Nurturing Kindness, One Animal at a Time
AnimalCare’s Neutering, Medical and Vaccination Aid is only given to those who practise small-scale CNRM, caring for the animals – for life!
Why street dogs and cats live amongst us
It was our human ancestors, many thousands of years ago, who left food scraps in their nomadic lifestyle so animals followed their tracks. It was also our humans ancestors who domesticated the wolves and wild cats as companion animals or later, used cats to ward off vermin from their farms, dogs to guard their property. But dogs and cats breed on their own. They do not go through menopause; dogs can breed twice a year while cats can breed up to four times a year. It is how Nature is, for the survival of the species. But we have built our concrete jungles and dogs and cats find it difficult to survive in them. Many street animals also may not be “genuine strays”. They are abandoned unneutered pet animals due to irresponsible pet ownership, or the offspring of such abandoned pets.
The bottom line is this: Animals did not choose to live amongst us. We destroyed their natural homes. We brought them in to live with us. It is only reasonable that we help them by controlling their population through neutering so that they do not breed at an exponential rate and suffer on the street.
C = Care
N = Neuter
R = Return
M = Manage
Care – Start by caring for the street animals on your street, ie. taking an interest in their wellbeing and safety, and feeding them. When feeding, please do so responsibly and always clean up after them. Best to feed in an area which is safe and does not cause any unhappiness to other humans.
Neuter – Take the animals to a vet of your choice for neutering. All neutered animals are to be ear-notched to indicate that they have been neutered. This is so that it is possible to identify by sight that an animal has already been neutered and to prevent the females from being caught and reopened up for the spaying surgery. The neutered males can be identified by the absence of their testicles but in the case of undescended testicles, that could also pose a problem. Hence, ear-notching is very important. If you require financial aid for neutering, please contact us: www.myanimalcare.org/aid/. To qualify for our aid, all neutered animals must be ear-notched. Our aid package also covers two vaccinations for a newly-rescued animal.
Return – In an ideal CNRM setting, neutered animals are returned to the colony where the caregiver continues to look after and manage the animals. Due to the natural territorial behaviour of animals, the neutered animals will prevent the entry of other unneutered strays from outside. Thus, the number of animals in that colony is stabilised as these neutered animals will not breed anymore. They live on until they pass away naturally. For this to happen, the environment would have to be animal-friendly and safe with no complaints from other humans so that they are not captured by the authorities. The benefit of returning them to the same colony is that it helps preserve the natural eco-system.
Manage – After the animal has been returned to the colony, please continue to look after them. Get them vaccinated (we offer aid: www.myanimalcare.org/vacc/). Take them to the vet when they are sick. Managing is for life.
If a new animal enters the colony, repeat the CNRM process.
Note: In areas where there are complaints about the presence of street animals or any potential dangers, it is the responsibility of the caregiver to ensure the safety of these animals. In such areas, the caregiver may have to consider rehoming or adopting the animals. Safety comes first.
In such cases, then R = Rehome.
With CNRM in practice, we hope to achieve the following:
1. Control the stray population through CNRM.
2. Reduce the number of complaints from the public once the stray population is under control.
3. Get more humans to accept the presence of neutered street animals in their neighbourhood.
The importance of ear-notching
A neutered community animal will have their ear notched so that they will not be recaptured. Notching = a small V-cut on its right ear or a flat tip. It is not easy for a vet to identify if a female animal has already been spayed as the incision mark fades with time, the absence of the uterus is also not identifiable by ultrasound or X-ray. There had been cases of already-spayed community animals being captured and subjected to the spaying surgery again because their ears were not notched. This unfortunate incidence can be prevented if all female animals have their ears notched. Ear-notching should also be done for male animals so that a neutered male can be identified by sight without the need to check their scrotum.
Start small and keep it small
Our aim is to work with and help small-time rescuers and feeders who are keen to help the animals on their streets or in their neighbourhood.
We strongly encourage you to start off this programme in your neighbourhood. Start small and keep it small. For each animal that is neutered, HUNDREDS of unwanted births and untold suffering can be prevented.
Street animals need our help.
They are being captured, removed and even destroyed because people complain about them. Stop the complaints, and the killing will stop. One way is to control the population and stabilise colonies through CNRM.
We hope more people will see the need to implement CNRM as a long-term solution to the stray animal problem. Hands-on participation is most appreciated by those who can. For those who cannot, we hope you will support those who can in other ways.
To those who find street animals a nuisance and a pest in your neighbourhood, we appeal for your kind understanding that animals do not know any better and hence, cannot be expected to behave as we want them to; we appeal to your good heart to please not complain as it would cost them their lives. There are other ways to keep the animals from straying into your compound (wire netting, lemon, citrus scents, the water hose, etc.). Please do not put in a complaint to the authorities. Animals may be killed as a result of that one phonecall to complain.
Neuter-Return is practised in many Western countries as well as in Sri Lanka, Bali, India, Thailand, Singapore, United Arab Emirates, Qatar and Kuwait. It is definitely a more humane and compassionate way for stray animal management.
For us, we would like to include the C=Caring and M=Manage components where street animals will become community animals who are cared for and looked after by the residents for the rest of their lives.
Where street animals are born is where they belong. This earth belongs to them too.
Killing is never a solution to any problem. What goes around, comes around.
Please support our efforts through your active participation in this programme. Please help us spread the word and send this link out as widely as you can.
Live and let live.
Let’s live harmoniously with them and help them.
My utmost gratitude to Dr Tan Chek Wee for teaching me all about the TNRM concept.
Tips on preserving your CNRM colony and keeping your animals safe.
- Be friendly to your neighbours or other humans who frequent your colony and explain that neutered animals will not breed anymore and the number of street animals will not increase.
- Explain that you will take responsibility for the animals by feeding them responsibly and cleaning up after them, getting them vaccinated and taking them to the vet if they fall sick. If there are complaints, do your very best to settle the complaints in a friendly and amicable manner. Do not incur the wrath of other humans because some might react by calling the council and your neutered animals will be captured.
- As far as possible, for the safety of your animals, tolerate other humans, no matter how difficult they can be. Do this so that your animals will not be harmed.
- If you are confronted by the council and animal-catchers, do your very best to negotiate with them, find options to solve the complaints, do whatever it takes so that your animals will not be captured. Council by-laws, unfortunately, allow the council to catch free-roaming animals, but some animal-catchers can be reasonable and compassionate if you explain the situation to them and offer to solve the complaints or placate those who complain.
- Please remember to do everything in your power to safeguard your animals. Being kind is more important than being right.
- If ever your animals are captured by the council, please quickly bail them out from the pound. Please remember that you are responsible for your colony and your colony only exists because you chose to feed and look after the animals. Otherwise, they would have migrated elsewhere. So, keep your colony small and manageable so that you can keep your animals safe.