SPCA to start new scheme to sterilise, manage strays

Cheow Sue-Ann The New Paper 28 Dec 18;

Community caretakers, members of the public and animal lovers will soon find it easier to get stray dogs sterilised.

The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) said yesterday it will soon cease the current Sterilisation Voucher Programme and replace it with the nationwide trap-neuter-release-manage (TNRM) programme for stray dogs. The current sterilisation vouchers can be used till the end of this month.

The new programme, fully funded by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA), will remove the need for members of the public to trap the stray themselves.

SPCA's executive director, Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, said: "Members of the public can approach any participating animal welfare group (AWG) to notify them about community dogs that require sterilisation.

"The AWG in charge of the area will arrange for the trapping and sterilisation of the dog."

According to SPCA's press release, the TNRM programme plans to sterilise more than 70 per cent of stray dogs within the next five years, to stabilise the population before it decreases.

SPCA said to sterilise a dog under this programme, members of the public or community caregivers can contact a participating AWG for more details.

The voucher programme started in 1991 with SPCA distributing more than 35,000 vouchers totalling about $1.4 million in cat and dog sterilisation over the years.

When the programme first started, SPCA took in more than 1,200 animals a month.

SPCA said from July 1, 2017, to June 30 this year, the shelter took in about 150 animals a month, showing there has been a long-term positive effect of the sterilisation programme.

The SPCA said the voucher programme was started to help community animal caregivers and rescuers with sterilisation costs to keep populations in check and save lives.

Dr Gill, said: "The animal rescue and caregiving work carried out by these individuals is often under-appreciated, but is extremely vital in helping improve the welfare and saving the lives of these animals."