Bandar Seri Begawan - Students at International School Brunei spent an interesting afternoon learning the basics of caring for animals during an awareness/education programme delivered by Simon Baird, Acting Chairman & Vice President II of Animal Welfare Foundation (AWF), formerly known as Animal Shelter.
A Year 7 student, Danny, brought his cat for a demonstration on proper grooming by two AWF volunteers (Rita & Sharon). Three other students (Rose, Daena and Grace) showed photos of their pets and told stories about funny things that their pets had done.
Simon emphasized to students the importance of being a responsible pet owner and how to treat all animals with compassion, care and empathy. Safeguarding animals' wellbeing is about human responsibilities to ensure that their needs are met; failure to do so can cause suffering and distress to an animal.
Pet owners have responsibilities such as ensuring that their pets receive veterinary care, a healthy diet, and enough space to exercise.
The students also learnt that pets are not toys, pets are for life and they ought to think carefully before they adopt or buy a kitten, puppy, cat, dog, rabbit, or hamster. The average lifespan of a dog is about 12 to 15 years and it is the same for cats.
In Brunei, AWF volunteers have reported many cases of abandoned cats and dogs. Very young kittens and puppies were also found dumped near the jungle and left to die. With effective and humane methods of stray management, the overpopulation of strays would be significantly reduced.
AWF has plans to conduct ongoing awareness/education programmes in local and private schools in Brunei when more volunteers have signed up to help. AWF is also seeking volunteers to help with fundraising, rescue and re-home of cats and dogs.
Presently, AWF is working towards acquiring a piece of land to set up a shelter and Kembiri (Spay/Neuter) Clinic to handle abandoned and stray cats and dogs.
AWF hopes to work closely with relevant government authorities to implement effective and humane methods of stray management to significantly reduce the overpopulation of stray cats and dogs.
AWF also hopes that the residents of Brunei Darussalam would kindly extend their support in making Brunei Darussalam a stray-free country in the years to come.
--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin