Caregivers have very important functions in caring for community animals, including:
- Feeding community animals responsibly.
Please see this brochure on how to feed responsibly.
- Sterilising community animals.
The SPCA has a sterilisation programme for community animals. Please click here for more information.
Cat Welfare Society also has resources to help caregivers who wish to have their community cats sterilised. Please go to http://catwelfare.org/catsnip for more information.
As mentioned earlier, community animals will have their left ear tipped to mark that they are sterilised. Ear tipping is done under anaesthesia. This will ensure that the animal will be easily recognisable as having been sterilised. This can often save the animal's life as unsterilised animals are more likely to be rounded up by town councils and management committees.
- Caring for the animals and monitoring their general health.
Should a community animal need medical attention because it is sick or injured, the best thing a caregiver can do is to take the animal to a private veterinarian as soon as possible. Injured or sick animals often run to hide and it may be difficult to find them at a later time.
The SPCA also has a basic consultation service on Saturdays (by appointment only) for community animals. An appointment can be made at 6287 5355 (between 8 am and 5 pm on Mondays to Fridays) to bring a community animal in for treatment.
We also have an emergency service that attends to injured community animals. However, as we are responding to close to 200 emergencies per month involving mainly community animals, it would be impossible to treat every one of them in view of our limited facilities (we do not have hospitalisation facilities) and the prohibitive cost involved.
- Mediating when issues arise in relation to the community animals.
Caregivers often assist town councils, residents committees and management committees in solving issues that may arise in relation to community animals. Most of these cases involve issues of animal defecation, animals running into homes and litter left behind by feeders who do not clean up. Mediators often meet with the complainants, explain why the animals are there and why they should not be removed, and offer suggestions to help with the issues that complainants have encountered.
In some groups of caregivers, the responsibilities are split up, whereas in other areas, one caregiver may do everything. It is always best to work with a group of caregivers as there may be occasions when another caregiver's help is needed. It is also helpful to show the town council or management committee in your area that there are residents who not only want the animals to remain, but are willing to work with them to ensure that the animals are not removed.