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Animal 3Rs: Rescue, Rehabilitate, Rehome [ Part 2/4 ]

 


We continue from Part 1 where we talked about stray animal rescuers being loosely divided into 2 categories: incidental rescuers, and organized rescuers.
 
Some of these organized rescuers fall under SPCAs outreach programme, Mission HELP. Under Mission HELP, rescuers round up, feed and care for stray animals and bring them in to the SPCA for neutering and medical treatment before securing new homes for the animals. They also assist animal lovers who feed strays or who lodge reports with the SPCA on stray animals in their areas in bringing the animals in for neutering at the DBKL-SPCA Low Cost Spay and Neuter Clinic. This programme is one of the measures taken by the SPCA to reduce the number of stray animals in the country and to lower the euthanasia rates in our animal shelter.
 
All animal rescuers carry out the good work they do on the premise that we owe a collective responsibility, as humans, to the animals that we are supposed to care for and protect. Humans have selectively bred cats and dogs for so many generations that without food, shelter and medical attention from us, cats and dogs are unable to keep themselves healthy, safe and free from starvation and suffering.
 
Animal rescuers also understand that the problem of stray overpopulation is a direct result of human apathy and negligence. Most pet owners do not intend or could not afford to keep all the offspring of their pets, yet do not take the necessary step of neutering their pets on grounds that it is against their religion or that it would alter their pets behavior or on any other baseless or frivolous reason. The unwanted pets are then abandoned and often suffer from malnutrition, disease and injuries related to traffic accidents and fights. Strays do not live long. The average life expectancy of a stray cat is only 3 years, while an indoor pet cat can expect to live well over 10 years.
 
There is, nevertheless, a need to tell apart real animal rescuers from those who are not taking any concrete action to promote animal welfare and control stray overpopulation. The former group deserves our backing, while the latter group needs our advice and has to learn to redirect its energies towards more productive and progressive ways of helping animals. People who claim or appear to be animal rescuers but whose actions do not help animals include people who feed strays but refuse to have them neutered, and people who allow their pets to breed indiscriminately and then attempt via e-mail and text message to find homes for all the animals they could no longer provide for.
 
In such cases, SPCA volunteers and officers could be requested to provide counseling and practical support to such people, in order that the animal population could be brought down to a manageable level so they could continue feeding and caring for a now stable animal population.
 
Not all animals may need to be rehabilitated and rehomed, however. There are special circumstances in which a neuter-and-release strategy may be desirable. This applies more frequently to feral cats that are able to care for themselves and are unused to human contact or indoor life.

 

<< Back To Part 1

Continue To Part 3 >>

 

 

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Ee Lynn

Ee Lynn is an incorrigible volunteer, advocate, activist and animal rescuer who has managed to survive in the animal rescue and NGO scene by avoiding politics, making allies and keeping her focus on the cause. She lives in a household ruled by 7 cats and 2 dogs.

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One Comment

  1. avatar

    My neighbours love to feed the stray cats at our back alley and now they are populating the area with kittens. Their ‘excuse’ is so that the cats are around to control pests like snakes and rats. The cats are now permanent residents and will know the exact time to appear for their morning/evening feed. I’ve told them there are better ways to control pests but they continue to do as they please. The cats are a nuisance when they foul up the back alley when they defecate and are noisy with their fights and calls. What can I do to stop this? Thanks.

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