Recap on 2012: Looking back, thinking forward!

2012 has been an eventful (literally) year for us at RPO! We have been at many community events such as Pets Day Out organised by Sengkang, Henderson Community clubs as well as doing library exhibits at Ang Mo Kio, Tampines, Bishan and Jurong library! We would like to thank everyone who has invited us and made this year incredibly exciting for us! It has been a fun and enjoyable journey this 2012 so let’s look back at what happened in the year!

March

We were at the CATS Classified Pets Carnival – Olympics By the Beach! There we had over 20 stalls set up by the animal welfare groups to provide information as well as goodies for the public to purchase! And of course we had sports events for pets as well! Such as high jump for the dogs, 100cm sprint for the hamsters and more!

Here is a snapshot of one of the dogs clearing the high jump!

April

In April, we went down to the School of The Arts (SOTA) to conduct our very 1st Student Ambassador trainings! There our student ambassadors were greeted by a Rottweiler and learnt more about animal behaviour and had misconceptions cleared!

Our SOTA student Ambassadors interacting with Gypsy the Rottweiler

June

We took Jurong Point by storm with our first Animals & Community Roadshow! It was a star studded event with celebrities coming down to share about animals with us! At the roadshow we got a chance to tell Singapore how important it is to create an environment for both animals and people to live together harmoniously!  Let’s take a look at what happened there!

Celebrity Randall Tan talking about cats together with Veron, the president of Cat Welfare Society!

Visitors got to learn more about being a responsible pet owner!

Our Animal welfare groups also conducted adoption drives there!

Celebrity Chua En Lai sharing with the public about his doggy!

August

We headed to the North of Singapore to Causeway point for our second Animals & Community roadshow! We had Mr Yeo Guat Kuang, Member of Parliament for Ang Mo Kio GRC grace the event as our Guest of Honour! Let’s see what happened there!

Our Guest-Of-Honour giving it a go at rabbit grooming!

House Rabbit Society Singapore had a SuperBunny contest and we have our grand winner right here!

Everyone got to learn something new that day!

October

In October we organised an island-wide Creative Expressions Contest! All contestants simply needed to show what the theme “Animals & Community” meant to them in ANY creative form! We allowed all forms of media in this contest and we were blown away by the submissions we received!

Our first prize winner for Category A (7 - 12 years old)

The second prize winner from Category B (13 - 17 years old)

A video submission and second prize winner for Category C (18 years and above)

November

And the most recent, we had our RPO roadshow all the way in the East of Singapore at the EXPO! Our annual RPO roadshow has always been one of the highlights of the year and even more so this year! Let’s take a look at what went down there!

Mr Tan Chuan-Jin, Acting Minster for Manpower and Senior Minister of State for National Development was there to grace the event as Guest-Of-Honour!

There were interactive displays and games for everyone to learn from and here, Mr Tan Chuan-Jin is giving it a go!

We had a dog competition too at the Pet Activity Arena!

Children got to learn through various online games!

Overall it was loads of fun and smiles all around!

Once again we would like to thank everyone who invited us to be part of their events this year and helped make our journey through 2012 a fun and enjoyable one! We look forward to seeing all of you again in 2013 (:

Beat the Monday Blues: I am Maru 4!

When you see this give yourself a pat on the back because you have survived 2012! The supposed “end of the world” on 21/12/12 did not happen and you are one step closer to the new year! I am sure this would be one of your least dreaded Mondays as you would have probably made some plans to celebrate the New Year tonight!

For the rest of you who just want to kick back and enjoy something really adorable, here’s a video of Maru, the celebrity cat who recently celebrated his fifth birthday!

Enjoy what's left of 2012 and get ready to welcome 2013! So in 3,2,1 Happy New Year!!!

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Movie Review: Gu Gu The Cat

It's going to be a loooooong weekend and we're pretty sure that most of you are already in the holiday mood! (it's ok, we understand (: )

This is the best time to cozy up with your loved ones at home over some nice movies. If thrillers and action-packed movies are not your thing, we have just the movie for you to catch as we usher in the new year!

Title: Gu Gu The Cat (Gou - Gou datte neko de aru)

Language: Japanese

Summary:

The death of her beloved cat, Saba, made an emotional impact to comic book artist Asako Kojiko. Saba has been her companion and inspiration for over 15 years.

