We started as a handful of volunteers who feed stray dogs every evening in the eastern side of Singapore. It all began in 2009 when one of us spotted a skeleton-thin dog standing in the middle of a two-laned road in an industrial area and gave the dog her takeaway dinner - a packet of chicken rice. And from that evening onward, rain or shine, the dog will faithfully wait at that same corner of the road at the same hour every day for the same person to come and feed her. Today, by this similar kind of acquaintances, we feed about 50 dogs over a few locations daily. We have also sterilized and got many of them adopted to good homes with which we still keep in touch.
There are only two choices to most things in life and we can choose the easier one - to ignore the plight of the street dogs. If we do this, there are just a few inevitable outcomes that will befall them.
Out of hunger, these homeless dogs will venture out from their “safe” hideouts onto the main roads and busy streets in desperate search for food. When that happens, it is not only the adult dogs that get killed on the roads. The death toll for puppies is just as high.
People who find even the sight of any dog a nuisance deliberately put poison into their food. When the poison is consumed, a slow and painful death follows suit over a span of the next 1 to 3 weeks, depending on the size of the dog and the amount of poison consumed.
These street dogs often fight over whatever little food they can find and end up killing one another. It is ironic that so much leftover food are thrown away daily in Singapore.
Puppies, ranging from 1-6 months old, will end up on the dinner tables of nearby Thai and Chinese workers.
Before the puppies can grow up to be of a defensive size (about 8-10 months old), some of them get kicked, beaten or hit with hard objects to death.
Many of these stray dogs end up in the traps of mercenary dog-catchers (if they survive the cruel trap methods in the first place) before being put down by unknown methods never made transparent to the public. Should they fail to trap the dogs, they will not hesitate to use poison since the assignment given is simply to exterminate the stray population.
The average lifespan of stray dogs are mostly very short because many homeless dogs die of sicknesses contracted from the accumulative effects of drinking stale water and eating spoilt food. They also fall ill due to the environmental conditions, as they have no shelter to hide from the heavy rain, hot sun or biting insects such as mosquitoes and fleas. Many of them developed sizeable stones internally overtime because they have been picking up food soiled in sand along the streets and roads. They also died of heartworm disease, tick fever & mites' infestation.
We can’t turn a deaf ear to the cries of the voiceless and defenceless.