NUS PEACE

People Ending Animal Cruelty and Exploitation

March 21, 2017
by Shermaine Tay
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A Pet’s Day Out (Short Story)

Image result for walking your pet

 

My secondary school friends probably remember me as someone who talks fondly of my pet, Embie. She was very small and grey. Compared to her peers, she probably stuck out like a sore thumb as their colours were much more vibrant than her dull features. But I love her for her cute little self. With her little feet, she climbed up a short flight of stairs, step by step. Darted past flat grounds. And hopped down the steps. Her chirps were always full of energy as she followed me around.

We had been very close as I was with her since she was a three week old baby, feeding her four times a day. As a kid, waking up at 5.00am willingly to do so probably was the craziest thing I did in my life.

I still vividly remember about the day out at East Coast Park with her even though so many years had passed. She was tailing behind me, running through the sand as I walked at a slow pace. Lots of people stopped to stare. I recalled little boy tugging his mother’s arm and pointing at us in awe. As I called Embie to fly up to perch on my hand, I could not hide my grin. Embie was incessantly making high-pitched chirps and flapping her wings in excitement, like the lovebird she was.

Image result for peach faced lovebird

Maybe it had spurred him to want a pet like Embie, I wouldn’t know.

For all that I would have known, that family could very well be in the small community of bird lovers as I am.

 

Bird people are just weird, as compared to our dog and cat loving counterparts. We let our birds scream at us. Are totally unfazed when they poop on us and well… I walk my bird. To my defense though, I heard of someone walking his terrapin. But I think all pet lovers would agree that a bit of out and about, fresh air and exercise can make one very happy pet!

March 2, 2017
by Shermaine Tay
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Fun Facts about Cats

#1: Cats can’t taste sweetness…

#2: Cats sleep so much that, by the time a cat is 9 years old, it will only have been awake for three years of its life!

#3: A cat rubs against people to mark out its territory with scent glands around its face, tail area and paws. Meow.

#4: When a family cat died in ancient Egypt,The cat was embalmed with a sculpted wooden mask and the tiny mummy was placed in the family tomb or in a pet cemetery with tiny mummies of mice.

#5: The smallest pedigreed cat is a Singapura.

#6: A cat can jump up to five times its own height in a single bound. Woohoo!

#7: When cats leave their poop uncovered, it is a sign of aggression to let you know they don’t fear you.

#8: There is a legendary “monster” in Iceland called the Yule Cat. Farmers used to threaten their workers that the Yule Cat would devour them if they did not process the autumn wool before Christmas.

February 16, 2017
by e0035263
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Interesting places to bring your dog

Happy Recess Week!!

Here are a list of places that welcome your dog for a great day out!

  • Tanjong Beach

Located in Sentosa is a large sandy beach that welcomes dogs for a fun day out in the sun and the sand! In the picture above, you can see Mango posing with the beautiful scenery. Your dog can roam around freely off leash (but you should still keep a watchful eye heh) and swim or run around on the long stretch of sand. If possible, get a floatation vest for your dog! More information on bringing your dog here can be found on Mango’s blog post.

 

  • East Coast Park (ECP)

Most well known for cycling and rollerblading trips, ECP is also a fun place to check out with your dog! With a 15 km long track, you can take your dog out for a run, it will be a healthy way to exercise and enjoy the amazing view while you are at it. It would be advisable to keep your dogs on their leashes!

 

  • Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park

Newly revamped Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park is also a popular place for dog owners to bring their furry pal to on weekends. There are two designated dog run areas there, one for larger dogs and another for medium to smaller sized dogs. However, most of the time the owners are not discriminatory towards the size of dogs, all are welcome to join in the fun! Check out how much fun Zeus (above Golden Retriever) had at Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park!

 

  • Punggol Point Park 

I’m sure you all have seen pictures on Instagram of people posing in front of Coney Island, which is where Punggol Point Park is at. There are bicycles for rental to accompany your day out with your dogs. In addition to the beautiful view, there are many places you can have your lunch before you kick start your day out, or dinner to end the day. Do check out this blog post for more detailed information!

  • Sunny Heights

Fancy a swim on a hot day? Head down to Sunny Heights located at 110 Turf Club Road for a dip in the pool. Opening hours are Saturday-Sunday, Tuesday-Thursday 1.00pm to 6.30pm and Friday, 3.00 pm to 6.30pm. Do note that they are closed on Mondays! They charge $16 per hour and $2 for a life vest. Also, only dogs with current Annual Vaccine Records would be allowed entry. Sunny Heights also offers boarding services do check them out!

