Does it need help?
The animal lover in us would probably want to make sure all our furry friends are safe and protected. But are there times when it is better to leave stay animals as they are?
Here are some useful tips from animal groups in Singapore.
There is a dog is in the middle of a busy road. What do I do?
Do not chase after it because it could be dangerous not only to you, but other pedestrians and motorists as well. Observe and see if it knows where it is heading.
I found a cute litter of puppies and their mother is not around. Should I take them home?
No, especially if they look healthy and uninjured.
The mother dog is probably out looking for food and she will be frantically looking for them when she returns. Instead, you should observe the situation over the next few days before deciding if they need help. Avoid touching the puppies as this will give them a new scent and the mother dog may not accept them anymore.
I see a stray dog in a construction site. Should I do anything?
It is probably living there, so you can leave it alone. This applies to any area where there is little human movement.
This stray animal I found is definitely injured. How should I proceed?
Call the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)’s 24-hour emergency hotline (62875355 ext. 9) as soon as you can and provide details such as
– the condition of the animal
– address of the location
– your name
– your contact number
Their Animal Rescue Officers will be sent to the location as soon as possible.
While waiting for help to arrive, bring the animal to a safer location (away from traffic or a crowded area, etc) and confine it in a box or carrier. If that’s not possible, try to stay or keep an eye out for the animal.
You can also bring the animal to the SPCA shelter (at 50 Sungei Tengah Road) and they will bring the animal to the vets.
On its website, SPCA adds, “However, as we are responding to close to 250 emergencies per month involving mainly community animals, you would really help us increase the animal’s chances of survival by bringing it to a private vet as soon as possible.”
(If you are unsure about how to approach a street dog, read these tips from SOSD Singapore.)
I think this pet dog is lost. How do I locate its owner?
Wait to see if the dog is momentarily separated from its owner before taking it away. You will save a lot of time and hassle, and avoid distress and confusion.
If no one gets the dog after some time, you may approach it to check for injuries and observe general health of the dog.
Check for any form of identification via collars with ID tags, or an AVA license tag, and contact the owners.
If there are none, try to get it to a vet to scan its microchip, which will help to locate its owner. You should also check with the Agri-food and Veterinary Authority Singapore (AVA) and SPCA and ask anyone is looking for it, as well as the classifieds to see if anyone is looking for it.
If there is no microchip on the dog, place an advertisement in the Straits Times Classified under the Lost and Found section (note: run the ad for three days), as well as online classifieds and Social Media.
You can also put up posters in the neighborhood (within one kilometre radius) where you found it in. Indicate date and location where it was found, and a contact number for the owner to call. Describe the colour and size of the dog, but do not include the gender of the dog nor any distinctive markings on the dog. These can act as important verifications by the genuine owners when they contact you.
If the lost dog is a pedigree, the Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) advises, “Beware of unscrupulous people calling to offer their help to ‘adopt’ or ‘take care’ of the dog. These are people that may breed or resell the dog.”
What do I do with it in the meantime?
You will need to foster the dog until the owners come forward. If no one claims it, you should find it a new home or take it in.
Causes for Animals (Singapore) adds, “Before taking the dog to an animal-welfare group, consider that these organisations are often stretched to their limits with other rescues and existing residents.”
I really can’t have or add a pet to my home. What should I do?
Some groups may be able to help your situation. Read about them here.
By Muneerah Bee, September 2016