is a lot of potential pet owners do not. They would therefore be easily swayed by the sweet-talk of the sales people, and the cute-innocent look of the puppies. By the time they bring their “toy” back home, they will realize that the life of a pet owner is not as easy as one have made it out to be. Issues of strays and/or mistreatment by pet owners are brewed as a result.
4. Execute, and execute wisely and properly.
With all the policies in place, it’ll be useless if they are not governed or executed well. A case in point is a recent incident involving a restaurant suspected of selling dog meat. The officers made a first trip to the restaurant for preliminary check, and then subsequently made a second trip to the restaurant again to obtain meat samples. Perhaps they were just following the protocols, but for heaven sake, exercise some common sense because what they had done was just plain meaningless. The restaurant could have gotten sufficient lead time to cover up their bad deeds, if they were indeed guilty. Do more mystery or surprise audit check on these commercial entities where there’s suspect of cruelty treatment of animals, I am sure one will see a different story, and one that matches the reality.
And it is not just with the authorities that should get their acts together, the society needs to play its part as well. As pet owners, we need to do what is necessary to keep our pets clean and happy, but not forgetting to stay in harmony with our fellow neighbors and friends who may not necessary a pet lover. For non pet lovers, let’s exercise some graciousness, for I am sure there are other things you like to do which others may not. But more importantly, if we all exercise our capability as human being in doing what we can to protect the innocent animals, we would not have seen the proliferation of the “pet warehouse” in the recent years.
So let’s take the first step. Let’s give our feedback to MND 🙂