Do let us know if there are other places to bring your dogs in Singapore so that we can share them with other dog owners! Especially since it’s recess week and time for a break!

February 14, 2017
by e0035263
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Suggested living conditions for Cats and Dogs

In this week’s article, we propose certain living conditions for your cats and dogs at home for your furry pal to stay in an optimal environment, keeping them happy and healthy in your company!

Firstly for cats, there needs to be a safe, secure food and water station and litter box area such as an area near the toilet as cats get startled by loud noises easily. This would allow your cat to eat and drink and do their business at ease.

Secondly, your cat needs a safe place to rest and hide. Cats like their own resting and hiding places which can sometime be the same place where they feel untouchable. Like humans, cats appreciate their personal space!
Thirdly, as cats are natural climbers and scratchers, you should provide a cat stand of some sort or a scratching post for your cat. It is in their nature and for the sake of your furniture, it is highly recommended to get one.

Fourthly, cats follow routines and are somewhat disciplined creatures in this sense. They would feel most at ease when its routine is predictable. Hence there is a need for consistency in your interactions with your cat. For instance, you could pet your cat when you leave the house for the day and give it a treat when you return. This allows the cat some gauge of what to expect.

Last but not least, cats can get bored easily and it is important to keep them entertained when you are not at home. Some cat owners leave music or their television switched on while they are out to stimulate their cat’s auditory senses. Do not leave your cat in an outdoor enclosure as they are prone to escaping and this could be dangerous to their safety.

Moving on to the dogs!

Firstly, dogs require a clean bowl of water that is readily available for them to access. The amount of water your dog drinks depends largely on its activity level at that moment. If your dog is resting at home, snoozing around, chances are that he/she would not be drinking much water. But if your dog has just came back from his/her walk, he/she would often head to their water bowl almost immediately.

Secondly, dogs should eat at particular timing. Most adult dogs eat twice a day, once in the morning and once at night. This ensures that your dog does not overeat or starve throughout the day. Of course, treats during the day are always welcomed but not excessively

Estimate on how much a dog should eat 

Thirdly, dogs require a lot of exercise as they are usually quite active. Bringing them out for walks reduces the risk of obesity and also serves as a great way to bond with your pal!

Fourthly, puppies love to chew on things so in order to safeguard your precious furniture and your favourite shoes, it would be best to buy rawhide or chew toys to keep them occupied when you are not home.
Last but not least, it would be ideal to toilet train your dog from young or set aside a designated spot for him/her to do her business so you would not have to risk stepping on any landmines at home!

February 7, 2017
by e0035263
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Interesting places to volunteer/visit as an animal lover

Do you love animals but can’t have one of your own? Does your busy schedule not allow you to keep a pet? Fret not because in this week’s article, we would be recommending some places you can volunteer at to spend some meaningful time with our furry friends.

 

 

  • Action For Singapore Dogs (ASD)

 

ASD is a non-profit organisation with the mission of improving the welfare of stray and abandoned dogs in Singapore. They would rescue stray dogs and try to find them new homes. Learn more about how you can contribute to their mission here: Action For Singapore Dogs

 

 

  • SOSD

 

SOSD shares a similar mission as ASD, in addition to eliminating cruelty and abandonment of animals. There are many ways you can make a difference, even if you don’t have time you could also donate to their cause! Find out more about how you can help here: SOSD

 

 

  • Animal Lovers League (ALL)

 

ALL cares for an estimate of 700 abandoned dogs and cats. In addition, they feed strays in the neighbourhood. Find out more about their mission and join their cause here: Animal Lovers League

 

 

  • Uncle Khoe’s K9

 

NUS PEACE’s Pawfriends collaborates with Uncle Khoe in volunteering to care for the dogs. Our members would help to walk and bathe the dogs, which is what you can do too! Find out how you can volunteer here: Uncle Khoe’s K9

 

 

  • Gentle Paws

 

A small but strong privately run shelter that houses around 40 dogs. The dogs look forward to walks weekly so they really need volunteers to bring them out. Do pledge a walk with them here: Gentle Paws

 

 

  • Mutts & Mittens

 

Mutts & Mittens takes care of dogs, cats and even bunnies! They believe in doing the best for our furry friends and in believing the good of one another. Join their family here: Mutts & Mittens

 

 

  • Cat Welfare Society

 

The Cat Welfare Society aims to stabilise and reduce the stray cat population in Singapore. Stray cats are common sights in our neighbourhoods and should be given the attention they deserve, if you are a cat lover, there are many ways you can help out with their cause. Do consider joining their cause here: Cat Welfare Society

 

  • The House Rabbit Society of Singapore (HRSS)

 

HRSS seeks to raise awareness on rabbits in Singapore. They rescue and foster rabbits as part of their cause with the goal of reducing the number of unwanted rabbits in Singapore. They need various volunteers helping out not only through physical labour but also creative writers, fund raisers etc. If you are interested, do visit their website to see how you can volunteer with them: HRSS

Shelters in Singapore constantly need the help of like-minded animal lovers.

