Animal Lover Turns Into SPCA's New Hope

Re-homing adult dogs — a challenge facing SPCA and its new Acting Executive Director Dr Jaipal Singh Gill. SIX-SIX.COM had an email interview with him to find out the future direction of the organisation with him in charge.

Dr Jaipal Singh Gill comes to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) with skills and experience in animal welfare as well as plans to help the organisation with its current problems. The organisation faces a growing number of complaints in animal abuse and slow adoption rates.

The new Acting Executive Director who has worked with SPCA in the past years in the lower ranks has risen up to take charge and lead them into a new direction — all in a new home.

Gill comes to SPCA with impressive credentials, including a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM) and an Honours degree in Animal Science both from the University of Melbourne in Australia. He has also previously worked with SPCA as an Inspector in 2008 and an Operations Manager in 2010 till 2011 before jetting off to Melbourne to further his veterinary studies.

SPCA received a monthly average of 70 cases of complaints regarding animal welfare in 2015. The majority of the complaints involved pets being kept in poor conditions where their quality of life is compromised.

Source SPCA Singapore Facebook

Gill plans on addressing the problem of unlimited commercial breeding and the sale of pets. The issue of pet over-population that stems from it, resulting in large numbers of animal shelters and bearing the consequences when owners decide to give up their pets, are also some other problems he intends on tackling.

“In this area, I am working with researchers from the National University of Singapore and the University of Melbourne to conduct a first of its kind national pet care study to better understand why such problems are occurring. I am hoping the survey provides insight as we explore ways to offer help and support pet owners to prevent these problems from occurring,” says Gill.

SPCA’s animal adoptions saw only a slight increase in the past year but Gill feels that they have the capability to do better.

“The general public is now better attuned, and educated on animal welfare issues and many are opting to adopt an animal rather than to buy. But the truth of the matter is, there are more abandoned pets than there are willing homes. 

Source SPCA Singapore Facebook

“In addition to that, animal shelters such as SPCA take in many cross-breed dogs that are not eligible for HDB housing, unless they meet size and height requirements under the Project ADORE scheme. Thus, it is timely to go to the root of these issues (such as the project ADORE scheme, unlimited commercial breeding and sale of pets, etc), and re-examine the existing measures that are in place and ask what more can be done to help animal welfare groups and shelters cope,” he says.

The future of SPCA, led by Gill will  focus on improving standards of animal welfare in Singapore. He hopes that  SPCA will continue striving for their cause, but on a bigger scale, with their new facility at Sungei Tengah. 

“We aspire to forge close-knit relationships with the community to help us in our foster care efforts and in the prevention of cruelty, for tighter collaborations with other animal welfare groups, and to work closely with government agencies to improve animal welfare in Singapore,” he says.

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