The AVA has announced that animal shelters will have to move into the new facilities in Sungei Tengah this year. But what does this move mean to the shelters?
On an overcast Sunday afternoon, we caught up with Giving.sg champion and animal welfare advocate, Paul Foster, at Animal Lovers League (ALL) for one of our most chaotic shoots.
At this no-kill animal shelter, which was started in 2002 and the oldest one in Singapore, the dogs and cats roam free. With over 500 “residents”, there’s always something going on – cats chasing dogs, dogs chasing other dogs, dogs chasing their tails…
Come March-April 2018, ALL will have to move from their current premises at Pasir Ris. The new premises at Sungei Tengah will not allow the animals to roam as freely as they do now, but Paul is optimistic about the move. “The move is inevitable, but hopefully it will encourage the government to redefine and restrategise the stray problem we have.”
Land scarcity is a problem that Singapore faces, and the land ALL, and other animal shelters, currently sit on will soon be redeveloped as our (human) population grows. MND and AVA are making a concerted effort to move the animal shelters to one inclusive facility in Sungei Tengah. “The AVA has been meeting up with animal welfare groups and working with them to restructure and redesign the area so that the animals have better conditions. For example, they’ve created more natural ventilation and higher spaces so that cats can climb,” says Paul.
The move doesn’t come cheap for ALL. It will cost them between $200,000 and $250,000 to refit and renovate the new place. Volunteers will also be needed to help with the logistics of the move – 500 animals need to be transported from one end of the island to another. A major worry for the staff is the stress of the move on their animals too.
ALL needs to raise at least $351,000 to cover the cost of their big move. If you’d like to give a little more – say, offering a forever home to a four-legged friend, contact them directly at email@example.com!
Special thanks to our volunteer photographer, @elevated_reform, who shot the beautiful photos in this story!