Construction firm helps SPCA move to new shelter
Construction firm sends lorries and workers to help SPCA move to new shelter
Relocating more than a hundred animals - dogs, cats and rabbits - is a herculean task.
So when construction manager Shie Chee Hwa, 45, realised that animal welfare group Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) was moving to its new home, he volunteered not just himself but resources from his workplace too.
He first mooted the idea to his company, Lian Beng Construction, six months ago.
Said the animal lover: "I've always kept an eye out for SPCA since I work in a construction site right beside it. When I read the news, I wanted to help out.
"The company looked at our masterplan and found a way to dedicate resources to SPCA without affecting our project too much. To us, it's part of our green and gracious movement towards the community."
To assist in the eight-day relocation, which started on Monday, Mr Shie's company sent two lorries and a platoon of around 14 workers under his supervision.
SPCA's acting executive director Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, 33, said: "We didn't seek their help. They just walked right into our office and offered to help us out pro bono.
"It truly is a nice gesture and they have been a great help in setting up the new place."
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The lorries and workers will be attached to SPCA daily until Jan 26, when it completes its move from Mount Vernon Road, which was its home for 32 years.
The new $7 million shelter in Sungei Tengah Road will be able to house 350 animals, up from 180 previously.
The 7,766 sq m site is also larger than its Mount Vernon site, with bigger play areas for the dogs.
Excluding Mr Shie and his workers, around 80 people from SPCA's own pool of volunteers are involved in the move, said Dr Gill.
Dr Gill said: "Moving the animals is the most challenging part of this process. It can be quite stressful for the animals, so it's going to take time for them to adapt to the new place."
The New Paper was there yesterday morning to observe how the animals were transported to the new shelter.
We saw SPCA volunteers assessing the dogs before coaxing them into large animal carriers.
Said a spokesman: "It's likely that the animals have never ridden on a moving vehicle before. If one is showing signs of discomfort, we'll transport it another day."
The carriers were carefully loaded into the Lian Beng lorries, which drove at a slow pace to Sungei Tengah Road, taking about 15 minutes each trip.
The dogs were accompanied by a volunteer tasked to look after their well-being. They were also given treats during the trip.
At the Sungei Tengah shelter, each dog was also given an orientation tour before it was put in its new living area.
SPCA volunteers walked the animals around the new compound to get them accustomed to the sights, smells and sounds of the place.
A total of 140 animals have been moved since Jan 18.
The Sungei Tengah shelter officially opens on Jan 27.
SPCA needs to raise another $960,000 for the new building, said its spokesman.
Members of the public can visit www.spca.org.sg/helpus.asp to donate to SPCA's Buy A Brick programme.