Saturday, April 12, 2008

This fellow should have had a pet

I was appalled when I read the Straits Times report, dated Wednesday, April 9, 2008, about an incident of extreme road rage near Rivervale Walk.( refer to Home section, page 3)
I am not discussing here the apportioning of blame between the parties concerned. However, I most strongly feel that violence, in any shape or form, cannot be vindicated.
My contention is that, if the man perpetrating the violence had a pet, he would not have reacted so wrathfully and caused so much hurt and pain to another person.
If he had a pet to care for, it would have brought out the softer side in him. A person who cares humanely for a pet cannot help but be humane toward other animals and fellow human beings.
I am not suggesting that a pet owner develops angelic qualities through interaction with his pet, though he does develop patience, understanding and the milk of human kindness.He can get angry when provoked, but not to the extent of pushing people down, causing a broken wrist, a fractured knee and loss of income.

A prison in Lansing. Kansas, has a programme which gives the prisoners the task of training “Death Row” dogs to become pets or service dogs, which are then sent out for adoption.
These dogs, from animal shelters, are destined to be put down.They are saved by this prison project and in turn, rehabilitate the hardened criminals who cared for them. There has been less violence behind bars, as a consequence.In the words of the warden, “They may be having a crummy day and a dog comes up and starts licking them and things look better for them,” he say

Wanton Cruelty

I had just read an article about the hunt for baby seals in the icy regions of Northern Canada and I was horrified. Not only was the hunt relentless and competitive, but the methods used to kill the poor, defenseless baby seals, some of them only a few days old, are extremely cruel.
The sealers use wooden bats and hakapiks (clubs with metal spikes at the end) or rifles to kill the seal pups.

Conditions at the seal hunting grounds are unfavourable---very cold, very windy. The icy ground is slippery. Given the poor conditions and the speed at which the sealers have to work, they may not always be accurate. Instead of clubbing the baby seals on the head, they may hit them on the face, jaw or body. Many baby seals are left, half-dead, their suffering intense.
I remember watching a video of sealers in action.My blood ran cold at seeing the tall. huge men pounce on their small, unsuspecting victims, clubbing them repeatedly, before moving on to the next round of slaughter and the next, and the next.
Why are baby seals being hunted? They are prized for their skins.
The thought of thousands of tiny, bloody bodies littering a large, white expanse of snow and ice is nauseating.
Once again, man’s greed has brought about wanton destruction and cruelty to the animal world.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Tips on how to take care of pets

1. Be willing to give up much time to take care of your pets.
2. Choose a pet you can manage easily. Size in this case does matter.
3. Choose a pet suited to your residence.
4. Limit the number of pets.
5. Feed your pets regularly and ensure they have enough water to drink.
6. Select nutritious pet food suitable for your pets’ size and age.
7. Bear in mind that maintenance of pets is expensive so weigh all factors before making a decision on the type of pet desired or whether to have any at all.
8. There have been accounts of pets abandoned because the owners could no longer afford to keep them or transport them when they relocated.
9. Ensure that your pets’ living quarters are kept scrupulously clean.
10. Ensure your pets are clean and well-groomed and de-fleaed if necessary.
11. Dogs, especially, must be bathed regularly and their hair trimmed if they have long hair. 12. Poodles may go blind if their fringes, left untrimmed, keep covering their eyes.
12. Neuter or spay your pets to prevent unwanted babies so as to control
the stray population.
13. If your pets require exercise, take them for a walk or give them
room to move freely or run after pet toys.
14. Get your pets medical treatment as soon as they need it. Any delay
may cause complications to arise.
15. Give your pets lots of love and attention… touch them , speak to
them….. and your rewards will be great, greater than you will ever

Funny Pet Trivia

Some similes based on animal or insect characteristics

1. as blind as a bat
2. as busy as a bee
3. as faithful as a dog
4. as sick as a dog
5. as heavy as an elephant
6. as timid as a mouse
7. as poor as a church mouse
8. as cunning as a fox
9. as slow as a tortoise/a snail
10. as happy as a lark
11. as lazy as a sloth
12. as slippery as an eel
13. as swift as a gazelle/a deer
14. as strong as an ox
15. as mischievous as a monkey
16. as hungry as a bear
17. as fierce as a tiger/a lion
18. as sure-footed as a mountain goat
19. as wise as an owl
20. as stubborn as a donkey/an ass
21. as tall as a giraffe
22 .as greedy as a pig
23. as fast as rabbit
24. as fast as a hare

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

About Exotic Pets

Exotic animals are not like house pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits, hamsters, certain species of birds and even fish. Exotic animals are wild animals which the brave and the undaunted want to keep as pets, so as to be unique among their peer pet owners. Perhaps another reason is a genuine attraction to or interest in an out-of the ordinary animal. Some examples of exotic animals which are reared as pets are hedgehogs, wallabies, snakes, sugar gliders and geckos.

The interaction between these pets and their owners is very limited and can be dangerous too since the animals being unpredictable, can lash out and hurt their owners, deservedly or otherwise. Thus exotic animals make poor pets.
The pets are not allowed to roam at will and suffer a life sentence of misery, caged in cramped quarters, unlike the wild they recently came from. When the owners tire of them, they cannot be sent back to their natural habitat as they have become too dependent on their owners for food or care. If they are lucky, the local sanctuary will take them in, otherwise, euthanasia is the only sad solution.

To my knowledge, there are not many Singaporeans, if any, rearing exotic animals as pets. However, an incident in a primary school made me wonder.
Early one morning, there was a big commotion on the school field. A python, at least least metres long, was found curled round the school fence. If pythons could look miserable, it looked miserable indeed and fearful too. The thought uppermost in the minds of the school authorities was “How did the python get there? The story had a happy ending as the python was accepted by the local zoo, probably to be released in the wild, later. A demand for exotic animals, whether locally or in other parts of the world, results in depleting their numbers in the wild and endangering their species. It can also lead to poaching and smuggling of such animals.
Keeping exotic animals as pets should be banned, worldwide.

Exotic animals as pets

Can exotic animals as pets satisfy the emotional needs of pet owners? It depends on the size, personality and ability of the exotic animal to respond, as is with domesticated pets.
While trolling through the net, I came across a website featuring sugar gliders. My first reaction was : “a sugar glider??? What on earth is it?”
The definition given in the website soon enlightened me.
Sugar Glider Petaurus breviceps. Belongs to a group of animals called phalangers which means "fingery one"

I was amused by the warning posted but did not know whether to believe it or not.
While sugar gliders may be beneficial to your emotional health, it has been observed that prolonged exposure can lead to an obsessive preoccupation with them, resulting in an overall decline in housework, homework and television watching. Those affected may develop odd speech patterns in which the words "sugar glider" are uttered in almost every sentence.
Those with symptoms of Chronic Obsessive Sugarglideritis (C.O.S.) should seek solace from similarly afflicted individuals. To date, no cure has been found for this highly contagious condition.
This picture of the sugar glider reminds me of a movie about cute, furry creatures which must not get in contact with water. If they do, every spot on their bodies touched by water erupts into a very ugly , evil-looking evil creature. Watch the movie and its sequel for more horrifying details.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Caring for cats

When we care for cats, we take care of their physical needs as well as their emotional ones.Taking care of their physical needs is of tremendous importance.We have to do is to see that they are well-fed, get enough water to drink and that their food and water containers are well stocked and cleaned regularly.We must not forget to keep their litter trays clean.Cat can be fed with dry or wet tinned food, or both. Once in a way, as a treat, we can feed them fresh fish, preferably boiled, without salt.
As for their litter, it would be good to buy something which clumps easily, for easy removal and which can minimise odour.
Taking care of a cat’s physical needs involves a lot of time and effort and is a labour of love. That is why those who do not want to undertake this task or tire of it after a while, should not have , not only cats as pets, but any pets at all.The result of irresponsible pet ownership is that the animals are neglected and miserable or end up as strays or inhabitants of the local SPCA premises.We all know the fate of such unwanted pets .Strays have to fend for themselves, unprotected and terribly fearful in a cruel world, become diseased, get injured in fights and the only release is an early but merciful death.
As for those in the care of the SPCA, if they are lucky, they will be adopted. If they are not, they will be put down, if their numbers are too many for the SPCA to handle.Fortunately, the stray cat population in Singapore has a champion in the Cat Welfare Society.The members take turns to feed the stray cats in their vicinity as well as round them up to be sterilised and then released, with their ears clipped, as a means of identifying them. These cats are now under the protection and care of the Cat Welfare Society.