Dash to save strays at Bukit Batok

By Terry Xu

Update to the story – TOC understands from the estate manager, Mr Raynald of the area through a phone conversation that Jurong Town Council has called off the operation to catch the stray dogs at the area.  This move was possible after the dog lovers have communicated with the town council that they can help to remove the strays for the town council.

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Last night, an image of a notice was shared wildly amongst animal lovers on the social media.

JTC notice

The notice indicated that there will be an initiative to curb the stray dogs’ population at the forested area next to the Bukit Batok Mrt Station. Despite the notice was dated on 3rd april, the dog catchers had been already on the job to catch the strays 2 days prior according to a netizen’s earlier post of the notice.

Though the notice did not indicate specifically what the initiative was, but those who are familiar with the antics of the town councils would know that this would probably mean dog catchers would be called in to cull the dogs. Sparking a rush of dog lovers from different groups down to the site at the Bukit Timah hill to see what they could do for the strays.

For the next few hours, concerned netizens would refer to updates posted by volunteers of the various animal welfare groups who are on site, asking whether any dogs were captured by the pest control company.

Eventually, the volunteers from Dog Hope Rescue managed to rescue seven puppies from the forested area and has now put them up for adoption while temporarily fostering them in their own home.

hopedogrescue
Volunteers from Hope Dog Rescue / Photo by Lawrence Wong

To what the volunteers understand, there has been no dogs captured by the pest control company. But there are still dogs on the hill and there are concerns that the dogs are still at a risk to be caught by the pest control company.

Hearing from the people who gathered near the site, the volunteers understand that there had been feedback stating about the nuisance generated from the barks of the strays and joggers being chased by the strays. Leading to the engagement of the pest control company to round up the strays.

Dog Hope Rescue lament about this event in their blog post, “There are so many animal welfare groups in Singapore, why can’t the Town Council approach the various welfare groups? Instead of “curbing the stray population”, they could have offered to trap them and hand them over to the various groups, whom I am sure, would be happy to help rehome these dogs. It takes a little more effort on their part, but isn’t it better than having blood on their hands?”

Jurong Town Council and other town councils should understand by now that to tackle issue such as stray dogs, they should probably be better off working with volunteer groups such as Hope Dog Rescue and consult with them on how to relocate the dogs if there is really an issue with the residents. And it may be not advisable to call in the dog catching companies or pest control companies which have no concern over how the strays are being captured or what will be the ultimate fate of the strays.

Concerned residents living near the hill may write to [email protected] or call JRTC at 1800-561-7776 to ask the town council on their upcoming plans. People interested in adopting the puppies, please email [email protected] or [email protected]