SPCA was established in the 1800s. The committee consisted of W.H Read, John Cameron, William Adamson and D.E.A Hervey.
In July, we published our first annual report. A report from the Straits Times Press dated October 3, 1878, said, “The number of cases brought under the notice of the Singapore Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Animals during the first quarter ending September 30, 1878, was 84. Of these, three were for cruelty to hack ponies, 17 for ill-treatment of oxen and four for causing suffering to birds by shooting them with ‘sumpitans’. In ten cases, the offenders were cautioned and discharged by the Magistrate, six were convicted and fined and the remainder were visited by the Agents, who in every case verified that wounded animals and those unfit for labour were not made to work until their condition improved.”
After the Japanese occupation, the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA) as it was then called was revived by an Englishwoman, Miss Lucia Bach, who ran a boarding house and took in unwanted street animals.
RSPCA was set up formally and moved to Orchard Road. This move was facilitated by an RSPCA official from England, who engineered the operation and trained one of the staff as an inspector. The first official vehicle was donated to the SPCA. At the same time, two staff members were hired — a telephone operator and a driver.
Singapore ceased to be a crown colony and the RSPCA became the SPCA.
Sterilisations made compulsory for SPCA-adopted animals.
SPCA’s official clinic was set up to serve members of the public. The facilities were also used to treat the Society’s animals and carry out sterilisations, which were made compulsory for SPCA-adopted animals. With the relocation from kampongs to HDB flats, countless pets were abandoned. The SPCA launched a programme to collect animals before the occupants vacated their homes. The Ministry of National Development, Primary Production Department (now AVA) and Dog Unit at the City Veterinary Centre, provided information on areas about to be developed.
Relocated to 31 Mount Vernon Road. The new offices and kennels were a big improvement for both staff and animals.
SPCA started distributing free sterilisation vouchers for community cats and dogs to caregivers and other welfare groups.
SPCA proposed to the government to increase the penalties of those found guilty of cruelty to animals.
In a landmark case in 1997, a magistrate had imposed a $500 fine on an abuser who had stabbed/beat a street dog that was tied up. The SPCA wrote to the Attorney General’s Chambers to ask for an appeal to be instituted. On appeal by the prosecution, the Chief Justice sentenced the man to a jail term.
After SPCA’s proposal, the government increased penalties for those who found guilty of cruelty to animals from a $500 fine and 6-month jail term to a $10,000 fine and one-year jail term.
SPCA became a resource for the Community Court; our input is sought prior to cases being heard.
SPCA, together with Nature Society (Singapore) and ACRES, started the “Say No to Whale Sharks in Captivity” campaign to stop Resorts World Sentosa from bringing in a whale shark for display in their aquarium.
Resorts World Sentosa formally scrapped plans for the whale shark exhibition.
SPCA joined forces with other animal welfare groups in Singapore – ACRES, ASD, Animal Lovers League, Cat Welfare Society, House Rabbit Society of Singapore (HRSS), Noah’s Ark Cares – to conduct an undercover survey of all the 36 pet shops and pet farms selling puppies in Singapore and launched the “Stop the Cruelty in Puppy Mills” campaign to shed light on the conditions of breeding dogs in these puppy mills.
SPCA wrote to the press reiterating our stand on dolphins in captivity, urging RWS to reconsider its decision in exhibiting bottled nosed dolphins and in response to the death of two of the seven bottle-nosed dolphin destined for RWS. The fight continues.
SPCA submitted a proposal for legislative reform (Animals and Birds Act, Part IV, the ‘Prevention of Cruelty to Animals’ sections 42 to 44) to the Ministry of National Development and apart from proposing increased penalties for existing offences based on cruelty, we are proposing that failure to take care of the welfare of pets should also amount to an offence and be punishable as such.
Project ADORE, a scheme which allows the keeping of local breed dogs (Singapore Specials) in HDB flats, was first proposed by the SPCA and ASD in 2011 and a pilot was launched in 2012, administered by both welfare groups, MND, AVA and HDB. The scheme has enabled more than 1,000 street dogs to find good homes.
New developments to the animal abuse charges under the Animals and Birds Act. First-time offenders of animal cruelty could be fined up to $15,000, jailed up to 18 months, or both. Offenders who are in animal-related businesses will face heftier penalties for animal cruelty up to $40,000 in fines or jail, not exceeding two years, or both.
SPCA and AVA started the Stray Cat Sterilsation Programme, which aims to further reduce the number of stray cats in HDB estates.
SPCA relocates to 50 Sungei Tengah Road. Minister K. Shanmugam officially opens the new SPCA shelter.
Inaugural Benefit Gala to raise funds for our clinic upgrade.
In November 2018, SPCA was appointed the lead animal welfare group in the nationwide dog Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) programme to sterilise at least 70% of community dogs within five years to humanely reduce their population. The programme was officially launched by Mr Desmond Lee.
Mr Desmond Lee officially opened Singapore’s only not-for-profit Community Animal Clinic at SPCA for community animals, other animal welfare groups, and low-income households.
Under a 2-year pilot, the height criterion of dogs under Project ADORE (a scheme to let Singapore Specials be HDB-approved) was revised to 55cm from 50cm. The weight criterion was also removed.