Dog rescue charity SOSD (Save Our Street Dogs) is ineligible for the dollar-for-dollar donation matching scheme the Government announced as part of the Fortitude Budget even though the volunteer-run organisation needs the aid.
As he laid out the Government’s fourth COVID-19 support package, the Fortitude Budget, Deputy Prime Minister Heng Swee Keat said that charities and social service agencies are facing difficulties and declining donations given the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic.
The Prime Minister-designate said that the Government wants to provide more support for our charities amidst COVID-19 and will partner the Tote Board to enhance the matching for donations through Tote Board’s Enhanced Fund-Raising Programme. DPM Heng provided a top-up of S$100 million to the existing S$70 million budget for this initiative.
Through the enhanced scheme, charities can apply to receive dollar-for-dollar matching on eligible donations, which are raised from projects in FY2020, up to a cap of S$250,000 per charity. This includes donations raised through approved digital platforms.
SOSD President, Dr Siew Tuck Wah, said that his team rejoiced when they heard about the enhanced scheme but soon found out that they would be ineligible for the donation matching since they applied for a similar programme previously.
Questioning the purpose behind announcing such a scheme if one already exists, Dr Siew said on Facebook: “We rejoiced when the fortitude budget announced that charities now enjoy a 1 for 1 match of up to $250,000 in donations from Tote Board. However shortly after that we found out that we do not qualify because we have applied for a previous, similar program. What is the point then of announcing this initiative, if another one was already present?”
Dr Siew, a medical doctor, founded SOSD in 2012. SOSD is an independent not-for-profit animal welfare organisation that is not funded by the government. Dedicated to the welfare of Singapore’s street dogs, SOSD rescues, rehabilitates and rehomes stray dogs to give them a second chance at life.
It costs tens of thousands of dollars each month to run the shelter, which has about 500 dogs in its care. SOSD depends solely on the public’s generosity to help fund rescue, rehabilitation, and re-homing operations, to support the SOSD shelter at Sungei Tengah and Jurong Island, Trap-Neuter-Rehome/Release-program, Dog Foster program and Education and Outreach efforts, as well as administration and operations costs.
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