Gala dinner raises $500,000 for SPCA's clinic upgrade

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said that with the upgrades, SPCA will be able to treat animals with more serious medical conditions in-house, and also give better diagnosis and management of conditions.
Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam said that with the upgrades, SPCA will be able to treat animals with more serious medical conditions in-house, and also give better diagnosis and management of conditions. ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN

SINGAPORE - A gala dinner held in support of Singapore's only non-profit clinic serving needy animals has raised $500,000 for its expansion.

The amount, raised from table sales and donations for the Tux for Tails inaugural gala on Saturday (Dec 2), would go towards upgraded facilities and equipment.

This will allow the veterinary clinic run by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to offer a wider range of medical services, including treatment and surgery options for sick and injured animals.

This follows the society's move to its current premises in Sungei Tengah, where it hopes to develop its clinic into a proper healthcare facility for more animals.

Currently, the clinic is able to offer only basic treatment because of financial constraints. This limits the veterinary care that the SPCA can offer, it said.

Ms Carla Barker, vice-chairman of the SPCA, said the clinic space was underutilised, "so it was natural to study what we could do to make it add value".

"Currently, the clinic is equipped for only basic treatment, and sterilisations," she added. "Over the years, we have contracted with an independent registered vet to provide our animals with these basic services. For anything more, we, like any other animal owner, would need to pay commercial rates for the treatment of sick and suffering animals.

"One of the dreams we have had is to run a full services clinic with our own full-time veterinarians."

To provide quality healthcare to more animals in need, the SPCA plans to invest in critical medical equipment such as X-ray and blood-testing machines.

It will also increase the capacity of the clinic by recruiting more veterinary staff and installing additional housing units in its animal recovery rooms.

Ms Gerti Iwatake, chairman of the Tux for Tails organising committee, said the upgraded clinic will benefit animals which may not be able to receive the full medical care needed on account of various reasons, including cost.

The SPCA moved from Mount Vernon to its current Sungei Tengah location in January last year. The new site is three times larger than its former premises.

Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam, who was at the event at the St Regis Singapore hotel, said: "How we treat animals in our society is really a reflection of who we are and what we are as a society."

Mr Shanmugam said that with the upgrades, SPCA will be able to treat animals with more serious medical conditions in-house, and also give better diagnosis and management of conditions.

He added that this is "an important step in improving the welfare of marginalised animals".

The gala also included other fund-raising activities such as a live auction.