Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Include animal companions in will to protect pets' welfare

My Paper, Viewpoints
Wednesday May 19, 2010
"Include animal companions on will to protect pets' welfare"
Recently, the animal shelter which I volunteer at, accepted a cat that had been an elderly man's companion for 14 years.

After the man died, the care of the cat remained in the flat and was left in the care of a daughter who lived elsewhere.

She visited the flat once a week to provide food for the animal and to clean up the place.
She blamed the it's "weird behaviour of chasing and biting her" for not being able to bring it to a vet to treat its skin problem. She suspected it was suffering from a fungal infection as she herself has contracted it.
After 1 1/2 years of caring for her father's cat this way, she decided to sell the flat.

She called up the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and was told that the chance of an old cat being adopted was very slim and that it was likely to be euthanised.

So she decided to seek alternative help.
She made a one-time "token" payment of $200 to the shelter for accepting the cat.
The animal is now in a veterinary clinic for examination, observation and treatment, before it is transferred to the animal shelter.
The lesson here is that people who have the priviledge of living with animal companions should include their "loved ones" in their will so that their pets' welfare will not be compromised after their death.
I hope that the Cat Welfare Society and the SPCA will include this aspect of animal welfare in their public-outreach activities.
Dr Tan Chek Wee


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