3 Singaporeans - Dr Gan, A Dentist, Dr Herman, A Doctor, and Mr Ariffin, a Law Undergraduate will be taking on the Borneo Ultra Trail Marathon on Feb 18th 2017 to raise 30k for Exclusively Mongrels Ltd; a welfare group set up for Mongrels in Singapore. (https://www.facebook.com/exclusivelymongrels/)
EM is a Non-Profit Organization
which was set up by a handful of Mongrel owners with the aim of improving the
lives of Mongrels around Singapore via 2 main methods - 1. Bailing &
Rehoming 2. Sterilization via Trap, Neuter and Release (TNR).
The founders of EM found that although there are many dog welfare groups in Singapore, more often than not, Mongrels are overlooked for welfare, let alone adoption. There may be many reasons for this, from the perceived ‘lack of attractiveness’ of non-pedigree dogs and if may be so brave to say so, a view that ‘pariahs and stray dogs’ are an ‘inferior class’ to’ the pedigrees.
Most, if not all, of EM’s funding goes into the following
1. Bailing out dogs from AVA who would have otherwise been put to sleep.
2. Rescuing litters of puppies or stray dogs from public areas
3. Medical care for the rescued dogs (All dogs rescued by EM will undergo a full medical checkup)
4. Fostering (Home Stay) the rescued dogs until they are successfully rehomed
5. House Visits for the newly rehomed dogs for up to a year
6. TNR for stray dogs
What separates EM from more established dog and/or animal welfare groups?
1. EM focuses on Mongrels - the underdogs among dogs. Mongrels are often the last to get bailed out and the hardest to seek adopters for. At least on the surface, they may not seem as attractive as cross-breeds and/or pure-breeds. Some members of public readily call the authorities as soon as they spot a stray one.
2. EM prides itself upon ‘home rehabilitation’ instead of placing newly-rescued Mongrels in an animal shelter. These Mongrels are placed in the hands of experienced fosterers until they are successfully rehomed. Rehabilitation in home supplements a dog’s rehoming journey by providing increased human interaction and personalized care.
3. EM, in proportion to its size and resources, is really punching above its weight. It has gone from rehoming less than 50 dogs a year in 2014 to rehoming more than 120 in this year alone. This is all the more impressive when one takes into consideration the fact that EM is run by a group of volunteers, all of whom have a day job.
4. EM doesn’t wipe it’s hands dry after rehoming a dog. It conducts regular house visits at least a year from the time of the rehoming to check on the health of the dog. It also keeps in close contact with the adopters to provide them help whenever they need it. If any signs that the health and safety of the dog is compromised, EM will also take measures to bring the dogs back and hold the errant adopters accountable.
Dr Gan and the rest of the EM team are driven by the philosophy that even if a single Mongrel is happier, safer and healthier as a result of their efforts, it would all be worthwhile.’ Despite the seemingly insurmountable obstacles, both financial and otherwise, that stand in the way of helping more Mongrels, it is this very philosophy that keeps them going.
When Dr Gan, an EM member, was running through the trails of Sabah in Oct 2016, he stumbled upon a stray dog.
Being an avid dog lover and the proud father to three rescued Mongrels, he had to stop in his tracks. He fed the dog and it even ran alongside him for a mile or two. Further along the route, he encountered more stray dogs too.
All of the stray dogs he encountered seemed well-fed and were very approachable. They all displayed no aggression, despite being in the middle of a jungle. To Dr Gan, this was a tell-tale sign that the Orang Asli, who lived in villages in these jungles, took care of the dogs by feeding them. The fact that these Orang Aslis were living in harmony with these strays was indeed very commendable in his eyes.
These thoughts stuck with him throughout the run, and on the journey home too.
He couldn’t help but compare the Orang Asli’s hospitality to how a Singaporean layperson would react upon encountering a stray dog. More often than not, even in the absence of aggressive behaviour, a Singaporean who sees a stray dog would view it as no more than a pest and would either chase it away or even, call the authorities. As it so often is when the latter option is exercised, the authorities would have a hard time rehoming the dog and EM has to step in to ‘bail’ the dog out before the authorities euthanize it.
It is strange, he remarked, how the Orang Asli from the jungle can treat these strays with reverence while many Singaporeans would report a stray to the authorities without the slightest hesitation.
“Would the situation end up the same way if, instead of a stray mongrel, there was a stray pedigree dog?”
Armed with the notion that more needs to be done not just for these dogs but also to empower and educate the general public in Singapore about the plight of these strays and what can be done to help them, he then called on his two running buddies to undertake this journey with him.
It was going to be a journey that united his two
passions - running and dogs; a journey back to the jungles where he first
encountered the strays; back to where he first witnessed the hospitality of the
Orang Asli; back to where where the spark was first ignited. He, and his Team,
hope to bash through the jungles of Borneo, all in the hopes of blazing a new
trail for Mongrels back home, in Singapore.
Besides GIVE, we have received SGD 6,946.60 from other sources.