Thursday, 27 April 2000

Animal shelter gets new Noah

By Pauline Leong, The Straits Times

The original Noah, Mr Raymund Wee, lost his bid for the sanctuary for homeless
animals at Seletar West. He was outbid Unusable column measure by Mr Thierry Lim.

Original Noah Raymund Wee loses bid in tender; AVA says it will lease another
piece of land in Loyang this year for animal breeding and boarding

   NOAH'S Ark will change hands soon.

   The original Noah, Mr Raymund Wee, who started the place, lost his bid for
the sanctuary for homeless animals at Seletar West.

   Newcomer Thierry Lim outbid Mr Wee's tender for the place - $60,101 against
Mr Wee's $48,000 per annum.

   The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore's (AVA) chief executive
officer Ngiam Tong Tau told reporters yesterday the tender was given to Mr Lim
as his bid was the higher of the two.

   "We also took into consideration Mr Lim's experience in managing boarding
kennels and his willingness to provide similar services as the previous

   Mr Lim said he had been in the pet business for about 20 years and will use
the place for dog breeding, training, boarding and grooming.

   And he has agreed to continue managing the dogs and cats that currently live
there as strays or boarders, as long as the owners and adopters continue to
support their upkeep.

   The AVA urges them to make arrangements for the animals - to either take the
animals home, continue boarding them under Mr Lim's care, or transfer them to
other boarding kennels.

   "Other animal-lovers who are concerned about the welfare of the animals at
Noah's Ark can also help by adopting the strays and contributing to their
upkeep," said Dr Ngiam.

   He added that the new lease will run out at the end of 2002, after which the
land may be redeveloped.

   "But this year, we will be offering another piece of land in Loyang with a
15-year lease for the breeding and boarding of animals," said Dr Ngiam.

   When The Straits Times spoke to Mr Wee, he was clearly disappointed with the

   "I have spent seven years of my life caring for these strays and abandoned
animals. I had hoped that I would be able to continue.

   "What will happen to the animals now? Will they be put down if homes are not
found for them?" he said.

   When The Straits Times posed this question to Mr Lim, he said he would
continue running the place as usual: "Nothing is going to change. We are not
going to put the animals down."

   But volunteers at Noah's Ark are apprehensive about the change of management.

   Said Mr Lim Swee Ho, 30, a freelance artist who has been volunteering for the
past six months: "Will the new management still take in stray or abandoned

   Mr Tony Chen, 42, a businessman who has been with Noah's Ark for four years,
asked: "Can we expect the same commitment from the new person?"

   "If there is a capable person running the place now, why make a change?"

   THE END OF HIS DREAM: Seven years and life's savings spent on sanctuary

   AFTER investing about seven years of his life and $1.5 million in Noah's Ark,

Mr Raymund Wee's dream of an animal sanctuary has come to nought.

   "I started this place to take in stray, unwanted and abandoned animals. I
wanted to save them from being put down," he said.

   His love for animals started when he was a child. After leaving his job as a
chief air steward, Mr Wee started a dog-grooming business.

   He launched Noah's Ark seven years ago because he wanted a more humane way of
dealing with the problem of stray animals.

   He had wanted to work with the authorities to start a community outreach
programme to teach the public about respect and compassion for animals.

   But all this may not happen as he can no longer continue his work at the

   "I have no intention of starting anything anymore. I'm already over 50. I
sold a shophouse and put my life's savings into this place. And now it has
come to this."

Source: The Straits Times
Date: 27 April 2000 

No comments:

Post a Comment