Animal Welfare as Part of Our National Conscious
Orchard Road, the shopping mecca in Singapore was abuzz with something different last weekend as the Chained Dog Awareness group held a two day event outside Shaw House. The event brought together experts and animal lovers to educate and raise awareness about the high number of dogs chained or caged in Singapore.
With increased awareness and education it is the hope that the numbers of confined dogs, both caged and chained, will go down. But until animal welfare and compassion becomes a bigger part of a nation’s conscious it will be a tough challenge.
In his speech, Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, SPCA Singapore’s new Acting Executive Director, spoke of the number of cases he has investigated over the years and unfortunately he said the numbers are not going down. This is due to the owners who simply believe there is absolutely nothing wrong with a dog being kept chained or caged; and owners who are using the dog for a purpose such as a guard dog and simply don’t care for the animal. Installing proper laws to protect animal rights and educating the people are ways to improve the present situation.
ONE OF THE LUCKY ONES - Kiat kiat, a rescued chained dog now living out his second chance at life at OSCAS - Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter. Kiat kiat was found shackled around his neck with a thick heavy rusty chain tethered next to a shallow dry well with no protection from the weather. He survived only on rainwater to drink and scraps of bones given now and again throughout the 3 & a half years he was kept chained as a guard dog. He has turned out to be a sweet manageable dog and ready to be adopted into a loving home.
Unfortunately Singapore currently has no laws in place to restrict dog chaining or tethering, which is one of the cruellest treatments imaginable for a social animal like a dog. Chaining dogs 24/7 denies them the opportunity to engage in normal activities that will promote physical and mental health and leads only to their suffering from being isolated, consistently alone, intense boredom and frustration, hygiene issues, malnourishment and depression.
The limitation of a chained dog’s mobility contravenes ‘The Five Freedoms’, widely accepted as a statement of fundamental principles of animal welfare and adopted by professional veterinarians and advocated by international groups like the World Society for Protection of Animals (WSPA), World Organization of Animal Health (OIE), and the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA). The Five Freedoms being:
Freedom from hunger or thirst: If sources are depleted, a dog is unable to physically alert his owner or move to another food or water source. Freedom from discomfort: Tied to a post, a dog is exposed to the elements all day, every single day. A chained dog has to live within a dirty and dangerous environment most of the time. Freedom from pain, injury or disease: A chained dog is most likely malnourished because it is being fed ill-suited food resulting in a weak immune system thus it is not able to fight off infections. It is often riddled with ticks, mite infestations and probably has worms breeding in them. Freedom to express normal behaviour: It is unnatural for a dog to stay in one area for 24 hours a day 7 days a week for its entire life. A chained dog is starved of everything they thrive on – LOVE, AFFECTION AND INTERACTION WITH HUMANS and OTHER DOGS. Freedom from fear and distress: Being tethered for such an extended period of time could have a devastating psychological effect on a dog. Psychological effects are normally long-term and will most likely affect the dog for the entire duration of his life.
Together, the Chained Dog Awareness in Singapore group - hopes that more chained dogs can be freed and live a humane existence. Here are ways you can help break the chain:
Help create more awareness. Like the Facebook page of Chained Dog Awareness in Singapore and share educational posts with your friends.
If you know friends, relatives or neighbours who chain their dogs, speak to them about the negative aspects of chaining.
Report abuse. If speaking to these people does not work, report them to AVA. Be the voice for the animals.
Volunteer. Please email : firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how you can help them in monitoring these cases or if a chained dog needs a temporary home, please step up and help to foster one.
Visit FB / ChainedDogAwarenessSingapore for more info.
Every chained dog deserves to be freed!