Actress Chantalle Ng shared about her animal fostering experiences and the importance of adoption.
She first started fostering animals at when she was seven years old. She had noticed her tutor and neighbour feeding the stray cats at their void deck. Out of curiosity, she decided to help her tutor feed the cats.
Chantalle Ng, 20, grew to love the cats she interacted with and started carrying kittens home occasionally, despite having her own dog at home.
The part-time actress said: “At that time, I didn’t even know what fostering was. I brought the cats home, trained them how to use litter boxes, and went around asking people if they wanted to adopt (the cats).”
One of the cats she adopted was Nirvana. Chantalle first met Nirvana when it was a kitten. After realising that Nirvana had stunted growth and could not grow any bigger than she already was, she kept Nirvana till it eventually died of old age.
She fostered cats until she was 16, and fostered dogs as well during her school holidays. She worked with animal welfare organisations such as Save Our Stray Dogs (SOSD), when they reached out to the public about dog adoption and fostering.
That was when she learnt about the stray dog situation in Singapore. She said: “You don’t see many stray dogs on the street, so you would assume they are being kept somewhere.”
Since she got in touch with SOSD four years ago, she has fostered a total of 15 cats and dogs, adopting some of them along the way.
She admitted that every time her fostered dogs get adopted by their new owners, she gets sad. After spending so much time with the dogs, being emotionally attached to them is inevitable.
Gradually, she found comfort in the fact that the dogs could finally find a good home while under her care. Chantalle explained: “At first I was very sad, but along the way, I learnt to cope.”
Chantalle, who has a following of almost 10k on Instagram, has also acted in a few dramas. One of her more popular appearances includes World At Your Feet, where she starred opposite Tay Ping Hui. She will be starring in an upcoming Channel 8 drama, Sealed With A Kiss with Elvin Ng and Rebecca Lim.
It is obvious that Chantalle has a strong bond with the animals she brings home. When I met her for this interview, she brought along her pet dog Dasher, who she occasionally and affectionately calls Eng Huat. She adopted the 7-year-old poodle through an adoption drive by the SOSD.
As I spoke to Chantalle about her cause, I could sense her passion as she talked about the importance of adoption over buying. She was especially agitated when we talked about how puppy mills were operated.
The animal lover shared her frustration: “Whenever people think about getting a dog, they think about getting a puppy. But there are so many strays out there, and if you look at how the dogs are bred at the puppy mills, it is a form of animal cruelty.”
She described the puppy mills saying: “The dogs are kept in small cages and forced to breed. When the female dogs hit menopause, they are thrown away. Some of them end up with multiple health issues and skin diseases due to being constantly pregnant.”
Is her family supportive of her fostering pets at home? Chantalle has her mother, veteran Channel 8 actress Lin Meijiao, to thank for being “supportive” towards her cause. Her mother being an animal lover herself readily accepted all the animals Chantalle brought home with an open heart.
Chantalle, who is a first-year studying information systems at Singapore Management University, plans to join her school’s animal welfare society, to find more opportunities to help at adoption drives.
Interestingly, Chantalle does not see her fostering habits as a big deal; she is just doing her part to help the situation the stray dogs face. She said: “The mindset of adopting instead of buying is more important.”
Catch up with Chantalle here.
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