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SPCA only full-time vet sees 25 to 35 animals daily, shares behind-the-scenes details

Thank you Dr Bel! :')

Zhangxin Zheng | September 18, 04:46 pm

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Animal welfare charity Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) houses the only non-profit community animal clinic in Singapore.

SPCA takes care of about 200 in-house strays every day.

The clinic attends to emergency cases or provides basic consultations to these animals, as well as the rescued ones from animal welfare groups or community caregivers.

You can imagine the heavy workload that the clinic has to handle day-to-day, which is incredible given that they only have one full-time veterinarian.

A video uploaded by SPCA on Sep. 17 shares more about Dr Bel, the only full-time vet at the clinic, and her experience at the shelter.

Vet with wildlife training stayed for the abandoned animals

In the interview, Dr Bel shared that she had always been passionate about animals and “wanted to help those that nobody wants to help”.

Six years ago, she joined SPCA as a cruelty inspector then served as their in-house vet full time.

Prior to that, Dr Bel underwent wildlife training where she got to work closely with animals such as elephants, hyenas, tigers, rhinos, wildebeest, and platypuses.

Screenshot from SPCA video.

Those were some memorable times as she recalled how a tiger woke up halfway from sedation and a senior vet had to frantically asked her to get out of there: “Just run! Run! Run! Out of the enclosure.”

She also quipped getting peed and pooped on by pythons before.

Dr Bel also shared being involved in an attempt to remove a bullet from a rhinoceros in Africa.

The bullet was lodged in so deeply that the rescue team could not remove it so they decided to flush the wound and give it some antibiotics.

Fortunately, the injured rhino eventually reunited with its baby.

Screenshot from SPCA video.

It was perhaps moments like this that kept her passion going and she shared that if she did not work at SPCA, she would have joined a wildlife group to fight against poachers.

However, she also shared a different set of challenges at SPCA, which includes dealing with demanding clients, as well as the emotional turmoil in seeing an animal suffer or die despite their attempt to rescue it.

Screenshot from SPCA video.
Screenshot from SPCA video.

Senior animals get abandoned in S’pore

Dr Bel also shared that senior animals abandonment is an issue in Singapore.

The shelter handles many such cases where senior animals get surrendered because of the health issues that they developed at old age.

These animals, however, are in need of support and help from their owners to take care of them.

These abandoned animals are still spotted yearning for their owners, looking around to see if they are around at the shelter.

Dr Bel, who has an old geriatric cat, shared that there are quirks and joys in taking care of a senior pet too:

“For me, I have my own old geriatric cat and you can see the little changes — the cute, little changes in his character like being a grumpy old fella, getting more impatient, and if you don’t give him pats, he will bite your ankles and run away.”

Screenshot from SPCA video.

All it takes is accompaniment and giving these old pets supportive care.

How you can support SPCA?

SPCA is having an event on Oct. 5 and 6, 2019 at Star Vista mall with vet talks, an adoption drive, merchandise sales, and other activities.

You can find out more here.

If you wish to donate to fund medical treatments for needy animals, click here.

Details of event

Event: SPCA World Animal Day 2019 (Celebrating Our Paw-neer Generation)
Date / Time:  Oct. 5 & 6, 11:00am to 8pm
Location: Star Vista, basement 1
Cost: Free entry

You can also watch our interview with a 27-year SPCA rescue officer Morgan here:

Top photo from screenshots of SPCA video

About Zhangxin Zheng

Zhangxin’s favourite pastime is singing Mulan’s soundtrack in the mangrove forests. She hopes to perfect the art of napping in a hammock in the mangroves without being drowned by rising sea levels.

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