Then one day, Asako meets a new cat and decided to name him Gu Gu. His presence brought not only joy but a new beginning to her life. With Gu Gu around, things were looking better. Asako also finds potential love in a man named Seiji.

A magical love story told through the eyes of a woman and a cat based on a successful Japanese manga.

Our Review:

Although the story started off on a sad note, it starts to pick up when the female lead, Asako meets her new cat. Audiences will be able to relate to the emotional aspects and immerse themselves into the film. Watching Gu Gu with his adorable antics on screen is a great bonus! A love story not just for couples, but great for the whole family.

Rating: 4.5 Movie treats!

Photo from: Marrose Films

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

If you would like us to review a pet-related movie that you have watched, let us know on our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group or mention us on Twitter!

Friends of The Animals: That Thing You Do

As the saying goes, all good things must come to an end. Today’s “Friends of the Animals” (FotA) post marks the end of the series and we would like to thank all our FotA contributors for their stories. But fret not! We have plenty of other stories to share with you (like tales of once homeless animals now happily rehomed), so keep a lookout for our new posts!

To round things up, our colleague, Sheila Bte Abdullah from the Human Resource Division, shares some training tricks she used on her pets. You might just find the tricks handy for dealing with yours!

I started keeping pets way back when I was still a teenager. Over the years, I have kept a variety of animals such as hamsters, parrotlets, cockatiels, lovebirds and cats. I know it sounds like a lot of animals, but my family loves animals and it has always been amazing having them in our lives.

Hammies all in a row

Currently, I am keeping some birds and a ragdoll cat as pets. I got Grey, a male Grey cockatiel, and Lemon, a female Lutino cockatiel when they were chicks. After being told that cockatiels could be trained to speak, I took getting them to speak as a personal challenge. I read up on training and handling of birds on online forums and spent a lot of time feeding and talking to Grey and Lemon, hoping that they will speak.

Nom nom hand

Grey, the cheeky fella

Over time, Grey picked up speaking and can now say a few phrases like “Hello friend!” and “How are you?” He can even sing lines from "Happy Birthday"! On days that he is feeling cheeky, he will disturb our cat by saying, “Come here, Nimbus” in his shrilly voice.  (Nimbus is the name of our cat. More on him later.) This antic always cracks the whole family up.

Although Lemon doesn’t speak much, we love her all the same. And she is one vain girl who knows when to strike a pose when you are going to snap her picture!

Who's the pretty polly?

Nimbus is a ragdoll cat which I adopted from a fellow colleague 4 years ago. After our 13-year-old Persian passed away, my family longed to have another pet cat. When Nimbus' previous owner learnt that we were looking to adopt a cat, she allowed us to take in Nimbus as she trusted that we were able to provide Nimbus with a good home. As Nimbus was 6 years old when he came into the family, it took him awhile to adjust and settle into the family. Initially, he was wary of us and refused to be carried. Sometimes, he would even scratch us! Once, Nimbus was so upset with my mother, he waited till it was night and crept up on my mother to scuff her! He’s really smart, he will get you when you least expect it!

Rub ma belly!

We had to be very gentle with him, pat his head and gave him belly rubs, which he loves. Gradually, he became used to us and is now rather affectionate. He has one peeve, his litter box has to be clean at ALL times or he just won’t go. So all of us will have to take turns cleaning his litter box every time it gets soiled!

Rub ma belly!

We are glad for the addition of these animals to our home. The house feels brighter with their quirky antics and personalities!

Pet Adoption Friday: Remy from Save Our Street Dogs

Few can resist the charms of this handsome boy. He is the most friendly of his pack, always approaching humans and turning over for a tummy rub. Remy is food motivated and easy to train. His rounded face and droopy ears sets him apart from his other friends in the Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) Rehab Centre. He is a very sweet boy and will be a great addition to a loving home.

Name: Remy
Breed:
Local Cross
Age: 11 months old (Male)
Size (Full Grown): Medium
Personality: Friendly and charming
Characteristics: Gentle spirit
Good with children: Yes
Good with other dogs: Yes
Health: Good
Vaccinated: Yes
Sterilized: Yes

If you wish to know more about Remy, please send an email to sostreetdog@gmail.com.

