Tuesday, January 17, 2006
These two affectionate, smooching pets are yours for the asking.
DON'T breed or buy, while homeless animals die. This is the message which the Penang Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) hopes to sent across to the public.
Stray dogs and cats with disease-stricken fur and skeletal bodies are often spotted scavenging thrash cans for scraps of food.
And to shield from downpours or the scorching sun, they will seek shelter underneath parked cars, drain covers or at a bus stop, if they are lucky.
Survival is their only aim in life.
Such disturbing sights are a stark contrast to that of pedigree animals which are dolled up in trendy wear and served gourmet pet food.
The society's administrator Lily Leng said: “For every pet that is bought from a breeder, an animal in the shelter is put to sleep.
These two(top pic) affectionate, smooching pets are yours for the asking.
“If more people start adopting homeless animals, there will be less demand for breeders to produce more pedigrees.”
She said that if given a chance, strays could make wonderful pets as well.
“To you, he's a dog. To him, you're his everything. With proper care and attention, a pet's devotion knows no bounds.
“He shows his unconditional love through simple but meaningful ways – licking your hand, wagging his tail or jumping up in glee when you return home.
“A dog is a dog, regardless of its breed. Every dog is equally lovable and intelligent,” she added.
Leng said pets should not to be discarded at the owners' whims and fancy like some old toy or out-of-fashion dress.
“They are creatures with feelings which have laid their lives in your hands. However, I have come across many cases where dogs and cats are adopted and then returned to us once they have outgrown their cuteness.
“All puppies and kittens look cute. Thus, children would pester their parents to adopt one. The problem starts when the novelty of owning a pet wears off or the animal is no longer adorable.
“Although it is fun to play with the animals, the responsibility of regularly feeding and cleaning up after them may not be so appealing.
“It's also ironic to find owners spending RM2,000 to buy a pedigree and haggle over a vaccination fee of RM35,” she said.
Incepted in 1948, the Penang SPCA is a non-profit organization maintained by a humble group of devoted members who is keen on furthering the welfare of animals.
Despite its heavy overhead costs, low public financial support and absence of state aid, the shelter has been functioning against all odds.
The society's three vans go out daily to collect strays. There are currently 43 dogs and 16 cats up for adoption.
Of the total 3,618 animals collected last year, 3.6% (134) found homes.
To curb the population of strays, the Trap, Neuter and Spay Programme was incepted in 2002. Some 100 cats and dogs had benefited from it so far.
The society is also appealing for volunteers and donations to build a 12-cage cattery (cat house).
Apart from organising exhibitions and talks in schools upon invitation, SPCA holds a yearly children's camp to promote responsible pet ownership and handling of animals.
The shelter sells T-shirts, key chains, fridge magnets, bookmarks and calendars to raise funds for its activities.
It also provides treatment to sick and injured animals at its clinic from 2pm to 4pm on Wednesdays and Fridays.
Donations, which are income tax exempted, can be made to SPCA Penang and addressed to its office in Jalan Jeti, Jelutong, 11600 Penang.
For details, contact 04-2816559, email to firstname.lastname@example.org or check out its website www.spca-penang.net