Book Review: No Pets Allowed by Irene N Watts

In today's Book Review, let us share a wonderful book with you. In "No Pets Allowed", Matthew was not allowed to bring along his dog, Lucky when he and his mother moved to Vancouver because the apartment building did not allow dogs. But when Matthew's imaginary dog scares off a burglar, all the tenants argue that Lucky should be allowed to live there and protect the residents living there. Would Lucky be eventually allowed to stay with Matthew and his mother like it was before?

Rating: 3 paws up!

If you're looking for an easy, simple read for the young ones between seven and nine, you've hit jackpot with this book by Irene N Watts and beautifully illustrated by Kathryn Shoemaker.

Adapted from: Amazon

If you have any recommendations on books that you would like us to feature, feel free to share them with us by leaving a comment or tell us at our Facebook page!

Pet Adoption Friday: Handsome and Muddie from Save Our Street Dogs

Handsome and Muddie came to Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) to be socialized so that they can eventually be rehomed. They have gone through a lot in their street life and were fearful of humans. Volunteers spent dedicated time and worked on rehabilitating them, helping them regain their trust in humans. Investing lots of patience, love and understanding, the hard work soon paid as both Handsome and Muddie have made such outstanding progress since. They have transformed from being traumatized and unapproachable dogs, to being the stars in the kennel. Handsome and Muddie are grateful for their chance in life and are now ready for wonderful loving homes.

HANDSOME

Breed: Local Cross

Age: 1 year old (Male)

Size (Full Grown): Medium

Personality: Slightly shy (just needs a little time to warm up initially)

Characteristics: Generally good with humans and dogs. Knows basic commands ("sit"/"down"/"paw")

Health: Good

Vaccinated: Yes

Sterilized: Yes

MUDDIE

Breed: Local Cross

Age: 1 year old (Male)

Size (Full Grown): Medium

Personality: Slightly shy (just needs a little time to warm up initially)

Characteristics: Good with humans and dogs, loves cuddles, massages & treats. Easy to train. Knows basic commands ("sit"/"down"/"paw")

Health: Good

Vaccinated: Yes

Sterilized: Yes

If you wish to adopt Handsome and Muddie as your lifelong companion, please kindly email sostreetdog@gmail.com.

To visit Save Our Street Dogs' Facebook page, clickhere.

Join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook Group and follow us on Twitter!

2012-08-29 16:59:30

Groom me so I can look pretty and healthy (:

For most of us, we spend a lot of time in front of the mirror making sure we look good. The one area that a lot of us are more concerned about is usually our hair also known as our crown. What happens when we do not comb our hair? It gets messy and unkempt. Like us, pets also need to be groomed but not for aesthetic's sake but rather for health reasons.

Due to the fact that cats are pretty hygienic animals, they like keeping themselves clean and they do this by licking themselves. If they are not brushed, there is a high chance that their hairballs can get stuck inside their bodies and clog their internal organs.

Frequency of brushing varies from feline to feline. For shorthaired cats, you can brush them at least once a week. For longer-haired cats, you would need to brush them more frequently, maybe even daily.

Make sure you do not use your own set of combs to comb them. You should get these special kinds of comb for different purposes and you can purchase them from a pet store:

For removal of dead hair, microbial mats, tangles in the undercoat, use the Metal Greyhound Comb, the Slicker Brush or Shedding comb.

Metal Greyhound comb has fine and medium teeth

For removal of fleas, use a Flea Comb. It is able to catch fleas as well as their eggs.

Flea comb - removes fleas easily

For cats with short coats, use the Pin Brush as the tips are rounded making it easier to brush. You might also want to try the Curry Brush as it not only brushes the fur but massage your feline friend's skin at the same time.

Your feline friends will love the gentle feeling of the curry brush's rubber bristles

For more updates, do join us at our Facebook group or follow us on Twitter (:

Adapted from: Pets Magazine Annual 2012. Photos from Cat Grooming Los Angeles, Sherzam Toy and Standard Poodles, Groomers Online and Pinoy Pet Finder.

Movie Review: Hachi - A Dog's Tale

Movie Trailer:

Summary:

Inspired by a true story, this heartwarming tale starts when a university professor finds a lost Akita puppy near the train station. He decides to take the puppy home after realising that the puppy has been abandoned and names him Hachi.

Hachi quickly bonds with the family and is allowed to stay permanently. As Hachi gets older, he learns to follow his master to the train station. Soon, it becomes a routine for him. Hachi accompanies his master to work and then waits for his return at the train station each evening to greet him.

The loyal bond between a dog and his master is strong and one day when his master does not return from work, Hachi waits in anxiety. His wait increases from days to years. Every day, Hachi continues to wait at the train station for his master, but he never comes back.

After his death, a statue of Hachi now stands in front of the train station where he continues to wait for his master's return.

Rating: 4 movie treats!

If you are planning to watch this movie, prepare some tissues in advance! This film contains little action but it could surely make an emotional connection that will have you glued to your screens throughout. The slower pace of the movie is refreshing and makes it easy to follow. Whether you are a dog owner or not, we think you will enjoy it!

