Some animal welfare organizations in Singapore are saying that they have never had to appeal so aggressively for pet food prior to COVID-19. As beneficiaries of Singapore‘s largest pet food drive that just commenced on 5th October 2020, they hope to raise enough to continue assisting the stray feeders who have been working tirelessly on the ground to ensure the strays do not go hungry. In some cases, the money saved from donated pet food can be channeled towards medical expenses which weigh heavily on shelters. They say despite a decline in donations, people in Singapore are still willing to help.
The beneficiaries of this year‘s 13th Annual Pet Food Drive organized by Pet Lovers Foundation (PLF) (https://http://www.petloverscentre.com/pet-lovers-foundation/13th-annual-pet-food-drive-2020) are the Cat Welfare Society (CWS), Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS) and Exclusively Mongrels Limited (EML). “Beneficiaries are rotated each year so that as many of them can benefit from the food drive as possible,” saysChristine Tan, head of marketing at Pet Lovers Centre. “This year‘s annual pet food drive which is typically held during the Christmas period has been brought forward to bring early help to the animal welfare organizations in the wake of the pandemic. Last year‘s contributions totaled 31,941.98kg. This year, we hope to be able to reach 33,000kg,” she adds.
CAS was one of the beneficiaries who recorded a downward trend. “We generally saw a 25% drop in food donations,” says Christine Bernadette of CAS. Exclusively Mongrels also experienced the same plight. “Last December before COVID-19 we had in total 85 bags of kibbles. During COVID-19 we appealed for pet food and got 35 bags,” says Kevin Neo, Director of Exclusively Mongrels. As for CWS, it has observed that caregivers were facing greater difficulty in buying pet food for the animals. "Caregivers on the ground were experiencing more uncertainty and financial instability which impacted their ability to buy food and provide medical care. The annual food contributionsfrom PLF which CWS distributes each year helps defray their monthly food costs,” says Thenuga Vijakumar, President of CWS.
For Exclusively Mongrels, the food will be given to the dogs under foster care as well as stray feeders. For CAS, the food will not only be redistributed to other shelters but also to feeders who feed strays, and foster families who take care of the dogs. CWS’ portion is distributed to caregivers who feed community cats or, in some cases, may be caring for elderly or ill community cats at home.
The pet food drive lasts until 25 October 2020.
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