Divine intervention it was that got the doctor started on his SOSD journey circa December 2011. That very month, a jogger was attacked by a pack of stray dogs at Punggol Waterway. Culling efforts by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore were swift in the aftermath. An agnostic at the time, Dr Siew was at Kong Meng San Phor Kark See Monastery attending the wake of a family friend when he offered up a prayer to Guan Yin, the Goddess of Compassion.
“I remember pleading to Guan Yin to protect the dogs. And that was when an inserted thought hit me: that I had to be the one to act. Her will was very specific: I had to alert the media and raise awareness. I did exactly that. Soon, it galvanised fellow animal lovers, and the incident caught the attention of our ministers.” Dr Siew and the early members of SOSD then went to work, doing what they can to rescue the strays. And as selfless as his motivation was, Dr Siew did get a gift out of this: Bacon, a big goofy dog that became his adoptee.