Overall, Hachi - A Dog's Tale is simply touching and inspiring

There are two different titles to this film but they are the same movie. You could also look out for "Hachiko - A Dog's Story"

Don't forget to get a copy of the DVD at a store near you!

Beat the Monday Blues: Dog Gives Cookie to Crying Baby

Koochie - koochie koo~

What happens when you put two cuties - a baby and a dog in the same video? You get a whole bunch of adorableness! If you need a little boost of cuteness to your gloomy Monday, watch this video of a dog offering a cookie to a crying baby now and chase those blues away!


For more pets news and information, join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and send us a tweet on Twitter!

Friends of The Animals: Winter My Soulmate – Mr Ricky Yeo, Action for Singapore Dogs

Ricky Yeo is the founder and president of Action for Singapore Dogs Society, an animal welfare organisation set up in 2000 to focus and improve the welfare of the stray dogs in Singapore. As the founder, he advocates adoption and sterilisation as an alternative to culling and a long term solution in reducing the stray population. As a professional dog trainer and behaviourist, he also emphasises on proper and adequate education for owners so that the risk of abandonment is reduced.

I remembered the day when I first visited a local animal shelter. I was overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of abandoned/homeless animals who were given up because of skin problem, old-age ailments and other things which could have been easily treated with proper care and medication. Despite the 'problems' they had, they displayed such enthusiasm about life and people that I had never seen. You could see the eagerness in their eyes to please and be loved by somebody.

It was also there that I chanced upon this scrawny little white dog with brown liver spots on his ears. He was a friendly little guy but was totally terrified of the bigger dogs that growled and snapped at him and sent him scurrying away under a bench. He had a sad history, and like many before him, he was born out in the streets and almost captured and put him to sleep. Fortunately, a kind-hearted old lady took him off the streets him and place him in a shelter.

My wife and I decided to sponsor his stay there as we were attracted to him but not ready yet to bring a pet home with us. He didn't even have a name so we called him Winter, even though he looked more like he was famine survivor from Ethiopia with his skinny frame.

We made it a point to visit him every week and soon, begun to know him quite intimately - his affectionate nature, and even his wild ways. And we were surprised he remembered us, even though it was only once a week for a few hours.

Each time we got near his favourite hiding place, under the bench, his tail would start swishing like a washing machine turbo, and he would reach out with his paws in a welcome gesture and coo for our attention. During the entire duration we spent there, he was always right next to us.

Winter had a very good friend there and they would gallop out into the vicinity of the shelter and stay out the whole night, returning only to sleep and eat. As fate would have it, his best friend was put to sleep. He became withdrawn and depressed, hiding under the bench looking listless and forlorn. Over the weeks where we became pals, we hoped we had eased his grief over the loss of his best buddy.

As they say, when it rains it pours, the shelter had to terminate its operations abruptly. I knew I had to take him in or find him another home. I decided on the former because I did not trust anyone else to care for this friend of mine whom I had become so deeply attached to. It wasn't a straight-forward happy ending for us here. As we closed one difficult chapter, we soon moved into another one.

We noticed bleeding and an enormous enlargement at his genital area. A visit to the vet confirmed our fear that he had penile cancer. At the same time, he had heartworm, tick fever and a low red blood cell count. In spite of these complications, we decided to let him go ahead with the operation. It was a worrying three-day wait for the outcome and results of the operation. Thankfully, the operation turned out well, and the vet and his assistants commented on how brave he was, never uttering any sound even though it was a major operation. However, he had to further endure six weeks of human-grade chemotherapy. The side effects were similar to that of a human cancer patient receiving chemo - loss of hair, appetite, nausea, etc. Nonetheless, our brave boy took it all in his stride, never once flinching even as the needle was injected into him. On one occasion, he even waited till he was out of the car before he threw up.

In time to come, he recovered completely and became my constant companion and soulmate throughout the years. He was my inspiration to help other strays like him and to find them good homes, much like how he was given a second chance at life. In all of these years, his quiet and calm presence was the rock solid foundation that kept me focused on my rescue work with Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), of which I started.

Alas, all good things must come to an end, and it was the dreaded day that Winter crossed over to the rainbow bridge after spending 14 years with us. I still miss him terribly but his spirit continues to live on in me and to spur me on.

Winter has taught me so much about hope, faith, love and resilience, lessons of life which made me who I am today, and I hope that by sharing the story of how Winter shaped who I am today, you too, will learn to open your heart and home to the many rescued dogs still awaiting their forever homes.

Pet Adoption Friday: Pongo from Noah's Ark CARES

Hi everyone, my name is Pongo, I am a boy and about 2.5 months old! I got lost while I was out exploring and a few kind hearted humans rescued me from dangerous traffic. I am paper-trained (no one needed to teach me how, I am that smart) and get along well with cats, other dogs and children!

Gender: Male

Breed: Singapore Special

Age: 2.5 months old

Size (Full Grown): Medium (not HDB approved)

Personality: Playful and smart.