To visit Save Our Street Dogs’ Facebook page, click here.

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

New Year, New Frontiers!

We’re just four days away from the New Year! We’ve asked some of our RPO partners for an achievement that they're proud to achieve in 2012 and what they are looking forward to in 2013. Here we go!

Mr Ricky Yeo, President, Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)

Mr Louis Ng, Executive Director, Animal Concerns Research & Education Society (ACRES)

Ms Christine Bernadette, Volunteer, Animal Lovers League (ALL)

Ms Veron Lau, President, Cat Welfare Society (CWS)

Ms Betty Tan, President, House Rabbit Society Singapore (HRSS)

Ms Judie Chang, Operations Manager, Humane Society (Singapore)

Ms Sharon Tang, Volunteer, Noah's Ark CARES

Ms Beulah Foo, Treasurer, Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

Ms Selina Sebastian, Education Executive, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)

Wow! We're really glad that there's something for every animal welfare group to rejoice in! We’re confident that 2013 is going to be yet another exciting and fruitful year for all of us fighting for the animal welfare causes! Stay with us and remember that “A Pet Is For Life”!

Pet Care Tips: Dog Owners' Resolutions for 2013

“Petting, scratching, and cuddling a dog could be as soothing to the mind and heart as deep meditation and almost as good for the soul as prayer.” Dean Koontz, author

Most of us dog owners would think of ourselves as our pets’ saints. After all, we feed, play, bathe, love and care for them just like one of our family members. What is there not to love about us? Before we start to gloat at ourselves, let’s do a quick check and see if your dog is really happy with you this year:

Does he:

• wag his tail and pant delightfully whenever he sees you?
• put his entire weight on you when you both decide to be couch potatoes in the evenings or anytime you’re both seated?
• invite you to play with him or play unreservedly in your presence?
• offer you his favourite toy/his presence when he sees that you’re upset?
• roll over and let his tongue drape like a goofball and ask you for belly rubs?
• lick you endlessly because you’re probably the sweetest person in his entire mind?
• always walk close to you/keep a lookout for you whenever you’re both out together?
• run towards you like you’re Santa Claus coming with his favourite gifts, all the time?
• look intently and longingly at you with those doppy eyes of his, as if that very moment is so special to him?

Well, well, how did you fare? Fret not if it’s less than perfect for we’re sure your dog still loves you. Let’s up the ante though and welcome 2013 on a fantastic note for you and pet dog! They’re real simple tips but trust us, Woofy will be leaping for the moon as you both attempt some of these together!

1. Be a (refreshed) pack leader.

Whether it’s Cesar Millan’s positive energy or Victoria Stilwell’s positive reinforcement dog training, it pays to have a relook at how you’ve been your dog’s best friend so far. Most dogs get their bad habits honed by none other than us – the dog owners! Use this holiday to read some good books or how about attending a new set of obedience training class with Woofy? Now, that’s enrichment for both!

2. Sun, sand and the sea – here we come!

Yes, we know. Some dogs LOVE the sea and others simply wouldn’t have anything to do with it. Nonetheless, it’s a fresh experience for every doggy. If yours is a puppy, even better. Start him young so he tries something different. The tactile experience of the grainy sand, salty sea and splashing waves can be fun if you are there with him every step of the way. That’s how we build trust and share joy together! Remember to keep the leash on and never peel your eyes away from Woofy. Morning/evening times are best and stay hydrated with cold water.

3. Yum-a-meal outta home

With so many dog-friendly cafes sprouting up in Singapore, let’s not miss this experience to let your pooch feel like a king/queen! They get their own menus, couches and are even served with their own gourmet dishes by the waitress! Very well at the same time, you get to catch up with your friends over a nice meal and possibly, turn some heads as other diners coo and glee at the ‘furry magnet’ you’ve brought along with you.

4. Hello, new friends!

Let not the guilty bug bite you whenever you can’t be home with Woofy. Let him make some new friends and be healthily occupied at a doggy day care centre. Many offer web cameras so you can check on how he’s doing at the centre. There’s a myriad of other services you could explore while Woofy’s there too – how about a spa?

5. Squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak, squeak!!!

Inexpensive, endless fun and it makes Woofy go totally mad – a new squeaky toy! We take our dog’s toys for granted but seriously, they’re so important for them, just like you need your car or EZ-Link card to get somewhere and meet a special someone. For them, they need it to get to their happy ‘place’, one where they indulge themselves in endless doggy laughter. If your dog is not into squeakies but a cuddly plush, it’s time to get a new one too!

6. Oh, glorious nest

After a year of sleeping on the same bed, it could get a little crushed and dirty. Woofy will thank you for a new one as it keeps him warm, snuggled and comfortable through the nights in the new year. This is something we often overlook but a good bed offers superior cushioning for our dogs and helps them as they age gracefully year after year.

7. Keep walking (a new route)

You may like a certain daily dog-walking route since you get to check out the neighbour, oops, or the nice scenery. However, Woofy’s senses can really be taken for a cool ride if you just, say, tweak a mere 200m of the usual walk. Give it to this canine who’ve loved you with all that he has! Go ahead and burst out with laughter as he digs his nose excitedly into the soil bed to sniff out new doggy scents and even leave his very own at the new found ‘playland’ in the same neighbourhood.

8. Love me, love my body too

Finally, how can we forget about this? Your dog may not necessarily love it, but you know you have to do it for him. What are we talking about? A complete health checkup at the vet, that is! Heartworm prevention, checked. Tick and flea control, checked. Healthy gums and joints, checked. Hmm. What else? Only when you’ve visited your vet then you would know. Prevention is better than cure. To appease Woofy after the visit, try any of steps 1 to 7!

And that’s it! If Woofy could read, we believe he will print this out and beg you with those doppy eyes to do some of these with him. Have a happy holiday and we wish you and your pooches well in the new year!

Photo Credits:
keeganspots.blogspot.sg
juicydogcouture.blogspot.sg
www.lajollabluebook.com www.sxc.hu

Beat the Monday Blues: "Jingle Bells" by the Animals of YouTube (:

Merry Christmas! Here’s wishing all of you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year! It’s probably one of the happiest Mondays you are having since there’s no need to work or attend school tomorrow! For those who are still rushing to get all your Christmas shopping done, we’re sure you’ll get some really good steals!

For the rest of you who just want to kick back and enjoy something really adorable, we’ve prepared a lovely Christmas song for you from the animals!

<3

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Pet Adoption Friday: Skinny from Noah's Ark CARES

Hello,

My name is Skinny. I have just been recently discharged from the hospital due to an infection on my left eye and I am recovering from my operation. Christmas is just around the corner and my wish is to get a forever home of a loving family who will love me as I am.

Please adopt me. (:

Yours truly,
Skinny

You can find out more information about me on Noah's Ark CARES blog and their official Facebook page.

Do also become a member of AVA's “A Pet is For Life” Facebook group and follow them on Twitter.

Special Feature: Pets in Art – Littlest Things

Hello everyone!

You’re just in time for the final pets in arts post! It has been a long and eventful year for all of us! You know a year can be easily remembered for the big events that happened but at the same time, a year can also be marked by the small little things that people have done for you in your day-to-day life! So while I was thinking of this, I decided to capture a picture of a little pet, and where else do I find a little pet but my own pet goldfish! Trust me, this was the most difficult picture to capture as it would not stop moving but I managed to get this great shot of it at last! So here is also a poem to accompany this picture!

Littlest things

The wise men say it is the littlest things that take us there

To where? You may ask. To the places,

We want to be, to where we see and never have to unsee

To hear and to sing, to celebrate and cherish

So it is the little things as Gandalf says, those that keep the forces at bay

Not the big and power ones, but the simple acts of kindness and love.

And that is the last poem from me to all of you! Let us look forward to the big events of 2013 with our pets but also remembering that it is the little things done day to day that can change the world! Let us make 2013 a year to remember for animals and people (:

by Eugene Ko

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

Pet Care Tips: Feeding (guinea) piggy

Unlike the other animals in the rodent family, guinea pigs (or cavies) are not able to produce Vitamin C on their own. Thus, they need an added boost of essential nutrients, including a sufficient dosage of Vitamin C in their everyday diet. Feeding your cavy pellets made from natural sources like plants, seeds and veggies should make up the bulk of your pet's diet as they are complete with nutritional values.

