Sunday, October 12, 2008

My visit to Noah's Ark on 13 Sept 2008 - by Suzanne

Every animal lover should not miss out on making a visit Noah’s Ark for an enriching experience. In fact, I believe schools should organize educational tours to Noah’s Ark to help instill a love for animals in our younger generation.

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:

It’s raining dogs…. Hallelujah…

Hey, watch it! That’s my tail you nearly stepped on…

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.

Welcome to our humble home…

Shelter from the elements

I never have to go thirsty again!

It’s got no doors or window or aircon, but it’s still MINE…

Taking a breather by the pond

Visitors and volunteers

Don’t bother me, I’m busy panting…

How could you resist those puppy eyes?

My colleague Joyce & an affectionate dalmation

Another beauty…

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.

Can you spot me?

It ain’t easy being a cat you know? Gotta catch a wink, maintain my balance AND look cute at the same time.

Jostling with each other for attention

I'm still trying to figure out how a cat is able to sit like that...

What are you looking at??!

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.

Two bites & the apple’s gone…

What’s that you got there, mate? An apple or a carrot?

Sniff sniff~ we’re both using the same brand of shampoo (Mane & Tails)

Last but not least, let’s not forget the bunnies…

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

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