Wednesday, 7th May 2008: Serina dropped by the Bachelor Officer’s Quarters on Monday and handed me 6 bags of cat kibbles, a basket and sack of cat food pouches, pet toys, vitamins and supplement and all sorts of other good things for Project Second Chance. I was very touched, and I’m sure the cats are too. However, I had to confess that there was much more pet food than I had an immediate need for, and asked if I could share it with the Independent Pet Rescuers. Serina, ever generous, agreed because she acknowledged that the Independent Pet Rescuers work very hard at rehabilitating and rehoming animals nobody wants.
We could, of course, always donate some of the things to the SPCA. However, as SPCA is a registered charity and is the oldest and most recognized animal charity in the country, they have no shortage of donors and sponsors. The Independent Pet Rescuers run pretty much on donations and on the salaries of its volunteers and coordinators, who provide for the animals that live in their care. The Indies also work far harder at rehoming their animals than the SPCA does, because of their strong aversion to euthanasia. I will, however, defend the SPCA by explaining that we receive close to a thousand animals each month and are able to find homes for only approximately 10% of them, even with our publicity and outreach efforts.
Anyway, I contacted Sherrina on Tuesday and arranged to meet up with one of her Rescuer-Volunteers, Carnea, and her mother Julia, outside Secret Recipe on Wednesday, so I could hand them 3 bags of cat food, a bag of kitten wet food pouches, and a large stack of newspapers.
The 3 of us ended up sharing news on all the animal welfare groups operating in the country, whether registered charities or personal initiatives. It seems there is a lot that is not right with many animal charities, and then there are self-proclaimed rescuers who take in too many dogs and keep them in appalling conditions. There were also many misconceptions about the SPCA that I had to correct, for example, that we blacklist certain adopters, or that we do not allow renters to adopt. All these rumours were not substantiated, and I told Carnea that there is often more to the story than meets the eye.
If only all the time and energy poured into misinformation, slander, badmouthing and backstabbing could be channeled instead to true animal welfare work, there’d be a lot fewer strays out there. Animal rescue work isn’t a competition of who comes out looking best in the media. It is a competition of how well we can work together to rescue, rehabilitate and rehome animals in need and push for legislative reforms to protect animals. When there is care and protection for the animals, everyone wins.