We have been busy with our TNR activities and have not been able to update our posts as often as we would like.
But we are happy to announce that in the past 7 months, PROJECT SOUND has successfully sterilized a total of 45 dogs from Ubin and nearby fishfarms.
In fact, we are sterilizing 2 more this week, 2 more next week and another in 2 weeks’ time, making it a total of at least 50 dogs by the middle of this month.
This project requires a fair amount of planning and relationship-building with both the caregivers as well as the dogs….and volunteer muscle.
So far, we have been sharing with you photos and videos of the release of dogs back to their families. Those are our happiest moments that make the effort all worthwhile. We are comforted by the fact that the TNR dog will no longer produce unwanted litters and they will generally be healthier. Sometimes, serious illnesses are diagnosed during the pre-sterilisation stage which could then save a life.
But what actually happens in the T and N stage before the R?
What is a typical TNR day you may ask?
Well, it does not happen over a day.
PLANNING & LOGISTICS
For days, sometimes weeks or months, we have to negotiate with the caregiver to allow us to sterilize their dog. If the dog does not have a regular feeder, we will have to carry out due diligence on the doggie and try to think of the best way to outsmart the dog.
To transport the trap, dog carriers and other bulky and heavy items between mainland Singapore and Ubin, we have dedicated volunteers and the assistance of a fish-farmer who has been assisting us with transport without fail each time.
To trap the dogs, we have tried several methods but it appears the best way is to use a well designed and safe trap that causes minimal stress to the dogs. Most people are understanding of the necessary evil that comes with trapping a dog when we explain it is to prevent unwanted litters and to manage the dog population. Occasionally, we would be known as the “dog catchers” and given dirty looks (mostly by residents who believe that dogs should be given the freedom to roam and breed). All is forgotten when the dog is released and back to hanging out in its regular haunts.
Next, you need yummy bait with bite. We have come to know a kind uncle, a familiar face at Comfort Bikes, who painstakingly strips leftover raw fish donated from a fish porridge stall, cooks and debones the fish, and eventually freezes it into a fish meal popsicle! He says he hates seeing good fish go to waste! When thawed, this meal makes a healthy and nutritious meal and the dogs absolutely love it!
We discussed the possibility of conducting the sterilization on the island. The lady owner of Comfort Bikes, who has been caring for a large number of abandoned dogs on Ubin, spent quite a lot of time and effort clearing up the space behind her shop for this purpose, even fixing the leaks in the roof.
We eventually decided the quickest and most effective way was to bring the dogs out of Ubin to the vets on the mainland where operating conditions were more sanitary, where there would be better use of the vet’s time, and the dog’s recovery could be much better monitored before release.
Our job does not end at release. We continue to treat dogs which may be seriously injured or ill, and this has already cost us thousands of dollars. We will also try to re-home unwanted pups although you may have seen our recent posts that said we were unable to take in the Ubin pups as our shelter was overwhelmed with pups galore.
If you would like to learn more about what we do or to adopt the Ubin pups, come down to our booth this weekend on Ubin Day (13 – 14 June 2015).
We would also like to take this opportunity to thank all our volunteers (from mainland Singapore, Pulau Ubin and the off-shore fish-farms) and our vets for making this happen! It is an amazing effort and we thank you!
In upcoming posts we will be featuring the special volunteers who provide the transport, the Ubin shelter and the fishmeal, all of which it made the TNR effort possible.
~ From Facebook page: UBIN DOGS – Project SOUND : Trap, Neuter, Release, Manage. Please like the page to receive updates about Project SOUND on Pulau Ubin!