Boarding the coach at Boon Lay interchange with our bags packed to the brim with treats made us feel as if we’re going for a weekend holiday. The journey itself was a breeze with surprisingly smooth traffic at the Immigration checkpoint. Heading via the 2nd link, it took us just a mere 20 minutes’ ride to the sanctuary. The tarred expressway soon became a narrow dirt path with scenic palm trees and the occasional houses dotting the way.
When one thinks of an animal shelter, what comes to mind is usually rows of cemented kennels complete with metallic cages isolating sad-looking dogs waiting for a chance to be patted or adopted. Thus, we were pleasantly surprised by the vast open space and natural settings we saw at Noah’s Ark. Time feels as if it’s slowed down in such an idyllic setting, where many strays are fortunate enough to call home.
Our first whiff of Noah’s Ark made us wrinkle our noses. Considering a place which accommodates over 700 free-roaming dogs, it would be surprising if there is no smell. But really, it is not that bad once you get used to it. The moment we step inside the main gate, many eager dogs immediately swarm around us, their excited tails whipping from left to right. Curious wet noses poke in every direction as they greeted with such enthusiastic barks!
I believe pictures speak volumes so I’ll let the pictures my friends and I took to do the talking for me:
The friendlier ones greeted us with lots of licks and paws. Some even pushed against us, demanding to be patted. As we walk on, a remarkable sight ensues! There are also 3-legged dogs happily running alongside their 4-legged counterparts. Other more timid and cautious ones curl up in small wooden sheds and are contended watching us from afar.
There were also several packs of dogs huddle together in the distance, looking at us with sad wary eyes, their battered bodies showing signs of past abuse and neglect. Strong emotions stir within us. It is shocking to see the extent of depraved inhuman acts that have been done towards these helpless animals.
The cattery consists of a large wooden double-storey house overlooking a small lake and several big fenced up compounds side by side. It’s so serene here, as compared to the the chaos and excitement outside. Cats of all sizes, shapes colours laze around on the wooden beams and benches. Walking in, we could feel many pairs of eyes peering at us curiously. Lazy ones simply doze off, purring loudly should we stop to scratch their chin. Playful kittens pounce on our shoelaces. Affectionate ones would rub their faces on our legs.
Next, we visit the horses. Their huge strong teeth chomped happily on the apples and carrots we brought them. But beware of your fingers and hands getting in the way! They allowed us to pat and stroke them whilst they ate.
Soon, it was time to leave for dinner. Through this visit, we come to have a better appreciation and admiration for what Raymund and his team of volunteers do for the animals. It was indeed an enjoyable experience, and we hope to be able to come back again soon!!
*Article kindly contributed by Suzanne