Good with other dogs: Yes (and cats too!)

Good with children: Yes

Health: Good

Vaccinated: Yes

Sterilized: Pongo needs to wait till he's six months old

Please help me spread the word so I can find a home! Many woofy licks and kisses! Thank you!

If you would love to adopt me and have me become part of your fur-mily, please contact 97471339.

Interested parties please send an email to hammie1003@gmail.com.

For more information, visit Noah's Ark CARES Facebook group. This information is also available on our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and Twitter.

Pet Care Tips: Are two better than the one?

Gerbils are social animals. They make good roommates and buddies to other gerbils by looking out for one another and keeping each other entertained. These little ones also groom one another, sleep together and when comfort each other. Gerbils that live in twos or a small group are generally healthier and happier. A single lone gerbil could become apprehensive and aggressive.

If you intend to adopt gerbils, make sure to get them from the same litter or use a split-cage method when you want to introduce two stranger gerbils for the first time. Always remember to separate gerbils of the opposite sex to prevent unwanted litters. Remember, gerbils are rodents and they can reproduce almost every month. You really don' want to end up with more gerbils than you can handle; that would not be very responsible.

Adapted from: ASPCA and Twin squeaks

Photo from: Deviant art

Do join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.

RPO Pet Pals Badge Programme

Calling all teachers!

Are you looking for a fun and exciting programme that your students can join in?? Look no further because the Responsible Pet Ownership (RPO) Pet Pals Badge programme is just perfect for your students!

The programme is specially designed to encourage students to learn more about RPO and animal welfare through the completion of RPO activities. This programme is suitable for primary and lower secondary school students. Through the school, AVA will provide a RPO Pet Pal badge to each student who completes the programme.

Here's how the programme works:

Step 1: Schools that decide to embark on the programme can inform AVA of their intended commencement and completion dates by sending an email to Mr Muhd Syawal Yusoff at muhd_syawal_yusoff@ava.gov.sg.

Step 2: Teachers in charge brief participating students and guide them in completing three RPO related activities. Download the manual here for activity ideas and resources. Teachers can also suggest activities that are not in the manual.

Step 3: Upon completion, teachers in charge request for a free RPO Pet Pal badge for each student by sending an email to Mr Muhd Syawal Yusoff at muhd_syawal_yusoff@ava.gov.sg.

Here's a look at the schools that have participated in this programme:

- Fairfield Methodist Primary School
- Nanyang Primary School
- Yangzheng Primary School
- Zhangde Primary School
- Dunman Secondary School

So what are you waiting for, submit your online application form here today to get started!

Beat the Monday Blues: I Want (A Forever Home)...

We hope that you are enjoying the extended holiday and not feeling so much of the blues (well, maybe tomorrow?!)

The video we have for you in today's Beat the Monday Blues is too adorable to miss and it cannot wait for another Monday! It is also a video done by the Animal Humane Society in the US.

Was that too much cuteness to handle?

We would like to take this opportunity to wish all our Muslim friends Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri (:

Pet Adoption Friday: Twiggy from Humane Society (Singapore)

5-year-old female Italian Greyhound, Twiggy, is up for adoption!

Twiggy is always so eager to meet new people and is a ball of energy. Due to her fragile frame, she will not be ideal for household with young children or family with medium to big size dog.

Gender: Female

Breed: Italian Greyhound

Age: 5years old

Size (Full Grown): Small (Suitable for HDB)

Personality: Playful, hyper and happy.

Toilet trained: No

Health: Good

Vaccinated: Yes

Sterilized: Yes

Special Needs: She would require to be walked at least two times a day. If possible, daily slow jogs will be good.

If you wish to adopt Twiggy, send your email to judie.chang@humanesocietysingapore.org

To see other animals up for adoption, click here. You may also wish to visit HSS' Facebook page.

This information is also available on our A Pet is For Life Facebook Group. Join us!

Discover Dogs 2012 @ Singapore Expo, Hall 7, 19 August 2012!

Click on the poster for a larger view!

On your public holiday this Sunday, we would like you to spend your day with us at Singapore Expo, Hall 7 from 10am to 10pm for Singapore Kennel Club's Discover Dogs 2012!

Come visit us at the AVA booth as we share with you all you need to know about being a responsible pet owner! If you have questions on dog care or would like to find out more tips, don't be shy. Ask us!

We have the Mix and Match game in store for you to test your memory power! Plus, we have the Magnetic Board game and Jigsaw Puzzle! Exciting goodies for all too!

If you have yet to pick up our latest edition of zocards, you can still collect all three designs from the rack located at our booth!

Grab all 3 designs!

Some of the highlights of the event are:

- Championship shows where pedigree dogs strut their stuff in front of international judges
- Grooming Competitions where 40 groomers compete to groom their dogs
- Free dog training lessons

much, much more!

Since we are still celebrating the National Day month, there will be a companionship show called the "Singapore Specials Show" to showcase some of Singapore's mix breed dogs. Watch as dogs of various breeds and ages show their competitive side in this fun segment! You definitely do not want to miss this!

