This week we talk with Lee-Ann Armstrong. As the head of Second Chance Animal Aid Shanghai she does God's work, saving all of Shanghai's cuddly puppies and kittens from a rough life on the streets. SCAA holds monthly pet adoption fairs and they've got one coming up this Sunday at Shanghai Brewery on Dongping Lu. We spoke to Armstrong to learn how it all works.
What is the organization about? When was the company founded?
"SCAA was founded in 2005. Our mission is to improve the health and welfare of rescued companion animals through education, advocacy, outreach, health care, adoption and foster care as a healthy and cost-efficient alternative to traditional shelters. SCAA has Association status with RSCPA International, although this recognition does not come with funding, and we rely solely on donations to meet animal care expenses; over 15,000rmb a month, even at a big discount from our vet partner PAW."
What animals are up for adoption?
"Cats, kittens, dogs and puppies are our focus. Foster animals are adoptable when they are healthy (as determined by our vet partner PAW) and we screen new rescues for sociability. All animals receive safe, imported flea and worm treatments and have at least started vaccinations before being held out for adoption. Foster animals in care a while will have a full set of vaccinations (feline or canine virus and rabies) as well as being spayed or neutered, which is done at around five and a half to six months old. SCAA subsidizes half the cost of the future spay/neuter at PAW for adopters of kittens and puppies."
What's the ratio of dogs to cats? Do more dogs tend to get adopted than cats?
"There tend to be more cats than dogs in foster care and adopted. There are more cats on the street to be rescued in the first place and then more foster parents and adopters for cats than dogs due to the time and schedule commitment to raise and train dogs. Some adopters feel the restrictions of big city apartment living influence what pets are best suited to their lifestyle."
Where do you find the animals?
"Our foster animals are found on the street, in gardens, in rubbish bins, boxes in lane ways and generally all around Shanghai. Many are abandoned pets left to wander in their apartment compound or neighborhood. This is especially so with dogs. There is a constant stream of unwanted kittens due to a lack of pet and stray cat sterilization."
Do you hold any events?
"We hold adoption days one Sunday each month where our adoptable animals meet potential adopters to find a forever home. People can read the animal profiles for information on health and behavior history and tips for suitable adoption matches as well as speak to the foster parents. Adoption Days are often at Shanghai Brewery on Dongping Road or The Apartment large venues that kindly donate the space to us. The next Adoption Day is Sunday March 9 at Shanghai Brewery from 11am–1pm. Adoptions can, of course, be arranged outside of adoption days."
Tell us about how your foster parenting program works.
"Foster parents sign up to help SCAA with our animals, cats and/or dogs, depending on their interest and availability. We ask people about their home environment (e.g. kids, pets) and schedule, and when suitable rescues are coming into foster care we look to place them with the appropriate foster home. Foster parents can't choose their foster animal based on personal preference, but should expect a rescue that fits into their home reasonably well based on the information we have about the rescued cat or dog. Volunteers with pets and/or young children may wait a bit longer to foster, but that's because some rescued animals have contagious, although not serious, illness.
Foster parents enjoy the companionship animals bring and are responsible for booking the PAW vet appointments on schedule while SCAA is billed for the visits. Foster parents also attend adoption days to give the cats and dogs a chance at a forever home. Foster parents are not allowed to move our animals to other people but should be aware of our adoption policies and procedures to help us with the screening process if needed. Fostering is a great way for people who can't adopt or decide it's not the best option for them right now to help needy animals get off the street and eventually into forever homes."
SCAA's monthly "Adopt a Pet" day is this Sunday at Shanghai Brewery's Dongping Lu Branch. For more information click here.