Wednesday, May 25, 2011

SPCA Singapore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals is a non-profit animal welfare organization originally founded in England in 1824 to pass laws protecting carriage horses from abuse. SPCA groups are now found in many nations, where they campaign for animal welfare, assist in animal cruelty cases, and attempt to find new homes for unwanted animals they feel are adoptable. Policies regarding animal euthanasia, handling feral cats, no-kill status, and similar issues vary by shelter.

In 2006, SPCA International was founded in the United States to implement outreach programs, emergency financial aid for organizations, and recognition grants on an international level. It is responsible for Operation Baghdad Pups, which safely transports pets adopted by US troops while stationed overseas. Online, it runs public discussion forums, plus helps individuals find information, advocate against abuse, and connects them with nearby shelters. In line with its name, it also offers assistance opening animal cruelty investigations and offers a "Cruelty Crime Stopper" reward for tips that help lead to convictions. READ MORE

The Singapore SPCA was in existence in the 1800s and a report from the Straits Times Press dated October 3rd 1878 said, “the number of cases brought under the notice of the Singapore Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals during the first quarter ending September 30th 1878 was 84, of these 3 were for cruelty to hack ponies, 17 for ill-treatment of oxen and 4 for causing suffering to birds by shooting them with ‘sumpitans’.

In 10 cases, the offenders were cautioned and discharged by the Magistrate, 6 were convicted and fined and the remainder were visited by the Agents, who in every case verified that wounded animals and those unfit for labour were not made to work until their condition improved.”

This information was recently acquired from a past committee member’s file, but until 1947, there are no other details available. After the Japanese occupation of Singapore in 1947, the RSPCA as it was known then, was revived by an Englishwoman, Miss Lucia Bach. She ran a boarding house and at the same time took in unwanted stray animals.

In the early 1950s, through the generosity of a Eurasian lady, strays were housed on her property and rehomed by volunteers.

In 1954, the RSPCA was set up formally and moved to Orchard Road which is located within the city limits. This move was facilitated by the presence of an RSPCA official from England to engineer the operation and train one of the staff as an inspector. The premises were donated its first official vehicle. At the same time two staff members were hired a telephone operator and a driver.

In 1959, the Singapore RSPCA became the SPCA when Singapore ceased to be a crown colony in that year.

In 1976 from the Orchard Road premises, an official clinic was set up to provide a service to members of the public. The facilities also were used to treat the Society’s animal and carry out sterilisations which since 1969, was compulsory if one adopted an SPCA pet.

Singapore underwent massive changes with the development of Housing Board Government high-rise flats. People were relocated from the kampongs into these flats and as a result countless pets, mainly cats and dogs were left abandoned and homeless.

The SPCA launched a special programme to collect animals from areas being cleared for development before occupants vacated their homes. The Ministry of national Development, the Primary Production Department (now AVA) and the Dog unit at the City Veterinary Centre, co-operated in this scheme to providing prior information on areas about to be demolished.

The work was particularly painful in that it involved the removal of owned animals from people forced to relinquish their pets because they were unable to relocate them. READ MORE

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