SINGAPORE: This weekend, 77 cats, 25 dogs, four rabbits, three hamsters and one chinchilla underwent health checks as part of a program that lets low-income households receive veterinary care for their pets.
The initiative by the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was launched on Saturday (May 13) at Marsiling, where the first of 10 pet health screenings was held. The health screenings are fully subsidized and funded by donations from the public.
Full-time and volunteer vets and nurses from the SPCA administered veterinary services such as physical examinations, vaccinations and microchipping. For pets that need further check-ups, subsidized appointments will be arranged at the SPCA’s Community Animal Clinic, the organization said.
The SPCA will earmark S$150,000 (US$112,000) for the health screenings; the remaining nine will be held from now until the end of the year.
It added that future venues will be selected based on the number of rental flats, residents with pets on financial assistance within proximity and cases received to the organization’s 24-hour hotline.
“We hope this will … help stem out cases of pets being abandoned due to inability to afford medical attention,” said Ms Aarthi Sankar, executive director of the SPCA.
“Access to veterinary care and freedom from pain, injury, or disease are fundamental rights that every animal deserves.”
In 2022, the SPCA investigated 511 cases of animal welfare and cruelty issues. More than 60 per cent of these cases were related to poor welfare conditions and neglect.
The SPCA also recorded 81 cases of pet abandonment in the first three months of 2023. Many of the animals, it said, had untreated medical conditions.