Those living in HDB flats and wished to own a bigger local mixed-breed dog can now do so under rule change.
Lovers of bigger dogs in Singapore have plenty of reasons to be happy - not least because of a rule revision announced by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) on Sunday (1 March).
Under Project Adore, local mixed-breed dogs up to 55cm tall will be allowed to be rehomed in a HDB flat, with no weight limit set. Previously, only dogs that are under 50cm and no heavier than 15kg were allowed to be kept in HDB flats under the scheme that began in 2012.
Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD) Singapore, a volunteer-run organisation that dedicates itself to rescuing, rehabilitating and rehoming stray dogs, welcomed the news.
"Today is a happy day! We are a step closer to finding homes for more stray dogs in Singapore," it wrote in a Facebook post.
"While 5cm seems very little, it opens a whole kaleidoscope of opportunities. Currently only 10 to 15 per cent of dogs in shelters fit the ADORE criteria. With this revision, at least 15 to 20 per cent more dogs can be adopted into HDB homes."
SOSD Singapore were delighted with the rule change.
PHOTO CREDIT: SCREENSHOT FROM FACEBOOK
The scheme allows flat owners to adopt a local mixed-breed dog that are typically larger in size than HDB's approved breeds. But to qualify, dogs cannot be bought from shops or breeders.
Instead, they have to come from any of the five participating welfare groups such as SOSD Singapore, Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Action for Singapore Dogs, Exclusively Mongrels and Causes for Animals.
The new scheme will be piloted for two years. According to the NParks, 1,335 local mixed-breed dogs have been rehomed under the scheme as of 31 December last year.
Deborah Dayani Nanayakara, who had adopted a mongrel named Layla from Exclusively Mongrels under Project Adore previously, believes that the move to revise the rules is a "step in the right direction".
Layla the Mongrel was adopted five years ago from Exclusively Mongrels.
PHOTO CREDIT: DEBORAH DAYANI NANAYAKARA
"Having Layla the past five years has been fulfilling. It requires a lot of responsibility, patience and sacrifice as a dog-owner but the rewards you reap are fulfilling. You receive unconditional love, create memories every day and you get to experience how much love your heart can give to another living thing," the 34-year-old told Youth.SG of her experience as a dog owner.
"With (the new regulations), many more dogs will be given the opportunity to find new and loving homes, and be rescued off the streets where they are exposed to all sorts of danger.
"We are not a society that is kind to our strays - only a minority of us bother to feed and love the strays like they are our own. Many more homeowners can also now experience how amazing it is to be a dog-owner."
BANNER AND TEASER PHOTO CREDIT: DEBORAH DAYANI NANAYAKARA