Society a worthy cause

PUBLISHED : Friday, 23 February, 1996, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 23 February, 1996, 12:00am

I HAVE just received my electricity bill, which is accompanied by a suggestion that we may like to round up our bill to the benefit of the Community Chest. This is an excellent scheme and one to which I would willingly subscribe were it not for one notable exclusion from the Community Chest - the Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (RSPCA).

For 75 years, this society has coped with unwanted, injured and cruelly-treated animals in Hong Kong. It is always expected to be there when needed, but few people give a thought as to where the funding comes from. The RSPCA is not a government department. It receives less than three per cent of its running costs in the form of a discretionary grant. The rest has to be raised by the society itself through its veterinary services, boarding facilities and shop sales. Membership subscriptions and donations help, but they are not nearly enough. Thanks to the generosity of the Jockey Club and the RSPCA President Pamela Barton, a new clinic opened in Wan Chai in 1992, but the Kowloon clinic is old and crumbling and the mobile clinic is on its last legs (or wheels).

The flow of needy and unwanted animals continues to come in and no doubt there will be a surge as people 'cleared out' their pets for Chinese New Year and the Christmas presents grow up and lose their appeal. Due to new regulations, the RSPCA also has to cope with the displaced of public housing tenants and to comfort their distraught owners. Is this not a social service? It is time that the Community Chest recognised the social value of this organisation and included the RSPCA in its membership.