Sunday 16 September 2012

Strict screening rules on rehousing stray dogs in HDB flats

THE Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) are the two animal welfare groups selected to jointly spearhead a one-year pilot project for re-homing our local mixed breeds, called project Adore ("Screen pilot schemes for re-homing strays carefully" by Mr Ng Chee Kheon; yesterday).

We worked closely to craft the parameters and implementation details to re-home our "Singapore Specials" (local mixed breeds) in HDB flats, which we then presented to the Ministry of National Development (MND) late last year. The relevant government agencies gave us the green light to launch the project in April after many months and meetings.

The screening criteria are strict:

- To re-home dogs of medium size;

- To ensure that adopters are properly screened and counselled;

- They must comply with strict dog ownership conditions; and

- To maintain a register of adopters and to inform the MND, Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority and the HDB, as well as the constituency director, of each adoption in a timely manner.

We recognise the high-density living conditions of HDB home owners, and take pains to ensure the right-sized mixed breeds are adopted by people living in HDB flats.

Adopters must be ready to adhere to our rules as they must enrol and pay for compulsory basic obedience training classes together with the adopted pet, and sign a declaration to observe the code of responsible conduct. One condition requires adopters to take the stairs (where practical) if the lift is full or wait for the next empty lift.

The condition also ensures that the owners take into account the sensitivities of neighbours, the environment and proper dog-handling techniques as well.

As for the worry over improperly groomed, unhealthy or infected dogs, all the dogs undergo a thorough health check, and are vaccinated, sterilised and microchipped before they are adopted.

The adopters must also pay adoption fees.

If any of the rules are not met, the dog is taken back.

It is heartening to know that there are generous people who are willing to work with the conditions laid before them, and to adopt our Singapore Specials.

To date, since the launch of this project in April, both animal welfare organisations have so far re-homed fewer than 10 mixed breeds due to our strict screening process.
Corinne Fong (Ms)
Executive Director
Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals

Ricky Yeo
Action for Singapore Dogs
ST Forum, 13 Sep 2012

Screen pilot schemes for re-homing strays carefully
BESIDES the pilot cat ownership project in Chong Pang constituency ("Task force studying cat ownership in HDB estates"; Monday), I understand that there is another project to re-home stray mongrels or cross-breed dogs in HDB flats islandwide, with the aim of alleviating the stray dog problem.

As HDB flats are high-rise and high density in nature, the agencies concerned should tread carefully and study comprehensively the implications of these pilot projects before implementation.

This is particularly important for the re-homing of stray dogs, some breeds of which may be too big to be kept indoors.

Otherwise, it would be merely transferring the problem from the streets to homes.

Moreover, many people who do not keep pets would be apprehensive about sharing the confines of HDB lifts with these animals, especially those that are not well-groomed or diseased, regardless of whether the diseases are contagious.
Ng Chee Kheon
ST Forum, 12 Sep 2012

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