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03/12 Sunday 09:50AM

caring for strays

image . Care & Action for Strays .
text . Pauline Chan .

Man's best friends on the streets of Brunei have people who care about them deeply at the Care & Actions for Strays (CAS). CAS is made up of a small network of volunteers who help stray animals with limited resources. They started off operating informally out of sympathy for the neglected, abused, discarded and homeless animals that roam the streets.They also made it their mission to educate people about the ways of reducing the stray population and the humane treatment of animals.

The CAS team operates on donations and sponsorships, hence their resources are always stretched as the number of animals requiring their attention grows and their needs increase. Day-to-day food supplies, medical treatment, sterilisation procedures require a constant flow of funds to provide adequate care. However, there are genuine animal lovers in the country who have keenly supported this fledgeling organisation in many ways, including time and money. After years of unfailing commitment to rescuing and sustaining the animals they encountered, they have recently received a much-needed license to formally bring their cause to a wider public attention.

CAS covers a variety of activities to benefit the animal and human society at large:

Education: To avoid overpopulation of strays, CAS promotes sterilisation of animals to prevent unwanted pups and kittens. If the streets are overrun with strays, it is our problem, not the animals. The general solution to stray removal here is poisoning. It is a sinister short-term remedy by the unconscionable which is not condone by the humane and educated portion of the population. Hence, the CAS aims to work with the relevant authorities to solve the problem humanely.

Adoption: CAS facilitates the adoption of rehabilitated animals or pets that need to be re-homed. They have a handful of dedicated volunteers who occasionally help to temporarily foster rescued animals and find homes for them but only on a short-term period.  They do not have a permanent shelter to house these animals and therefore cannot accommodate large-scale housing of animals. CAS promotes adoption as opposed to buying animals for pets. Stray animals can be rehabilitated and in time, with some care and food, they can be as good-looking as store-bought pets. They have a cage-free and chain-free policy on adoption and potential adoptive owners must meet the rule before the animals can be given to them.

Rescue: They have rescued animals with disabilities and treated them with donations from the animal-loving public.  Recently they searched for a dog that was reported stranded in a drain. The dog, after an examination, was found to be seriously injured, most likely have been run over by a car and left to struggle to safety.  He fell into the drain and could not get out. His injuries were substantial and despite immediate medical attention, he died. Such cases of dedication and care is admirable, however, the number of animals needing help is large and attention has to be selective, and CAS reserves it for the most urgent cases requiring medical treatment.

Pet forum: The CAS Facebook site is also a great platform for lost pets. The CAS network of members and pet-lovers help to keep their eyes and ears peeled for the missing loved-ones so if spotted or found, they can be rescued and bring a happy ending.  Advice on care of pets are sometimes generously dished out and exchanged among the site members and we get to learn things we never knew. 

CAS holds activity days as part of their drive to spread awareness about the plight of strays and facilitate pet adoptions. You can help their cause by purchasing pet products on sale at the event and adopt a pet if you are looking for one. Spare some change and contribute to the sponsorship of food and medical treatment which is an on-going and ever-growing cost. You can find details on how to help on their Facebook page. How we treat animals is a barometer on how far we have evolved intellectually and spiritually. We salute the efforts and dedication of the brave volunteers at CAS who have made it their personal goal to care for the forgotten unloved creatures that share our world and who deserve a modicum of human respect.  

“Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can't help them, at least don't hurt them.”
Dalai Lama XIV

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