Admission Charges:

Adults:
$8 (Between 10am to 6pm)
$4 (Between 6pm to 8pm)
FREE (after 8pm)

Children: FREE for children aged 12 and below

We will see you there this Sunday, 19 August 2012!

For more information, log on to www.discoverdogs.com.sg or visit Singapore Kennel Club (SKC) Facebook Page.

Join us at our "A Pet if For Life" Facebook group.

“Animals & Our Community” event at Causeway Point! (Post-Event Highlights Part 3!)

In the final chapter to our three-parter Post-Event Highlights, we will show you all the best moments from Days 1 and 2 captured on our camera!

Our event information projected onto the big screen!

When approaching a dog, remember to ask the owner for permission first before touching it

What to do around animals?

All the hamsters from SPCA that were brought down to the event have found themselves new homes (:

Visitors could get more information from our friendly staffs on duty at the information counter. The redemption counter was where visitors could exchange their passport cards for a goodie bag!

A family looking at the rabbits for adoption

"Hmm...I wonder what's a nice colour to fill up that area..."

My eyes are the windows to my soul

We spotted a mother making our 3D paper models while her son's busy with colouring!

Meet Singapore's SuperBunnies!

Our partners' booths - ACRES and CWS

Our colleague Wendy showing a visitor how to play our Mix and Match game

Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Mr Yeo Guat Kwang interacting with some children at the kids' corner

AVA CEO, Ms Tan Poh Hong and our guest-of-honour together with members from Humane Society (Singapore) at their booth

Our CEO meets a kitty from Cat Welfare Society

"Healthy Cats are Happy Cats" was a talk on cat care by Cat Welfare Society

Every child that took part in our colouring contests walked away with goodies!

Volunteers from House Rabbit Society Singapore carefully tabulated the scores before crowning the winner of the SuperBunny Me photo contest!

Black beauty

Our RPO zocards design for this year! Have you grabbed a set yet?
This new game made its debut at the event. If you have not played it yet, make sure you do so at our future events!
When asked what she would like to name her bunny, this girl wanted her bunny to share the same name as her! Aww...

There we have it all the action from the "Animals & Our Community" event at Causeway Point on 11 and 12 August 2012.

We would like to thank every single one of you who came down and supported us during the two-day event. This include all the partners, volunteers, staff members and everybody who helped made the event a success!

This coming 10 and 11 November 2012, we are going to do it all over again. This time, we will be at Singapore Expo. It is definitely going to be bigger! Mark this on your calendar so you don't miss it! Look out for updates as we will have you updated from time to time!

Relive the moments in our Part 1 and Part 2 features.

Be sure to check out ourFacebook group, ACRES', ASD's,CWS', HRSS', HSS' and SPCA's Facebook pages for more updates!

Do follow us on Twitter too!

“Animals & Our Community” event at Causeway Point! (Post-Event Highlights Part 2!)

As promised, we have more photos from our "Animals & Our Community" event at Causeway Point which happened on 11 and 12 August 2012!

This is Part 2 of the Post-Event Highlights!

Even the little ones enjoy piecing our jigsaw puzzle!

Not just the children, even the adults enjoy our colouring sessions!

Our creative balloon sculpturists are Guiness World Record holders!

The showcase of adoptable animals such as the one by Cat Welfare Society allows visitors to get up close and personal with the furries!

"Aww...Come to mummy..."

Get more info on being a responsible pet owner from our interactive displays!

An aerial view of the entire event - Crowd was simply breathtaking!

The bubbly Cheryl from SPCA with the winner of the colouring contest!

The wonderful art pieces were displayed for all to see!

The SuperBunny Me photo contest organised by House Rabbit Society Singapore was a hit with all the visitors!

Betty from House Rabbit Society Singapore with the rabbit owner of the grand winner of the SuperBunny Me photo contest! Congratulations

Our Guest-of-Honour, Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC, Mr Yeo Guat Kwang tried his hands on rabbit grooming!

Talks on grooming and pet care by the animal welfare groups are some of the programme highlights of the two-day event

A volunteer from ACRES speaking to our guest-of-honour about their group's causes

Bunnies for adoption!

It was fullhouse at our children's corner!

The crowd watched in amazement as volunteers from House Rabbit Society Singapore show them how grooming is done on rabbits

Our friends from ASD, HSS and ACRES were also there to support the event (:

Visitors get to purchase pet food at great deals from visiting one of our sponsors, Pets' Station

This is too adorable!!!

If you have missed our Part 1 feature, don't worry, we have it here.

Make sure you check back here again tomorrow for the final installment of the Post-Event Highlights photos! We are saving the best for the last.

Be sure to check out our Facebook group, ACRES', ASD's, CWS', HRSS', HSS' and SPCA's Facebook pages for more updates!

Pet Care Tips: Why do rabbits eat their own poop?

(From left to right) Cecotropes and Normal Poop. (We know what you're thinking. No, they are not chocolates!)

Do you know that rabbits eat their own faeces? It sounds a little strange but this is normal. In fact, it is actually healthy!

