There is a certain amount of wariness around larger dogs in Singapore, especially in HDB flats. However, these adorable animals also deserve our love and affection.
Now they can receive even more of it, under the expansion of Project Adore (Project on Adoption and Rehoming of dogs) by the Housing and Development Board (HDB) and animal welfare groups.
The organisation has just announced new rules that allow HDB flat owners to adopt K9 sniffer and larger mixed-breed dogs.
However, the new criteria come with additional requirements. Adopters will have to undergo a mandatory training programme with their pets, as well as a stringent screening process.
According to 8world News, Project Adore was originally a two-year pilot scheme that allowed for the adoption of K9 sniffer and bigger mixed-breed dogs.
According to The Straits Times (ST), the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) said on Saturday (18 Jun) that the scheme was expanded and made permanent after a two-year trial.
This led to the successful rehoming of more than 260 dogs taller than 50cm, as well as 16 K9 sniffer dogs.
Supported by Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) and the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals, the trial, which had more inclusive criteria for adoption under Project Adore, helped more dogs to find new homes.
Project Adore is a scheme initiated by AVS that aims to reduce the number of strays on the street. Before the trials, they would typically manage the adoption of about 200 dogs per year.
The new rules enabled this number to increase to more than 300 mixed-breed canines per year in 2020 and 2021.
The amended criteria involve an increase in the height limit for adopted dogs from 50cm to 55cm, as well as a removal of the 15kg weight restriction.
Members of the public can also now adopt retired sniffer dogs, a rule previously applicable only to existing and recent K9 officers.
However, the newly expansive criteria come with additional stringent requirements as well, reports ST.
Six animal welfare groups will conduct screenings of potential owners. They will also assess the temperaments of the canines to determine their suitability for adoption.
In addition, adopters will have to go through a mandatory obedience training programme comprising six sessions with their dogs.
Director of AVS Wayne Gui noted that complaints from the public about larger adopted dogs have been low, despite some initial reservations that HDB residents had about their neighbours keeping larger dogs.
“It shows that the training programmes undergone by the dogs are working,” he said.
He added that during the trials, these complaints largely pertained to the canines barking and not having a leash. More training could easily solve such an issue.
Mr Gui also said AVS will review such feedback with HDB to assess if the current height restriction can eventually be removed.
There is undoubtedly still a lot of apprehension surrounding the adoption of larger canines. However, as the feedback from owners shows, more training can address such concerns efficiently.
It is commendable indeed of AVS and HDB to ensure the rehoming of more stray dogs. The same goes for K9 sniffer dogs, which have done our country an incredible service and deserve a great retirement.
So if you are looking for a new pet, consider giving these dogs a furever home.
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Featured image adapted from AnimalBuzzSG on Facebook.
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