Saturday, April 29, 2006

Do the ends justify the means?


There's been lots of complaints about how some members of the press mis-report and mis-quote their sources just so these stories will be more likely to tug at emotions...

First.. the story...

Caring for strays has put these S'pore sisters in debt. Now they wonder...
What is to become of 44 dogs?

MORE than $250,000.
By Nicole Na and Belle Charlene Kwan

29 April 2006
MORE than $250,000.

That's how much the two sisters have spent from their own pockets, over the last six years, giving a home to 44 dogs.

They called it Doggie Rescue Shelter.

Ms Jessie, 36, and Elsie Ng, 33, didn't give up even when they changed jobs and took massive paycuts.

But now, their savings have dried up. They hate to think of what would happen to the dogs, which are now housed in 14 rented kennels in Pasir Ris Farmway.

Said a tearful Ms Jessie, who earns less than $2,000 a month from her temporary sales-executive job: 'We can no longer afford to look after these dogs.

'The cost is overwhelming. We have tried every possible way to lighten the financial burden, like switching to lower grade dog food and looking for places with cheaper kennel rentals, but nothing has worked out.'

Ms Jessie hopes that with donations from fellow animal lovers, and interested pet owners coming forward to provide homes for the dogs, she would not have to put them to sleep.

She added that they spend about $4,000 a month on the rental and pet food. This does not include the occasional medical bills when the dogs fall ill.

They spent more than $6,000 last year when 11 of the dogs caught tick fever and had to be treated immediately.

Tick fever causes low blood count and, in serious cases, kidney failure.

Ms Elsie, who works in a bank, lives with her husband in a HDB flat in Punggol.

Ms Jessie is single and lives in a terrace house with the rest of the family in Loyang.

Every day, they travel for half an hour to tend to their large adopted family. They spend at least two hours there.


'Some people may think my sister and I are crazy. But all we're trying to do is give these dogs a second chance,' said Ms Jessie.

Ms Jessie said that their family disapproves of them spending so much time and money on dogs.

She said she used to have a comfortable lifestyle before the dogs came along. These days, she watches how she spends her money.

During the interview with The New Paper, she was in an old, discoloured T-shirt and worn-out bermudas.

'We went out of control, I admit it. The expense of running this animal shelter was not what we had expected,' said Ms Jessie.

Ms Jessie said it began six years ago when they found five mongrel puppies at a construction site near their workplace in Punggol.

Fearing that these puppies would be put down by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore, they decided to adopt them.

As they did not have enough space in their house for them, they rented two kennels at Pasir Ris Farmway for $500 a month.

Then, they were property agents, each earning about $6,000 a month.

Over the years, they picked up more strays.

But in 2003, the economic downturn caused property sales to dwindle.

They looked for better paying jobs even as the number of dogs in the shelter continued to increase.

Ms Elsie got a job with a local bank a few months later, but Ms Jessie was not so lucky.

She has been job-hopping for the past three years before landing her temporary sales-exective job

'I owe the bank a large sum of money I borrowed to fund the shelter,' claimed Ms Jessie.

'I've also borrowed money from friends and family to keep it going.'

The sisters have since stopped taking in strays. Instead, they make nightly trips to construction sites in Punggol to feed the stray animals.

Want to give the dogs a home? Contact the Ng sisters via their website

So.. a couple of sisters love dogs so much that they are willing to spend a lot of money, resulting in them having to turn to friends, family and banks, resulting in a lot of debt. Please help.

Great story, right?

Well, it IS a great story, except it's not quite so dramatic.

Elsie is a friend of mine... and she has told me that there were "facts" included in the article which were simply not true. For instance, the sisters never borrowed any money from friends and relatives.

The interview was done quite a long time ago, and the sisters thought it would be a great platform to highlight the plight of the dogs. They thought after this story broke, they would be able to find people who would be willing to adopt the dogs, or at least other fellow dog lovers who would be willing to help with the funding and alleviate the financial burden.

When they finally reached Belle (the "journalist"), this lady basically side-stepped the issue. The justification? The way the story was written would enable the Ng sisters to get help with their dogs.

So what did Elsie have to say?

She's upset with what's been written.. but tell you what guys, this lady is amazing; she tells me that she has to "appreciate the fact that they wrote"...


So guys, please write about this in your blogs and let's see if we can do out bit to increase awareness. Such passion and love needs to be supported.

Help out. Adopt. Buy dog food. Find responsible owners for these dogs.

Elsie tells me that although most of them of mongrels, many of them are really loving and really intelligent.

Oh, the ironic thing about the article? They got the website address wrong. It should be


Blogger Laughingcow said...

Hi, I believe the website is, not Thanks for the alert to this article. :)

9:48 pm  
Blogger PC said...

Thanks for that.. realized that and was amending the post just as your comment came in.. :o)

I was following the address as provided by the press.... so much for quality control I guess.


10:11 pm  

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