Make a difference today!

 

February 4, 2017
by Shermaine Tay
0 comments

The Term, “Bird Brain”

Most commonly used to denote someone who is being dumb, the term, “bird brain” is seen as something negative. People condemn the use of it. No one wants to be associated to it at all. It is about time someone takes “bird brain” as a compliment instead.

Did you know? Comparing a macaw and a monkey, the parrot wins hands down by having proportionately more neurons in its forebrain — the part of the brain associated with intelligent behaviour.

Birds, despite having small brains, are able to perform complicated cognitive behaviors.

 

Alex, the African Grey

Alex was Dr Irene Pepperberg’s research subject in an experiment to better understand nonhuman intelligence, in particular, the cognitive ability of the parrots. Pepperberg employed a training technique for Alex similar to how one who teach a child with learning difficulties. The general idea was to make Alex learn how to describe things, how to make his desires known and even how to ask questions.

Throughout the process, it was made known that he had a vocabulary of more than 100 words – the names of 50 objects and could describe their colours, shapes and the materials they were made of. He could answer questions about the properties of objects presented to him. Alex could also ask for things and would reject an item if it is not what he wanted. He could comprehend and discuss the concepts of “bigger”, “smaller”, “same” and “different”. He even knew when and how to apologise if he realised he had annoyed someone. By the end of his lifetime, Alex had the intelligence of a 5 year old child and was assumed that he had not reached his full potential!

 

Crows

Crows are famously known for its cleverness. Crows can recognise human faces, along with the ability to recognise us as individuals. Researchers have learnt that crows can indeed, hold a grudge if there is any wrongdoing done to them on our part and spread the news quickly to their flock. These crafty birds would conspire with one another to attack that one person.

In the story of “The Crow and the Pitcher”, a thirsty crow was witty to drop stones into narrow jar to raise the low level of water inside so he can take a drink. These birds understand the concept of water displacement and can fashion tools to reach for their food, making hooks out of sticks and twigs.

Watch now: Crow Cracking an Eight-piece Puzzle

 

Puck, the Budgie


Not forgetting Puck who is the most talkative bird. Do not belittle his size and of his species of being a beginner’s pet for Puck, the Budgerigar, made it to the 1995 Guinness Book of World Records as “the bird with the largest vocabulary in the world.” He knew over more than 1700 words!

What a feat!

 

So the next time someone calls you a “bird brain”, smile to yourself. It is a praise.

February 2, 2017
by e0035263
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Are you ready for a pet? (Cats)

Continuing from our previous post earlier this week, we are moving on to cat care!

CATS

Cats need a little more than dogs do. But they are relatively cleaner pets but equally loving in companionship. Here are some things your kitty needs:

1. Kitty Litter Box

Cats normally like to do their business neatly in the same spot, so it may be best to leave the kitty litter box at the same place! It may also take some time before you find the most suited brand of kitty litter.

 

2. A Soft Bed

Although cats can sleep pretty much anywhere, some cats prefer nest-type beds, and some just insist on snuggling up to you in your bed. 

 

3. Scratching Post

Cats love to scratch. So a scratching pole would definitely keep your furniture safe. However, it is important to note that the scratching pole you get should be stable with a heavier base so that it does not topple easily. It should also be taller than your cat when it stands up, outstretched.

 

4. Food and Water Bowl

Most vets recommend stainless steel food and water bowls because it is cleaner and easier to sterilise. Some owners prefer plastic or ceramic ones because of their cute designs. However, it is still up to you to keep them clean and safe for your cat.

 

5. A Collar (optional)

We personally feel that a collar is important, though optional because it allows you to identify your cat, especially if you have an ID tag on the collar. Most owners also attach a bell so they know where their furry pal is!

 

6. A Carrier (optional)

This would be very useful on trips to the vet! Sometimes cats also like to climb in for a snooze so it can also double up as a bed.

