SPCA Selangor decided to conduct its annual World Animal Day celebrations a week early this year to avoid the unpredictable monsoon weather commonly associated with the final three months of the year. Since 2011, we have been offered the use of the pet-friendly Central Park at Desa ParkCity for our event, thanks to the goodwill and generosity of the management of the said township. As my services are usually needed more frequently in the animal shelter or in advocacy and policy work, I rendered only minimal assistance for this event, since the Inspectorate and Marketing/Communications Team informed me that we have sufficient volunteers from the boy scouts and various schools and colleges helping out. I did, however, plan and prepare materials for an Animal Welfare Spot Quiz and a Photo Puzzle for the event as part of SPCA's education and awareness efforts.
Good canine citizens taking their humans for a walk along the jogging track in the beautifully-landscaped park.
Folksy-looking handpainted bookmarks, produced by volunteer artist Felicia, on sale at the SPCA booth.
We also met this lovely and brave kitty cat, who came here with her human. The kitty's name is Mimi and she is seen here reading our 2011 Annual Review. I didn't ask what happened to poor Mimi's other eye, but I can tell Mimi is very well cared for.
DOG PARK ETIQUETTE:
Here are some basic rules to be considered when taking your dog out in public or to a pet-friendly park:
1. ALWAYS clean up after your dog. Bring your own newspaper, waste bags, scooper, and hand sanitiser (optional). Desa ParkCity Central Park provides patrons with pet waste bags, but this is not an excuse not to come prepared with your own.
2. Don't ever let your dog off-leash in an unfenced dog park if he/she is not responsive to your verbal commands.
3. Do not let your dog bully or harass other dogs or humans.
4. Do not allow dogs to form packs.
5. Do not bring unvaccinated or unneutered dogs to a park or to socialise with other dogs in public places.
6. Do not let your dog roam unsupervised while you talk on your phone. Do give your dog your full attention and be on the alert for potential trouble (e.g. unneutered male dogs, aggressive dogs, squirrels, cats, another human holding pet treats etc).
As with the previous years, even if you haven't made any plans for World Animal Day or do not have any companion animals, please consider taking the following pledge to improve the lives of animals:
1. I pledge to look after, protect and provide for all animals under my care; to arrange for alternative caregivers whenever I am away and to find solutions for boarding and rehoming should I find myself unable to care for my companion animals any longer.
2. I pledge to vaccinate and neuter my companion cats, dogs and and small animals (e.g. rabbits and hamsters) and to educate my family, friends and co-workers on the importance of vaccination, neutering and obtaining necessary licenses for one's companion animals.
3. I pledge to gently advise neighbours who fail to provide proper care for their companion animals, and write to zoos, circuses, theme parks and other facilities that keep animals, in the event I witness any acts of neglect, ill-treatment or cruelty. If my advice should fail to bring about positive change in the treatment of the animals, I pledge to report the matter to the SPCA or relevant authorities such as the Wildlife and National Parks Department.
4. I pledge to assist the SPCA and animal welfare groups in finding homes for the animals under their care and advise my family and friends to spay/neuter their existing pets and adopt from shelters and pounds, rather than purchase from pet stores.
6. I pledge to be a more careful driver that I may avoid harm to animals that share our roads and neighbourhoods. I will provide all the assistance I can to animals harmed by traffic and people.
7. I pledge to vote against animal cruelty with my money. I will purchase and use only products that are cruelty-free and which do not cause animal suffering. I will avoid products that are known to have been tested on animals.
8. I pledge not to give animals as gifts unless specifically requested and chosen by the recipient. If I do get an animal as a gift, I will ensure that it will be vaccinated, neutered and given proper care. I will adopt from shelters, pounds and animal rehomers rather than purchase from pet stores and breeders.
9. I pledge to join or support wildlife protection programmes, animal welfare organisations and environmental organisations to educate myself on ways to reduce harm to animals and protect wildlife that are vulnerable to exploitation. Our collective voice and votes can help to change harmful governmental and corporate policies.
10. I pledge to opt for vegetarian food whenever I can. I will go vegetarian at least once a week. I will also actively look for alternatives to leather, suede, fur, honey, silk and ivory.
Happy World Animal Day, to all creatures great and small!