Rabbits releases two types of droppings - normal poop and cecotropes.

Cecotropes look like little bunch of grapes and can sometimes be very smelly but they have high nutritional value for the rabbits.

Owners can rarely see their bunnies' cecotropes (and him eating it) as it occurs usually at night while most of us are in dreamland.

So the next time you see your rabbits eating their own poop, he is just making sure that he gets all the nutrients he need.

Adapted from: ASPCA and Three Little Ladies Rabbitry. Photo from Pluck and Feather.

2012-08-13 17:16:02

Over the last two days, we had our 2nd "Animals & Our Community" event for this year. This time, we were at Causeway Point Shopping Centre. The event was a blast!

If you have missed the event on its opening day, fret not as we have these photos to show you all the action that happened on Saturday, 11 August 2012!

Our staff members posing for this candid shot. Packing of goodie bags started from as early as 8.30am!

While the children's busy with their colouring, the mommies are busy and smiling into our camera!

"I need to crane my neck higher to see the action going on there!"

Visitors could pick up our adorable free cards from the racks that we put up at a few spots at the event

Betty from HRSS preparing yummy veggies for the bunnies.

Our colleague, Elaine educating visitors to our "Animals & Our Community" event

Our new and colourful goodie bags.

Interactive displays with Responsible Pet Ownership messages for the young and the young at heart

Kelvin from SPCA speaking to some of the visitors about the hamsters he had brought down from the shelter

A volunteer from CWS - always ready to share about the adoptable cats

Our colleague, Marcus showing a visitor how to complete her passport activity card

Hungry for more photos? Be sure to check back on Wednesday as we bring you more photos with more actions from Day 2 of the event.

For now, read up on our feature that's available on Channel Newsasia's website!

Do check out our Facebook group, ACRES', ASD's, CWS', HRSS', HSS' and SPCA's Facebook pages for more updates!

Beat the Monday Blues: Ice Cube Jackpot

Looks like we are not the only ones feeling the heat. Pets are feeling it too! What better way to fight the heat by helping yourself to a free flow of ice! Watch how these incredible dogs help themselves to some ice cubes from the fridge!

A nice cup of ice cold lemonade sounds good right about now, what say you? (:

Friends of The Animals: A Happy Accident

It's Frrriday and we have a new "Friends of the Animals" blog post for you! In today's post, our colleague, Dr Chong Shin Min from the Aquatic Animal Health Section, blogs about how she came to adopt a feline that may be more dog than cat.

Hamish camouflaging on my bed

Hamish was a happy accident.

I stepped into my Aussie home after a week's of school break, to find two little kittens scrambling around on my dining table! It turned out that my housemate had brought them home from school after hearing of their sad plight; strays orphans. They were barely two weeks old and still being milk-fed.

But that wasn't the worse part. They would have met a more sinister fate had my housemate not rescued them. You see, one of the kittens had the cat flu, and his eyes and nose were red and runny. It was going to be difficult to find a home willing to take in a sick kitten and if there were no takers, the brothers would have been euthanised. So my housemate and I nursed the sick kitten back to health with milk replacers and antibiotics, and as they say, the rest is history. I ended up adopting the previously sick kitten while his brother was adopted by another classmate.

Hamish afflicted with cat flu and conjunctivitis

So what was the first challenge I faced after adopting a cat?

The first challenge was actually naming him. Some people think that naming a pet is a no-brainer; but finding the right name to suit his personality was a challenge. I finally settled on Hamish; the Scottish equivalent for English James. Hamish was growing up fast and settling into his new environment. As a mischievous kitten, he would squeeze into the smallest nook and cranny to hide from me. He would crawl into the sofa and disappear for hours on end, or sneak into our cabinets to snuggle up in our clothes, only to emerge during meal times or whenever it suited him. I had to get used to this cat-diva attitude fast.

Playing with his hippo soft toy

Besides having a young cat around the house, I also had to make sure he had adequate toys and environmental stimulation to keep him occupied in the day while we were all at school. So I bought a scratching pole and bell toys for him, and improvised other tools to play with him. I also had to make sure he received his vaccination shots to protect him from the common infectious diseases cats are susceptible to. Surprisingly, Hamish seemed naturally toilet-trained and would only conduct business in his litter tray, and started doing so even at a few weeks old. There was no need for me to endure all the potty training that so often plagues the first few weeks/months of puppy owners!

Studying with me

Hamish quickly became my companion in final year undergraduate studies. He found delight in studying with me, watching me prepare my meals, peeking at the rats (yes we also kept rats), and in turn, I relished his company. After a long day at the hospital, he never failed to crack me up with his antics when I got home. I also trained him to sit for his food and he still obeys that command to this day. He also comes when he's called for (sometimes). So much for being a cat; my family and friends were soon questioning if he was actually a dog in a cat's body.

Acting all innocent

As Hamish also lacked a maternal figure to discipline him, that role naturally fell onto me, and I had to take him under my wing whenever he did something undesirable. Scratching the furniture was a No. Scratching humans' legs was a No. Trying to eat the rats was a No. Trying to eat a human toe was a No. Jumping onto the kitchen counter was a No. Trying to run out of the house was a No.

