The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) is the first animal welfare organisation in Singapore and it has the longest-running animal shelter ("SPCA has big plans for bigger new home"; Feb 10).
However, a check on social media platforms reveals that the public has a rather negative image of SPCA, due to staff who are not well trained to handle inquiries by the public.
Communication and transparency over the welfare of animals that SPCA oversees are important aspects that need to be beefed up, going forward.
Staff at the SPCA, especially those who are manning the hotline, should be trained to respond politely and respectfully in communicating with the public.
It is essential, as there are caregivers who call the hotline inquiring about lost and found animals. Workers at SPCA should be trained to handle animals with care and concern for their well-being.
There has to be transparency on the welfare of street animals that are picked up by SPCA, as the public has the misconception that SPCA resorts to culling.
Thus, SPCA should provide these street animals with proper medical attention and shelter, and help the animals to be adopted either through the shelter or through other animal welfare organisations.
Forming partnerships with veterinary clinics will allow more senior and junior veterinarians to help more animals at the SPCA clinic.
Also, SPCA must take the lead in animal welfare, which is to not only speak up for the cause but also to guide other animal welfare organisations.
Every animal welfare organisation has its strengths, and with the right leadership, there will be more opportunities to benefit more animals.
As SPCA advocates sterilisation in humanely managing the street animal population, I hope that it focuses its efforts on community projects in industrial and residential areas, in controlling the population of street animals.
As one obstacle to its carrying out its many plans is money, the SPCA will have to double its publicity efforts to raise funds in order to provide shelter for abandoned animals.
Darren Chan Keng Leong