80% of Singapore residents live in HDB flats. These residents are allowed to keep only 1 HDB-approved breed dog. The remaining 20% are allowed to keep up to 3 dogs of any size, regardless of property size. Singapore residents who are responsible pet-keepers and want to contribute to help curtail the number of abandoned, abused dogs and prevent the culling of caught stray dogs on the streets, regardless of breed, cannot do so if they already have a dog at home. This is due to an age-old policy.
To keep up with free trade, tropical Singapore (average of 30 degress celcius=86 degrees fahrenheit) now freely allows the importation of densely-coated dogs (like the Alaskan Malamute and Siberian Husky), on the premise that they can adapt to local tropical weather (in spite of controversial animal welfare issues due to the lack of guarantee that buyers will provide a matching cool environment and due dilligence in care for these dogs which has resulted in many cruel deaths). Singapore's housing policy in relation to provision of homes for the increasing trend of unmarried singles has also changed for the better over the years of progressive response to public feedback. This is because we have a new responsive and effective MND Minister, Mr Khaw Boon Wan and Senior Minister of State, Mr Tan Chuan Jin.
However, the housing policy related to the keeping of pet dogs remains archaic and has not kept up with changing Singapore lifestyle and trends. The fact that some private condominiums are permitted to house 3 Alaskan Malamutes or Great Danes are even smaller than some HDB flats. It fails the age-old notion to provide a home worthy of the size of dogs as it is the amount of exercise through responsible care and pet-walking that matters more in animal welfare for environmental adaptation (excluding caging) in Singapore.
All animal welfare shelters are also full in capacity and unable to take in any more dogs. Euthanasia of dogs that cannot find homes is also not a humane solution on a long-term basis when an alternative can be found.
The ruling needs to change so that when shelters can no longer accept abandoned dogs bought and chucked, there is still another avenue to find kindness in Singapore homes via a 2nd dog adjustment in policy for adoption of rescued dogs. We believe that the Minister and Minster of State at MND are wise, kind and reasonable men who can consider our appeal and petition to cause a change that bears the mark of kindness and it will be a balanced policy because only the responsible pet-keepers stringently screened will be given this privilege to adopt and house a 2nd dog, abiding by the Community Pet-keepers' Code of responsible pet-keeping that promotes community harmony.
1. We petition for a positive review of this policy to permit the allowance of the keeping of a 2nd dog that is acquired through adoption for residents living in a Singapore HDB flat to enable homeless dogs to find homes.
2. We make this petition, conditional on the fact that such permissions for the keeping of the 2nd dog, must be approved/supervised by registered Animal Welfare Groups in collaboration with HDB and AVA, to have high ethical adoption process standards, have immediate neighbours' support and such pet-keepers must abide by the Community Pet-keepers' Code. All such adopters will be kept on a register after attaining "Responsible Pet-keeper Certificate" issued by registered non-profit Animal Welfare Groups. The condition is also applied to abandoned, abused and stray dogs that require rehoming.
3. Separately, we also petition for existing pet-keepers with certified "Rescuer Status" by registered non-profit Animal Welfare Groups to be permitted to nurse 1 injured or sick dog at a time on exigency basis, by Veterinary certification to apply for temporary permit to nurse and rehome such sick or injured dogs, 3 months at a time renewable until the dog is rehomed. Conditional on the fact that such dogs cannot be kept/adopted by rescuer for the long-term unless rescuer has no dogs or only 1 at home. Such permits prevent eviction of animals when it is still sick, needing intensive care that is not conducive at veterinary clinics or shelters. Only adult rescuers that have never had hoarding, barking or poo/pee litter complaints will be granted such permits. This adheres to public health and safety.
4. We also petition for relevant government agencies to fund and work with animal welfare groups to work on a humane sterilise and rehome programme for existing street mongrels (like the cat sterilisation programme, so that the mongrel population can be reduced through mass sterilisation. This is a win-win solution for relevant government agencies, animal welfare groups and Singapore residents who do not like dogs freely roaming the streets.
5. Finally, because adoption of rescued animals, including strays actually help our country manage the stray population and public health, we petition that all adopted dogs through animal welfare groups be granted a 50% discount off AVA licensing fees as we are helping to save euthanasia and kennel costs for caught and surrendered dogs. Adopted pet-keepers are more likely to faithfully pay licensing fees than people who buy pets so it is a gain to the AVA in granting this.
We do this because we care and we love Singapore. Thank you.
In sincerity, respect and hope,
Agency for Animal Welfare,
on behalf of members of the Animal Welfare Council (Singapore), rescuers, pet-keepers & and the countless homeless animals.
Agency for Animal Welfare Ltd
Who should sign this?
All who believe in the rescue and rehoming of abandoned dogs in Singapore but cannot do so because they already have 1 pet dog and an archaic policy disallows it.
All rescuers who cannot find a home for dogs they have rescued because all shelters are full in Singapore.
All who want to see a stray-free Singapore where every dog has a loving home and not freely roaming the streets where people unfamiliar with animals can become frightened.
All who do not want to see any more dogs culled against their will.
All civil servants and policy-makers who do not want Singaporeans to keep complaining about stray dogs and want a humane method of dealing with the issue.
All who want to see closer collaboration between government agencies and animal welfare groups seeking to respectfully engage/help and end the public frustration against government agencies.
All who want to see increasing kindness, tolerance and acceptance in Singapore. The believable target is 250,000 signatures. Please help us spread the word now. Carpe Diem!
Thank you local and global animal welfare partners! Thank you all, so much, on behalf of the voiceless animals!
Campaign Leader: George Gan