I kept him strictly as a house cat to prevent him running around the estate. I didn't want him killing native birds or getting involved with fights with other cats, which would have put him at risk of getting infected with Feline-Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), the feline version of HIV. Getting infected with FIV might lead to Hamish being vulnerable to infections as he aged, and I did not want that to happen. I also volunteered Hamish when he was 6 months old, to my classmate to be neutered as part of our surgical training programme.

When it was time to return to Singapore after my studies, Hamish braved the 48 hours away from me and 6-hour flight back to the tropical island to continue his life's journey with me. What a shock the humidity must have been to him, for he started shedding almost instantly! As Hamish is a medium-haired domestic cat, it became necessary to comb his fur coat regularly to maintain his skin and fur condition and thin his undercoat. This would not only keep him cool in our climate, but also reduce the incidences of hairballs (trichobezoar). Cats are susceptible to regurgitating hairballs due to their grooming habits. Normally, hair or fur accumulated in the gastrointestinal tract from grooming is passed out in the stools. However, these hairballs may sometimes fail to pass through and get retained in the stomach, only to be regurgitated by the cat. Regular combing would remove dead hair and reduce the ingestion of hair during a cat's grooming.

My family, with the exception of my mum, were never really cat fans. We had three dogs previously but they had passed on. Having a cat was a novelty. Having a cat that sat and came on command (sometimes) was almost a riot. And it wasn't long before he conquered and staked out not just his territory throughout the house, but in everyone's hearts as well. Hamish was officially a member of the family. Nowadays, when Hamish isn't occupying himself with catching and eliminating cockroaches around the house, you can probably find him sleeping on the sofa or waiting by the front door for us to come home.

"Animals & Our Community" event at Causeway Point! (Pre-Event Highlights Part 2!)

If after reading our Part 1 Pre-Event Highlights feature got you excited, you are in for more treats as we bring you more exciting stuff in Part 2!

~ FOR THE YOUNG AT HEART ~

2.00pm / 6.00pm - Healthy Cats are Happy Cats (English / Malay)
There will be talks conducted by Cat Welfare Society (CWS) called "Healthy Cats are Happy Cats". Happening twice daily, the talks will be given in both English and Malay. Get grooming tips from the pros and find out how to keep your feline friends happy! Plus, all participants will receive a gift pack from SHEBA Cat Food!

3.00pm - "Woof" and "Meow"
During this segment, SPCA will share with you more tips on being a responsible dog and cat owner. Answer a few questions during the quiz and you win some prizes!

4.00pm - Rabbit Grooming Tips and Tricks
Learn how to give your rabbits a bunny makeover from the professionals at HRSS during the "Rabbit Grooming Tips and Tricks" session. You sure do not want to miss this!

~ ADOPTION ~

If you would like to adopt a pet, we have an adoption drive that will happen throughout the day from 11am to 8pm on both days. We have cats, rabbits, hamsters and gerbils that are looking for new homes.

12.00pm - Come and Rescue Me by SPCA
1.30pm - Come and Rescue Me by HRSS
4.30pm - Come and Rescue Me by CWS

We will have speakers from CWS, HRSS and SPCA to give an introduction on some of the animals which you can adopt for that day.

Look out for our special feature on the animals which you will see and get to adopt at the event in today's edition of "Pet Adoption Friday"!

If you have missed yesterday's Part 1 feature, you can read all about it here!

For more details on the "Animals & Our Community" event at Causeway Point, click here!

Join us at our Facebook group, events page and follow us on Twitter for updates and more!

Relive the moments from our last "Animals & Our Community" event at Jurong Point with all the photos from Day 1 and Day 2 right here!

Pet Adoption Friday: Animals up for adoption at the "Animals & Our Community" event @ Causeway Point this weekend!

We are doing things a little different in today's edition of Pet Adoption Friday!

The "Animals & Our Community" event at Causeway Point is happening this weekend. Here's a sneak peek at some of the animals that you will get to seeat the event and hopefully open your home to!

From Cat Welfare Society (CWS)

(left - right) Barry and Abby (son and mommy pair)

Names: Abby and Barry

Age: Mommy Abby is around 1 yr old and her son Barry is around 3-4months old.

Gender: Female and Male

Sterilised: Mommy has been sterilised but Barry needs to wait till he's six months old.

Description: Mommy is feeling a little under the weather from all the attention she's been getting lately and if she is not able to make the personal appearance, little Barry will be there to represent them both. They are currently staying in a boarding place. It is preferred that both of them be adopted together as they have a strong bond with each other.

For more info, log on to www.catwelfare.org and visit their Facebook page!

