SINGAPORE - A new animal clinic promising quality subsidised treatment for rescued animals, strays being managed in community programmes, and pets belonging to lower-income households was opened officially on Saturday (July 6) by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
The not-for-profit clinic, located at Sungei Tengah Road near Choa Chu Kang, boasts more advanced diagnostic capabilities, including X-ray and blood testing machines, and provides a broader spectrum of medical treatments, than at its previous location at Mount Vernon.
Following an upgrade that cost about $300,000, the clinic opened its doors in October last year, and has since been able to perform 20 per cent more surgical procedures than it previously could.
SPCA said that every month now, it conducts 80 operations, 50 blood tests and 100 X-rays, adding that every day, 20 animals pass through the clinic's doors to get treatment.
SPCA's executive director, Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, said: "The SPCA is committed to improving animal welfare in Singapore by working with and supporting the animal protection community.
"Our upgraded Community Animal Clinic, with its enhanced veterinary capability and capacity, allows us to increase our impact in terms of promoting animal well-being, alleviating suffering and saving lives."
SPCA also said its new clinic allows it to better support animal population management programmes, like the nationwide Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) programme for dogs and the Stray Cat Sterilisation Programme (SCSP).
It also said it needs an estimated $600,000 to $700,000 to support the clinic each year. Most of its funds come from public donations.
Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, attended the official opening of the clinic and noted that SPCA plays an important role in the TNRM programme, which involves trapping and sterilising stray dogs here.
"With the upgraded clinic, our Animal Welfare Groups can now send more trapped stray dogs to your clinic here at SPCA for sterilisation, vaccination and microchipping," he told them.
Mr Lee said community support and public acceptance are critical to the success of the TNRM, which prioritises finding these dogs new homes or releasing them in appropriate places after sterilisation.
The TNRM, he said, is a humane, scientific and sustainable method of managing population numbers to safeguard animal welfare and public health.
"These animals are exposed to the elements, lack of food, suffering diseases, and leaving animal diseases unchecked can equally be hazardous for human health," he added.
"For example, while Singapore is rabies-free, it is still present in the region directly around us and we must continue to be vigilant."