A Voice For The Voiceless
Published on Monday, 27 April 2020
Edelman Singapore, in collaboration with CAS (Causes for Animals Singapore), ASD (Action for Singapore Dogs), SAM (Society for Animal Matters), Chained Dog Awareness and Mutts Rescue – launched The Perfect Voiceovers campaign to increase the adoption rates of shelter dogs.
The campaign, which started at the end of February this year, features nine Singapore residents and several local dogs (aka, Singapore Specials), sharing the challenges they had to overcome and the bias that they were faced with.
“Over the years, we have fought to overcome common public misperceptions of shelter dogs as being second-grade, damaged or otherwise unworthy of a loving home, and encourage people to avoid making unfair judgments about these dogs before interacting with them,” said Christine Bernadette, Co-Founder, Causes for Animals Singapore. “It is a pity that they are unable to express themselves; to address that, we were excited to be part of this campaign that would allow humans to serve as their voices.”
Tales Of The Forgotten
The short four-minute film features nine Singapore residents from all walks of life: an amputee, individuals with physical disabilities and survivors of breast cancer and sexual assault. They take on the role of professional voice talents, first sharing their life stories and challenges dealing with their disabilities and past traumas before reading stories of what seem like similar experiences.
It is at this point that they discover that the subjects of these stories are shelter dogs. The film evokes the strongest of human emotions and emphasises the need for greater inclusivity in Singapore.
The heroes who gave the perfect voiceovers include:
• Theresa Goh, 32, born with spina bifida, Theresa’s decision to turn to the water saw her becoming Singapore’s first local Paralympic swimmer, breaking several records.
• Jean Tan, 33. Born with a severely deformed cleft palate and lip and an incurable kidney disease. Today, she has defied all odds and produced three albums as a singer- songwriter.
• Charlene Koh, 36, Breast cancer survivor. Diagnosed with breast cancer in 2019, Charlene now actively takes steps to reach out to others suffering from the disease.
• Sandra Aulia, domestic abuse victim. She suffered nine years of domestic abuse in her marriage before cutting the relationship.
• Pamela Ng, in her 30s is a survivor of sexual assault. She now actively speaks out to empower other victims.
• Fiona Ke, 32, domestic abuse victim. Despite being a victim of domestic violence and diagnosed with a heart defect, Fiona has become a nurse in order to give back to society.
• Devika Panicker, 25, sexual abuse victim. Devika was seven years old when she was sexually abused. She is now a spokesperson for AWARE.
• Kalai Vanen, 61, leg amputee. Kalai lost his left leg to bone cancer. He is now a competitive para-powerlifter and personal trainer.
• Lionel Tan, 24, complete visual impairment. In 2014, he became the first blind student enrolled into ITE. His diligence paid off when he received a Certificate of Merit, given to the top five per cent of ITE graduates.
The Dogs & Their Stories
Wendy Low, Vice President, Action for Singapore Dogs Society said: “It is true that most of our rescues have a story to tell but with love, time and patience, these rescued animals become loving and loyal pets.” These are the dogs and their stories:
• Poppy: Chained. Diagnosed with weak bones due to poor nutrition since birth, Poppy grew up with a lot of fractures. These fractures left her with deformities in her legs, causing her to be wheelchair dependent.
• Barney: Chained. Barney has spent his life constantly chained up by his owners. As he lost sight, his owners restricted his freedom further, in fear that he might hurt himself due to his disability.
• Spottie: Chained and in poor health. An old rusty cage outside a workshop was his home for the last 10 years. It has left Spottie with a list of illnesses including cancer.
• Lorne: Chained and a domestic abuse victim. Lorne suffered 15 years of domestic abuse chained in the backyard of a shophouse. When he was eventually rescued, his fur had fallen off and he was weak and under mental distress.
• Didi: Visual impairment. Chained and blinded in one eye due to glaucoma, he was eventually taken in by the shelter.
• Treasure: Physical disability. Hit and run accident left him with a severed spine and paralysed hind legs. Having been under ASD's care for seven years, Treasure remains cheerful and affectionate, often welcoming visitors to the Adoption & Rescue Centre on his walks.
• Ah Leng: Cancer. Ah Leng was living on the streets before being rescued in 2013. Diagnosed with Transmissible Venereal Tumour (TVT), she has since undergone chemotherapy multiple times.
• Logan: Abandonment. Logan was placed in a boarding facility after his ex- owner’s divorce and frequent travels. Basically, they dumped him.
• Lexie: Physical disability. Lexie was found in a forested area when she was only 2- 3 months old, with her hind paw badly injured. Eventually, her hind paw had to be removed.
• Hero: Forced breeding. This ex-breeding dog was malnourished and suffering from a host of infections. His previous experiences made him afraid of human contact.
• Scooby: Misplaced Trust. Scooby was found among a litter of puppies at a construction site. A traumatic beating left Scooby wary of humans.
Save Our Singapore Specials
From the team behind the video, Victor Ng, Executive Creative Director, Edelman Singapore, said: “It was incredibly powerful to witness these special individuals providing the perfect voiceovers for shelter dogs – strongly reiterating our responsibility to speak up for those without a voice.”
John Kerr, CEO, Edelman Singapore added: “We hope this campaign not only increases the understanding of the plight of our Singapore Specials but opens the doors of more homes to give them a better life.”
The film, available on YouTube (https://youtu.be/1TLfjgtJAY0) and Facebook, is supplemented by a series of smaller clips featuring the “voiceovers” and will be accompanied by the following hashtags: #lendavoice and #adoptdontshop.