From House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS)

(in clockwise direction from top right) Chloe, Callie, Cameron (Mommy!) and Candy

Names: Chloe, Callie, Cameron and Candy

Age: Cameron (Mommy) 2 yrs , Chloe, Callie and Candy (the kids) 1.5yrs

Gender: Female

Breed : Mix Lop (Cameron) , Local (Candy, Callie & Chloe)

Description: Cameron is the mother of this bunny family and she is the only lop. She is a calm, friendly and happy go lucky rabbit, who we believe is able to make friends with any bunny easily. She loves to lie in her cosy corner, side by side with the rabbits at the other side of the playpen!

Candy is the daughter of Cameron and she is a girl with her own personality. She's always curious, full of energy and the most active among them. Candy is a naughty sister who loves to bully her little brother Owen, but she loves and enjoys human's attention.

Chloe is a happy go lucky girl, just like her mother! She's mischievous and loves her carton box house to bits. We will see her running in and out and jumping onto it at times. She looks like her sister Callie but she does not have a white nose and two white front paws!

Callie is the youngest daughter. She is adventurous and friendly by nature, and loves to peep at her brother Owen. She loves to rub nose with him too! Just like her sister Callie, she loves her carton box house and likes to play hide and seek with you in the box. =P

For more info, log on to www.hrss.net and visit their Facebook page!

From the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)

Furry little Tosh hiding in his corner!

Name: Tosh

Age: 8 Months

Gender: Female

Breed: Syrian

Description: Sleepy faced Tosh does not like to be disturbed when she sleeps. Hamsters tend to sleep a large part of the day away and then get active during the evenings. The age old breed of Syrian hamsters are big, furry and orange with a gentler and friendly disposition, compared to the other breeds.

Adorable little Rik!

Name: Rik

Age: 6 Months

Gender: Female

Breed: Winter White

About her: Rik is a super inquisitive and active girl! She scurries around her cage and looks for things to climb nibble and a good run of the wheel. She is funny to watch and provides endless hours of entertainment and joy. (:

For more info, log on to www.spca.org.sg and visit their Facebook page!

If you are excited to see them as much as we are, don't forget to join us at our "Animals & Our Community" event at Causeway Point tomorrow and Sunday, 11 and 12 August 2012 from 11am to 8pm! See you there!

Pet Care Tips: Does your dog have bad breath?

Having bad breath in dogs may be a sign of oral disease. It is usually caused by dental or gum diseases. Small dogs get plaque easier.

It is due to the build-up of odour-producing bacteria in your dog's mouth, lungs or gut. If your dog persistently has bad breath even after proper teeth brushing, this could mean that he needs better dental care or there is something wrong in his gastrointestinal tract, liver or kidneys. You will need to bring him to a vet for a check-up.

How do you know if it's time to see a vet? Here are some of the signs and symptoms you can look out for:

  1. Unusually sweet or fruity breath could indicate diabetes, particularly if your dog has been drinking and urinating more frequently than usual.
  2. Breath that smells like urine can be a sign of kidney disease.
  3. An unusually foul odour accompanied by vomiting, lack of appetite, and yellow-tinged corneas and/or gums could signal a liver problem.

Bad breath can be prevented. It is important to look after your dog's oral hygiene. Here are some things you can do:

  1. Give high-quality food to help ease its digestion, and treats that can improve his breath odour.
  2. Allow your dogs to chew on hard, safe toys which you can get from the pet store. This helps to clean your dog's teeth naturally when he chews on the toy.
  3. Visit the vet regularly for check-ups to ensure that your dog has no other medical complications and ask your vet to recommend suitable oral health products that will suit your dog's needs.

You can use toothbrushes with soft bristles and get some specially formulated toothpaste from a pet store. Never use human toothpaste as it can be harmful to your pet.

  1. As dogs need to get used to getting their teeth brushed, you can start by massaging the lips (with your hands) not more than a minute each day. Do this for a few weeks before moving on to the teeth and gums.
  2. Apply some pet toothpaste on his lips to get him used to the unfamiliar taste. Choose pet toothpastes that have animal food flavours to entice them.
  3. When you think your dog is ready for the real thing, whip out the toothbrush and repeat Step 1. Remember not to use the toothpaste yet.
  4. When he has gotten used to the feeling, it is time to put them all together. Start by placing the brush with the toothpaste and move at a 45-degree angle in small, circulation motions. Be gentle.

Brush your dog's teeth at least once daily. When it becomes a routine, your dog will look forward to the activity!

Look out for next week's Pet Care Tips as we share with you tips on matters related to rabbits (:

Adapted from: Pets Magazine and ASPCA. Photo from: Dog Has Bad Breath

"Animals & Our Community" event at Causeway Point! (Pre-Event Highlights Part 1!)

Spend your National Day weekend with us at our second "Animals & Our Community" event for 2012 at Causeway Point!

Day and Date: Saturday and Sunday, 11 and 12 August 2012
Time: 11am to 8pm
Venue: Causeway Point Shopping Centre Level 1 Atrium (Next to Woodlands MRT station)

~ FOR THE YOUNG ONES ~

We have lined up some exciting activities for the children (:

12.30pm - "Twist and Squeeze"
Bring home your own balloon animals as we have balloon sculpturists who on-site who will be there to "twist and squeeze" the balloons according to your request. For those keen on learning, our balloon experts will also share with you some tricks on making the perfect balloon animals!

