SPCA appoints new acting executive director

Dr Jaipal Singh Gill with 10-year-old Ida, who has been with the SPCA since March 2008 and is awaiting a home.
Dr Jaipal Singh Gill with 10-year-old Ida, who has been with the SPCA since March 2008 and is awaiting a home. PHOTO: SPCA

SINGAPORE - The management committee of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) on Thursday (Jan 7) announced the appointment of Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, 33, as its acting executive director. He replaces Ms Corinne Fong, who left for personal reasons after serving as executive director since 2011.

Said SPCA chairman Carla Barker: "Jaipal brings a strong knowledge and experience of animal welfare, engaging leadership, and innovative ideas about how to take the SPCA into the future."

He worked previously with the SPCA starting out as an inspector in 2008, then as an operations manager from 2010 to 2011, before heading to Melbourne to embark on his veterinary studies.

Dr Gill said he was excited to return to SPCA. "Building on the tremendous work done by SPCA and my predecessors, my immediate goals are to strengthen our current services such as adoptions, rescue work and cruelty investigations.

"Animals are such an important part of society, so I am excited to introduce new innovative projects to improve animal welfare," he said.

SPCA noted that Dr Gill has strong credentials - he has a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine and an Honours degree in animal science from the University of Melbourne in Australia, and a Bachelor of Science (Life Sciences) with a concentration in Biology, from National University of Singapore (NUS).

The SPCA also said he was a "recognised leader and strategic thinker". At the University of Melbourne, he was president of the Veterinary Students for Animal Welfare group for two years. At NUS, he was the founder and president of the Students' Animal Welfare Group, in which he helped organise the first Animal Welfare Symposium in Singapore.

He also has work experience with various animal welfare organisations such as the World Animal Protection (Bangkok, Thailand), Soi Dog Foundation (Phuket, Thailand), Animal Aid Unlimited (Rajasthan, India), and the Animal Concerns Research and Education Society in Singapore.

He is currently conducting a national study on pet care and pet ownership in Singapore (www.petcarestudy.org), the first of its kind, with researchers from NUS and the University of Melbourne. The study aims to better understand how owners care for their pets and identify ways to improve animal welfare in Singapore.