 

We hope this has been helpful for you, on the basic needs of a pet dog and cat. Do remember that any kind of pet will be great company but ultimately you have to ensure you can afford both the time and money to keep a pet. If you have any queries, do send them in to our Facebook page or leave a comment on the blog post, we would be most happy to respond to them!

January 31, 2017
by e0035263
0 comments

Are you ready for a pet? (Dogs)

This week, we will be introducing how to take care of large pets like dogs and cats. There are basic needs that need to be met, depending on the size and breed of each pet. This can also serve as a checklist on whether or not you are ready to welcome a new family member.

DOGS

As majority of our population live in HDB flats in Singapore, the size of the dog is an important factor to consider before getting a pet. There are currently 62 breeds for dogs which are HDB-approved:

1. Affenpinscher

2. Australian Silky Terrier

3. Australian Terrier

4. Bichon Avanese

5. Bichon Frise

6. Bohemian Terrier

7. Bolognese

8. Border Terrier

9. Boston Terrier

10. Brussels Griffon

11. Cairn Terrier

12. Cavalier King Charles Spaniel

13. Chihuahua

14. Chinese Crested Dog

15. Chinese Imperial Chin

16. Chinese Temple Dog

17. Coton de tulear

18. Czech Terrier

19. Dachshund

20. Dandie Dinmont Terrier

21. English Toy Spaniel

22. German Hunting Terrier

23. Griffon Belge

24. Griffon Brabancon

25. Hairless Dog

26. Italian Greyhound

27. Jack Russel Terrier

28. Japanese Spaniel (Chin)

29. Japanese Spitz

30. Lakeland Terrier

31. Lhasa Apso

32. Little Lion Dog

33. Maltese

34. Manchester Terrier

35. Miniature Pinscher

36. Miniature Schnauzer

37. Norfolk Terrier

38. Norwegian Lundehund

39. Norwich Terrier

40. Papillon

41. Pekingnese

42. Pomeranian

43. Poodle (Toy / Miniature)

44. Pug

45. Schipperkee

46. Scottish Terrier

47. Sealyham Terrier

48. Shetland Sheepdog

49. Shih Tzu

50. Silky Terrier

51. Small Continental Spaniel

52. Small English Terrier

53. Small Spitz

54. Smooth Fox Terrier

55. Tibetan Spaniel

56. Toy Fox Terrier

57. Toy Terrier

58. Volpino Italiano

59. Welsh Terrier

60. West Highland Terrier

61. Wire-Haired Fox Terrier

62. Yorkshire Terrier

If you are looking at adopting, there are many HDB approved dogs in shelters that may not be pure bred but can love you equally Most sites do provide information on whether or not a dog is HDB approved.

Dogs need 3 things: food, shelter and love.

  1. Food
    • Your dog’s food is dependent on its tastes and preferences. On a whole, it is recommended that you feed your dog twice a day, once in the morning and once at night.
    • The amount would vary on the size of the dog.
    • It would be good to give occasional treats in the middle of the day, but not without a few tricks first!
    • Also, your dog’s water bowl needs to constantly be filled as dogs drink water at various parts of the day.
  2. Shelter
    • Dogs need a nice place to sleep, for instance, a dog bed which can be easily found in pet stores.
    • Alternatively, you can also buy one on Carousell or Qoo10 for a wider range.
      Do remember to keep your dog’s bed clean just as you would like a clean bed.
  3. Love
    • Showering your dog with love includes giving your companion a suitable leash and collar. More energetic dogs might require a harness as it is more secure. Bringing your dog out for walks is essential, as your dog will get exercise and you would also be able to spend quality time with your companion.
    • In addition, get your dog some chew toys to keep them occupied while you are out.


It is also recommended that younger dogs (1-10 years old) should visit the vet once a year and older dogs (10 years and above) should visit the vet twice a year for a full physical checkup. These costs may add up but in the long run it will keep your dog healthy and happy.

Now that we have covered the basics on dog care, do remember to take some time to think through any decision on getting any kind of pet. A pet is a big responsibility but a priceless companion.

Stay tuned for our next post on cat care on Thursday! Like our Facebook page to receive updates on when our blog posts come out and do comment on what kinds of post you would like to see in the future or how we could improve them! Have a great Week 4 of school!

January 26, 2017
by Shermaine Tay
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Are you ready for a pet? (Chelonians)

Tortoise, Terrapin or Turtle?

Unfamiliar with the Chelonians (a category of reptiles with shell), many of us stumble to tell the differences among the tortoise, terrapin and the turtle.