To add variety into their diet, here's a list of some fruits and vegetables that you can give to your cavy:

Fruits*(just a small cube per day)

1. Apples - just make sure they don't have any seeds.
2. Oranges
3. Pears
4. Bananas
5. Grapes
6. Cherry tomatoes

Vegetables

1. Red Pepper (or green/yellow pepper. Red Pepper has the highest Vitamin C concentration)
2. Carrots (both the root and the green tops are safe for your guinea pig)
3. Leafy greens like red lettuce, romaine, Boston lettuce*
4. Cucumbers
5. Broccoli*
6. Green beans
7. Peas
8. Dandelion*
9. Green spinach*
10. Cilantro
11. Parsley - either curly or flat. They love it and it smells delicious when you're tearing some springs off the bunch to give it to them!

*To feed in moderation

Avoid overfeeding your cavy with fruits and vegetables as they could cause them diarrhoea and make them unwell. As a general rule, a slice of fruit or half a handful of vegetables is too much for one cavy. Fresh food that has been left over for some time can go bad. Make sure you clean up after your cavy as soon as he has had enough.

To aid digestion, provide an unlimited supply of grass hay for your guinea pig at all times. It makes their teeth healthy and helps with their need to gnaw.

They must have fresh, clean water available at all times so be sure to change the water from the bottle/bowl daily. You can also add essential Vitamin C supplement into their drinking water if they don’t enjoy their fruits or require an additional boost as recommended by the vet.

Feed your guinea pig twice daily - once in the morning and another in the evening

For more advice, do consult your vet or a pet nutrition expert.

Adapted from: ASPCA and PDSA

Photo from: Hilobrow

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Beat the Monday Blues: A dog-and-boy band

Hello everyone!

We hope all of you have had a great December so far! Dogs howl as a form of communication and it can really tickle our funny bones when they seem to do it with us for fun! Today, we bring you a dog and child duet!

Don’t you think both the child and the dog are extremely talented? Perhaps they could be on the next X Factor!

Have an awesome week ahead!

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Friends of The Animals: Doggone Lovin’!

Absolutely devoted to Pets Villa and the doggies there, read all about how Christine Bernadette actually stumbled across this opportunity to volunteer with Animal Lovers League and how her whole life (even her partner’s!) now revolves around this worthy cause of caring, rescue and re-homing the pooches.

I have always loved the company of dogs. I grew up around dogs, my mother is a huge doggie lover and because of her, we are constantly surrounded by many lovely canine buddies.

I first started volunteering by fostering puppies for a rescuer. My family and I fostered many and soon I felt I could do more. At the age of 16, I chanced upon an appeal for volunteers at Pets Villa (Animal Lovers League), a newly opened shelter at that time. Pets Villa had a free-roaming concept for its animals.

That special day, I met an old but charming Golden Retriever that had been cruelly abandoned. He had no name and had just arrived. He could not stand very well and had the saddest face in the world. I wished I could do more. I learnt of the sponsorship programme but had no extra money to spare at 16 years old. You would not believe how awful I felt as I left that place that day.

After a chat with my mother, she agreed we could afford to sponsor the poor old guy. Having just lost my grandfather at that point in time, I decided to name him Ben, after my dear late grandfather. We visited weekly to walk Ben, shower Ben and feed him special meals of chicken and rice. I also continued my volunteer work at Pets Villa with simple tasks such as washing the bowls and scrubbing the floor. I could do little, given I was new.

Ben spent two happy years at Pets Villa and I saw him weekly. He passed on eventually, a loved and happy dog. I picked a junior college that was near the shelter so I could help out in the evenings. I picked up dog-walking skills, kennel washing, de-ticking and much, much more over time.

I worked my way through university soon after so that I could support seven other rescued dogs at the shelter I had picked up from the neighbouring car park and street. I continued to volunteer twice weekly and could now handle most tasks single-handedly.

It was also at Pets Villa that I met my partner, Marcus, of five years. We share the same passion and have since taken over fundraising for Animal Lovers League as well as running the adoption and sponsorship scheme at Pets Villa. I now have two rescued dogs of my own, both adopted from Pets Villa after the passing of my own dog, Nancy.