1.00pm - Colour your way to Responsible Pet Ownership
There will be a colouring contest organised by the funky folks from the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA). Colouring materials will be provided so all you have to do is bring out those junior artists. The most magnificent pieces will win fantastic prizes (:

2.30pm - Let's Talk Rabbits
For children who enjoy doing hands-on craftwork activities, sit down with us as we show you how to fold the 3D paper models of our RPO heroes! Along with our friends from House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS) we will also show you how to make your very own towel rabbits using well, towels!

Photo from: Carnival Destiny

~ GAME ~

6.30pm - Play the Giant Animal Rescue Board Game
Ever wondered how it feels like as an animal rescuer? Take part in the "Giant Animal Rescue Board Game" where you and other participants will play to rescue as many "animals" as you can. We have exciting prizes to be won!

7.00pm - Funny Bunny Photo Contest (Saturday, 11 August 2012) / SuperBunny Me Photo Contest (Sunday, 12 August 2012)
The highlight of the event will be the Funny Bunny Contest (for Saturday, 11 August 2012) and the SuperBunny Me Contest (for Sunday, 12 August 2012). Head down to see which bunny will be crowned the winners!

We are all set and ready for this weekend. If you have not made any plans, make sure you join us at Causeway Point for "Animals & Our Community"! More details on the event can be found here!

We will bring you Part 2 of the pre-event highlights this Friday. Be sure to stick around!

Join us at our Facebook group, events page and follow us on Twitter for updates and more!

Relive the memories from our last "Animals & Our Community" event at Jurong Point with all the photos from Day 1 and Day 2 right here!

Beat the Monday Blues: Singapura Cats!

Hello Everyone! Hope you're having a great start to the week. As we are just days away from our nation's 47th birthday, we would like to share with you a video of a breed of cats which shares the same name as our country! Meet the Singapura cats ~ !!!

Aren't they just the cutest? =^_^=

Trivia: The Singapura cat is also known as the Kucinta cat. It is a combination of two Malay words kucing (cat) and cinta (love). Today, you can still see some sculptures of the cats along the Singapore River. (:

Sculptures of Kucinta cats by the Singapore River

Photo from Flickr.

We would like to wish all of you an advanced Happy National Day and have a great week ahead!

Pet Adoption Friday: Jack and Jet from House Rabbit Society Singapore

Brotherly love <3

Jack & Jet are a pair of cute brothers! Jack the brown bunny is the friendlier brother who enjoys getting loving attention from his humans. Jet the black loppy boy is the shy and timid brother who takes time to know you.

Gender: Male

Breed: Lop Rabbit and Local

Age: 1.5 years old

Personality: Jack (the brown bunny) is friendly and enjoys getting loving attention from humans. Jet (the black loppy) is a little shy and timid and he needs a bit more time to get to know you.

Health: Good

Sterilized: Yes

Litter Trained: Yes

They were rescued when they were babies from a home where their parents went through a few rounds of breeding before HRSS educated the rabbit owners on the importance of sterilisation.

As the boys are used to being in a free roaming setup, they would prefer to be in a free roaming environment.

These boys will also need to be adopted together (:

If you wish to adopt Jack and Jet, please send an email to information@hrss.net.

Do visit HRSS' website at www.hrss.net or visit their Facebook page here.

Join us at our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook Group and follow us on Twitter.

Zocards 2012!

Psst. Look what we've got! We are proud to present to you our latest edition of free cards for 2012!

Bunny!

Kitty Cat!

Doggy!

Apart from being visually attractive (and so adorable!), each zocard comes with a different message on Responsible Pet Ownership. Be sure to collect all three designs!

These cute zocards will be made available at all zocards racks islandwide (shopping malls, cafes, schools and many more!) so be sure to pick them up when you see them!

In conjunction with our "Animals & Our Community" event at Causeway Point Shopping Centre on the 11th and 12 August 2012, those of you who live near the mall would receive these zocards delivered to your mailboxes! Hooray!

And..if you flip the card over, you will find a QR code! (Trivia: The 'QR' stands for Quick Response!)

Back of card

We often see QR codes that are made up black boxes and dots but ours look different from the rest. The code is surrounded by all four of our RPO Heroes with our "A Pet is For Life" logo in the middle!

take out your phones and scan the code now!

We have the students from Nanyang Polytechnic's School of Interactive & Digital Media to thank for this magnificent creation. This was part of their final year project. They have certainly done a great job (:

If you have the QR code reader application in your smart phones, you can scan the code and be transported into our Pet Central website in no time! It's amazing how much you can do with this technology!

Not just on our free cards, we have them on our publicity materials too!

Animals & Our Community booklet!

A1 Educational Posters!

We are producing more goodies where this QR code would be part of the staple so be sure to look out for our collaterals!

Don't forget to join us at our "Animals & Our Community" event on 11 and 12 August 2012 at Causeway Point Shopping Centre! See you there!~