I read with mixed feelings the article : Wanted : Homes abroad for strays in the Sunday Times, on 23 Aug 09. I am impressed by the length Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) goes through to rehome the strays. However, I feel sad that we end up in this predicament due to difficulty in finding homes for them locally. What does this say about us as a nation ?
HDB policy on dogs permitted to be rear by HDB dwellers could be one of the main contributors to this situation. The rules allow only pedigree small and medium size dog. It basically eliminates mongrel and large dogs from any chance of being adopted by HDB dwellers. As majority of our population stay in HDB flats, thus the prospect of these dogs finding adoptive home is slim.
Those who can take them in are private property dwellers. Would they adopt a mongrel ? Likely they may prefer to purchase a pedigree, unless they are genuine animal care givers. Since a high percentage of dogs abandon in recent years are pedigree dogs going by SPCA report, the chances of mongrel strays finding a home is thus very bleak.
Beside education on responsible pet ownership, we need HDB be open to discussion with animal welfare organisations on the relevancy of their existing policy. One of which is the policy of not allowing cats to be kept as pet. It is a widely known fact that many HDB dwellers keep cats as pet, yet HDB has refuse to review this policy inspite of repeated appeal by SPCA and Cat Welfare Society