Despite the busy schedule I now have as a full-fledged teacher, I still love spending time at Pets Villa. It is never deemed a tiring task. Even after seven long years, each day is still as rewarding and special. It is always wonderful to see a dog enjoying its first walk and learning to love again after the ill-treatment it had previously faced.

Over the years, I have found that rescued animals have a lifetime of love and loyalty to offer. I will continue to work on encouraging adoption and possibly one day, people will value the joy of adopting a pet rather than buying one.

[Event info] Adoption Drive @ Torte

Adoption Drive

Day and Date: Sunday, December 16 2012
Time: 11am to 3pm
Venue: Torte @ 96 Waterloo Street

Come and meet the Singapore Specials and give them forever homes (:

Pet Adoption Friday: Luna and Hayley from Humane Society Singapore

Luna

This Singapore Special was found at Kallang during a heavy downpour under a temporary road divider. Rescuers cycled the area for an hour or so looking for mummy dog but to no avail. Playful and fast learner. Loves to play and follows you around the house. She has learnt that she cannot go out of the room just within 5 minutes of teaching. Loves company and curious. Good with cats, though sometimes rough play is involved.

Name: Luna
Breed: Cross Breed
Gender: Female
Age: 2 months old
Dewormed: Yes
Sterilised: Not yet (she has to when she has turned 6 months' old)

Newspaper trained for her nature calls. She has under developed eyelids which may or may not need corrective surgery as she is still growing, problem may rectify itself as she grows. On saline eyedrops to ensure her eyes are properly lubricated as her eyelashes sits on her pupils. Dewormed and has a good appetite.

Hayley

Name: Hayley
Gender: Female
Breed: Shetland Sheepdog
Personality: Affectionate and loving
Age: 8 years old
Size (Full Grown): Small (Suitable for HDB)
Characteristics: I may take awhile to warm up and once I trust, I am a lap dog! I love to walk and run but at my own comfort and pace.
Good with other dogs: Good
Toilet trained: Not sure
Health: History of tick fever and urinary tract infection. Obese due to Thyroid thus might be the reason for slipped disc.
Vaccinated: Yes
Microchipped: Yes
Sterilized: Yes
Special Needs: Due to slipped disc, I have to be handled with care and preferable no handling by young children.

"I roamed the streets for days. When I was at Poh Huat Drive, a car stopped to pick me up and I am not sure what will happen next. Fear was all I could feel. The place I went next was filled with kind people and I think I am in a safe place. Truth be it, I WAS! The human there fed me, shower me, treated my medical conditions, sit with me to earn my trust, play with me and today I am a happier lady. I lost some weight and felt much better. Now that I am better, I am ready to share my life with you! Will you allow me into your house and love me till I leave my physical body?"

If you wish to find out more about Luna or Hayley, please send an email to judie.chang@humanesocietysingapore.org

More information can be found at Humane Society Singapore's Official Facebook page,

Join our "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter for more news and updates!

Post-Event Highlight: We Heart Animals event @ MediaCorp!

On 4 December 2012, AVA was invited to MediaCorp for the We Heart Animal event. We had a lot of fun as we got to meet with members of the staff and play our interactive games!~

Check out some of the photos we took from the event!

Play our game and walk away with our goody pack!~

A staff member playing our "Be A Considerate Pet Owner" velcro board game

That's us!

As long as you take part in our games, you will get to take home our exciting goody pack (while stocks last!)

If you would like to invite us to be a part of your event, do send us your request which can be found on the link here!

For the latest updates and information, do join us at our official "A Pet is For Life" Facebook group and follow us on Twitter.

Pet Care Tips: Your handy-dandy bunny guide!

Before you get yourself a pet, it is important to take the following factors into consideration - time, knowledge, money and responsibility. Read our guide on what you need to know before getting a pet.

If after reading our guide, you realise that a rabbit is the most suitable pet for you and decide to adopt one, we have here a little 'starter kit' to help you understand your rabbit better!

As a rabbit owner, you should...

1. Make sure that your rabbit's needs are taken care of. Needs include food, water, personal hiding place, toilet area, toys and sufficient space for mobility (running, hopping and jumping).