Tortoise

Related image

Terrapin

Image result for terrapin

Turtle

Image result for turtle

Natural Habitat Primarily live on dry land, and are commonly found in hot, dry climates Commonly encountered in stagnant fresh water like ponds and streams Spend most of their lives at sea (saltwater), only returning to land to lay eggs.
Features Tend to have the most “domed” shells among the three as they do not need to worry about the swimming aspect

 

Limbs consist of sturdy, stubby legs to help them move about on land

More streamlined and generally have much flatter shells to reduce drag while swimming

 

Limbs consist something akin to flippers which allows them to swim efficiently

Flat shells to aid with swimming

 

Legs are stubby with claws that make they good climbers

Diet Most species are vegetarian while some may take a small amount of meat in their diet Has an omnivorous diet, clawing madly at the food item to break into small Has a varied omnivorous diet – sea weed, aquatic algae, jellyfish, etc

The Commonly-kept Pet

Snapping, biting, shy and.. a bit smelly. TERRAPINS make excellent ‘starter’ pets as they are relatively low maintenance. They are small and do not need a lot of space and the best part, you don’t need to train them! But it would definitely work well in your favour if you check on the breed to research on its lifestyle and the maximum size before purchasing one. You wouldn’t want to realise one day, that your terrapin has taken up more space than you had originally planned to give, would you? In its lifespan of 10 to 20 years, some terrapins may only grow up to four inches in length whereas, others may reach an astonishing two feet!

Terrapins

 

DIETARY NEEDS

When it comes down to keeping a terrapin in captivity fit and healthy, it really depends on their diet. Variety is key simply because a range of food items means greater diversity of vitamins and minerals for your pet.

Besides the commercial tub of terrapin food, fruits and vegetables, finely chopped or grated, would be appreciated. To satisfy the carnivorous side of their diet, you can also give them raw meat like chicken, pork and beef. And, seafood like prawn and fish. You can also hand feed live invertebrates like mealworms or crickets. But be very careful – some terrapins are capable of biting off a finger.

 

LIVING SPACE

The terrapinarium is their home. It should be a clear glass or plastic tank designed to hold water. A water filter should be fitted as terrapins notoriously known to be messy. Water should be replaced regularly with any solid waste removed frequently to prevent infection and odour. A flat stone or rock that stands out of the water should also be provided so that your terrapin has an area in which to bask in the sunlight or rest. (Terrapins dislike cold water!)

 

Remember, taking home a pet is easy. Taking care of them for their entire lifetime is an arduous journey. Are you willing to stay committed?

January 24, 2017
by Shermaine Tay
0 comments

Are you Ready for a Pet? (Fishes)

FISHES make great companions for those who do not have the time or physical space to devote to a higher-maintenance animal companion. They are far easier and less expensive to feed and care for (unlike many dogs and other furry and feathered pets); fish do not require your constant attention and certainly would not develop separation anxiety or destructive behaviors when you leave them alone at home from time to time!

Once any aquarium is set up, decorated with rocks and plants, and well-maintained, it can be a beautiful addition to your home. Studies have shown that fish have a tranquil, calming effect on us; it can be stress and anxiety reducing for anyone who watches them glide serenely through the water. Coupled with the fact that the gurgling sound of the bubbles and colours in the tank would have a therapeutic effect on us, overall capable of reducing our blood pressure.

Fish come in a variety of sizes, shapes and stunning, vibrant colours. They can be tropical freshwater fish, coldwater fish, or saltwater fish and have a lifespan ranging anywhere from 2 to 20 years. They can make very economical pets or become one’s expensive hobby of keeping exotic fishes.

And sometimes, by buying a tropical fish, you may be contributing to the extinction of a species. The Banggai cardinalfish, for example, is endangered because of overfishing to support the aquarium industry. And by buying a freshwater fish, you could very well be supporting an industry of fish raised on farms. Goldfish are usually bred in giant tubs in facilities that produce as many as 250 million fish per year.

Having misconceptions about fish can create an unfair and poor conditions for them. Did you know that many people thought the betta fish can survive without being fed regularly or having a “complete ecosystem”? As a result, they are only given an aquarium which has nothing more than a vase and a plant. These fishes are doomed to suffer dull, lonely lives and slow deaths by starvation.

Before getting a pet fish, make sure to do plenty of research to become knowledgeable caretakers to provide the proper environment and the correct diet for each of the different species!

 

Read more: Fish Species

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