Giving shelter dogs a voice to change public’s perception
"I thought it would be the perfect marriage," said Ms Sandra Aulia, a designer.
However, just two weeks after her wedding, Ms Aulia's then husband hit her for the first time.
For nine years, the 49-year-old endured domestic abuse.
Ms Aulia is among nine individuals featured in a video released by communications company Edelman Singapore last Thursday for a campaign called The Perfect Voiceovers.
The campaign aims to change the public's perception of dogs from local shelters and promote inclusivity as part of the company's Global Day of Understanding initiative.
Launching the campaign in partnership with Edelman Singapore are five dog shelters and animal welfare groups, namely Causes for Animals Singapore, Action for Singapore Dogs, Society for Animal Matters, Chained Dog Awareness and Mutts Rescue.
In the video, the nine personalities share their life stories as survivors of cancer, physical and sexual assault, or as people with disabilities.
The nine were asked to read scripts that seemed to reflect similar experiences of other people.
Only when the shelter dogs were brought into the recording studio did they realise that what they were reading were the stories of the dogs.
For Ms Aulia, meeting Lorne - the dog she was paired with - was a sobering experience.
Recalling the dog's story, she said: "Lorne was left on a chain by his previous owners, without water or food and suffered domestic abuse for 15 years.
"As a survivor, I understand the fear and trauma Lorne went through. Dogs like Lorne deserve our love regardless of their past struggles."
Echoing Ms Aulia's sentiments was Mr Kalai Vanen, 61, who lost his left leg to bone cancer at the age of 29.
"The support around me gave me the strength to carry on. These shelter dogs need the same support because they are living beings as well," said Mr Vanen, who represents Singapore in para-powerlifting.
Said Mr John Kerr, chief executive officer of Edelman Singapore: "We hope this campaign not only increases the understanding of the plight of our (shelter dogs) but opens the door of more homes to give them a better life."