On top of the housing that you have provided for your rabbit, do include a little hiding area that allows your rabbit to hide. Rabbits are prey animals and therefore need hiding places where they will feel safe. Some suitable hiding places include cardboard boxes and tunnels.

2. Ensure that your rabbit gets to exercise everyday to keep them healthy. Exercise helps young rabbits develop a healthy bone structure and helps adult rabbits maintain a healthy physique. Allow them to run at a designated area (that's safe) for about 2-3 hours daily during their most active periods which are early morning, late afternoon and overnight.

3. Provide good quality food such as hay, pellets and vegetables as they are important for nutritional growth and improve digestive health. Find out what are the kinds of food that are nutritious for your rabbit in our little feature here.

4. Look out for any behavioural change. For example, an active rabbit that suddenly becomes passive or a friendly rabbit that becomes aggressive. If you detect any of the signs, please seek help from a vet.

5. Never raise your voice at your rabbit. Rabbits can get nervous or scared and this could affect their emotional well-being. They do not tolerate loud noises or sudden movements as these actions can cause stress to them and could possibly lead to death.

We hope our tips today has equipped you with better knowledge about rabbit care and ownership. (:

The information has been adapted from: RSPCA, BunnyHugga, HeidiHoefer and PetFinder.

Photo from: Buzzle

For more useful tips on pet care, check out our entire collection here.

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Beat the Monday Blues: Amazing Inter-Animal Friends!

Hello everyone!

Isn’t this a lovely video of various pets living together? It is the time of the year to come together with your family and reflect on the year’s events – good and bad, happy or sad. Happy holidays! This is also the season when Singapore is cooler (or colder, some say), bringing us closer to the warmth and joy of Christmas. Have a good Monday and we’ll catch up with you soon!

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Pet Adoption Friday: Angelica from House Rabbit Society Singapore

Angelica is a sweet and gentle little sweetheart. She has a cute pair of helicopter ears (one upright and the other droopy), and has a endearing face who will melt the hearts of everyone.

Gender: Female
Breed: Local mix
Age: 2.5 years old
Personality: Angelica is sweet and loves attention <3
Health: Good
Sterilized: Yes
Litter Trained: Yes

If you wish to adopt the beautiful Angelica, send in your email to information@hrss.net.

For more information, visit www.hrss.net and their Facebook page.

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

RPO Exhibition @ Jurong West Public Library - Last 3 days!

We hope you have been enjoying yourselves at our RPO Exhibition at Jurong West Public Library so far.

Currently, two of our interactive exhibits are on display at the library. You can also pick up our Care For Your Pet and Animals & Our Community publications while you're there.

On 24 November. we had a puppet show performed by the students from Ngee Ann Polytechnic's MOPpets Club. The crowd absolutely loved the story and characters and the children that attended the show went home with goody packs.

Here are some snapshots that we took:

The audience waiting in anticipation for the show to start

A short quiz session right after the show. Winners walked away with our exclusive lanyard and passholder set!

Photo-taking session with the cast of the show!

This Sunday, 9 December 2012 will be the last day of the exhibition. If you have not visited the library yet, it's about time you do! (:

Venue: Jurong West Public Library (Just 5 minutes walk from Boon Lay MRT station) Time: 10am to 9pm daily

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Special Feature: Pets in Art – Long Road

Hello everyone!

Welcome to Pets in Art! As I was walking back home, I noticed this cat walking down a path by itself and thought it would be a nice picture to capture! It also got me thinking, that as the year 2012 comes to an end, there is so much more change that we can make together to help keep the number of stray animals each year! And knowing that each year brings a fresh new start I am excited for the New Year ahead!

So today I’ll bring you a poem titled “Long Road”

Long Road

A long dusty road I saw ahead, a looming shadow crawls

Again, I saw the feline figure swiping across with its dusty paws.

A long way we have come again, though a thousand lives still lost to war

A long way to cut the cost, of strays of deaths, abuse and more.

But the long way isn’t so far away, for like the feline figure sashaying away

The long road is just a year away.

By Eugene Ko

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Celebrate X'mas with Trees of the World @ Singapore Botanic Gardens

Are you heading to the Singapore Botanic Gardens this Christmas season?

From now till 6 January 2013, you will get to see our AVA Christmas Tree on display at the Botanic Gardens as part of the Trees of the World Event!

