We thank Ms Stephanie Patricia Ngo for speaking up for animal welfare ("Raise awareness that chaining, caging dogs for long periods is cruel"; Jan 9).
The practice of chaining or caging dogs for long periods is, unfortunately, common in Singapore.
Dogs require sufficient exercise to maintain their physical and mental health. Being confined to a small space, in a cage or otherwise, can lead to distress, causing the animal to suffer unnecessarily.
The small space these animals are kept in, whether caged or tethered, can also cause hygiene problems; the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) often finds these dogs sitting in, or near, their own urine and faeces.
This is not only a source of discomfort, but it can also increase the risk of disease transmission to the animal or its caregivers, due to the poor hygiene and general lack of cleanliness.
When our officers go out on a case, they take time to investigate the reasons why the animal is being confined, while providing advice and working with owners to find solutions.
In most cases, we find that the animals are confined as a quick-fix solution to a problem, often due to a lack of proper training.
The SPCA will continue raising awareness on the harmful effects of caging and chaining through our education and advocacy programmes.
Jaipal Singh Gill (Dr)
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals