More treatment options for needy animals at Singapore's only non-profit clinic serving them are on the cards.
A gala dinner held yesterday raised $500,000 for the expansion of the veterinary clinic run by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
The money raised from table sales and donations at the Tux for Tails inaugural gala will go towards upgraded facilities and equipment.
This will allow the clinic to offer a wider range of medical services 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. The clinic is able to provide only basic treatment now because of financial constraints. This limits the veterinary care SPCA can offer, it said.
Ms Carla Barker, vice-chairman of the SPCA, said the current clinic space was underutilised, "so it was natural to study what we could do to make it add value".
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."
The SPCA plans to invest in critical medical equipment such as X-ray and blood-testing machines. It will also recruit more veterinary staff and install 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 that may not receive all the medical care they need for various reasons, including cost.
The SPCA moved from Mount Vernon to its current 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."
With the upgrades, SPCA will be able to treat animals with more serious medical conditions in-house, and offer better diagnosis and management of conditions, he said.
This is "an important step in improving the welfare of marginalised animals", he added.