Venue: Tanglin Core Singapore Botanic Gardens Time: 9am to 9pm Daily

Here's a look at our AVA Christmas Tree:

We have ornaments from our friends at Food Safety and Food Supply Resilience programmes beautifully hung on the tree and a little RPO standee right next to the tree (:

There are other tropical trees on display by the other partners of the Singapore Botanic Gardens. Be sure to check them out~

Don't forget to take the photo when you're there and share it with us on our official Facebook group at "A Pet is For Life". You can also tweet to us on Twitter.

Pet Care Tips: 5 things you should know about Cats!

So do you think you know everything about cats? We have gathered 5 interesting facts about cats that we would like to share with you (:

#5 – What’s mine is mine, what’s yours is ALSO mine!

Cats are territorial creatures. There are a number of ways for them to mark their territories and one of which is by rubbing off their scents on objects. Cats have scent glands along the tail, on each side of their forehead, on their lips, chin and on the underside of their front paws. They use these glands to scent mark their territory. So every time your cat passes by a furniture in your house and rubs up against it, he is claiming that object. You would realise he claims you too, by the same gesture. Also, if they like to knead on you, that is also their way of territorial marking. (Read the article on kneading here!)

#4 Cat: “See me jump!”

Their powerful, tightly-controlled muscles and quick reflexes allow them to move around very fast and it can sometimes be a little difficult to catch up with them. Cats also have good running, jumping and climbing capability.

#3 - They are multi-linguists! (Well, sort of..)

A variety of methods are used by a cat to communicate with its surrounding. They range from purrs and meows to growls and yowls. They even use body languages such as facial expressions (think Puss in Boots in Shrek), various body postures and the movements of their ears and tail. Interestingly, cats only mew at humans and not to other cats. We did a feature on this in one of our previous Pet Care Tips article. Have a read at the article here.

#2 Yawn… You calling me?

Did you know that a cat, on average, sleeps about 12 to 18 hours a day? They took over this trait from their wild cousins. Cats are genetically wired to sleep for most of the day. In the wild, cats have to hunt for a living. Hunting is a lot of work — it includes stalking, chasing and an intense burst of energy at the end when the prey is finally caught. Sleeping helps cats conserve energy in between their meals.

#1 - Cats are (very cute) clean freaks!

If you have ever experienced a cat licking you, you would have felt that its rough tongue. There are tiny abrasive hooks on its tongue that helps it groom itself by smoothening out its fur and removing the dirt. Apart from self-grooming however, you should still groom your cat regularly so that its skin stays healthy. Grooming promotes bonding too! (:

Adapted from: Cat ChannelPerfect Paws, RSPCA and ASPCA.

Photo from: Dr Baji Bhai

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Creative Expression Competition 2012: Results!!

Results are in for the Creative Expression Competition 2012!!!~

Category A

First Prize: Melissa Mak Ziqi

We have a tie for the 2nd position! For that, the total prize money of $300 ($200 for 2nd prize and $100 for 3rd prize) will be evenly distributed amongst our three deserving winners.

Tie at 2nd Position: Reynie Arinah Binte Idi Qalif

Tie at 2nd Position: Teoh Yong Han

Tie at 2nd Position: Mee Mee Chaw

Category B

First Prize: Cassandra Lee

2nd Prize: Kimberly Teo Shu Xuan

3rd Prize: Danielle Nicole Ng Shu Hui

Category C

First Prize: Ong Poh Yean

2nd Prize: Sim Jing Yi

3rd Prize: Ben Lim

Congratulations to all winners!

Winners will be contacted very soon on prize collection.

We would like to thank everyone for taking part and making the Creative Expression Competition 2012 a great success! Be sure to look out for more competitions organised by AVA in the future!

For more information, visit: http://petsforlife.com.sg/competition2012

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Beat the Monday Blues: Jerry and his new toy!

Let’s welcome the favourite month for most of us – December! I’m sure many of you are excited as it’s the season for an overseas holiday and the Christmas party (with the presents, of course!)!

Here is a video captured by an engineer who’s designed the ultimate present for his beloved dog! He spent two years to make and modify it to make the machine safe for his dog and child! Hope this ingenious invention has made your day! Have a great Monday and a good week ahead!

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