S’poreans urged not to get a dog just because it’s the Year of the Dog
A pet is a commitment, not a whim.
According to “anecdotal feedback” gathered by the Ministry of National Development, the number of abandoned dogs increased following the previous Lunar New Year of the Dog.
Animal welfare groups reported a rise in the number of dogs taken into their shelters shortly after 2006, the previous Year of the Dog. However, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) don’t have the exact numbers, as they only started tracking dog abandonment data in 2015.
Pet abandonment is a d*ck move
This was revealed by Minister for National Development Lawrence Wong in his written reply to a Parliament question. He said that for this coming Year of the Dog, the AVA will step up outreach efforts to promote responsible adoption and pet ownership.
“The key message is not to acquire pets on impulse, as keeping them is a lifelong commitment. This year, AVA is working on a social media campaign to promote responsible ownership and to encourage potential dog owners to consider adoption first.”
Other than social media, the AVA will work with schools and other partners to organise events like road shows and talks for a publicity campaign.
Wong also referred to a measure that was implemented by the AVA last year for the dog licensing regime to help deter pet abandonment.
As of March 1, 2017, all dogs have to be licensed to the new owner at the point of sale or adoption. This helps the authorities to track dogs if necessary, and ensures that owners can be held accountable.
Pet abandonment in Singapore is an ongoing concern. According to the SPCA’s 2017 Annual Report, over 2,000 animals were taken in during 2016, but it also noted the AVA’s increased efforts to act against people who abandon their pets.
In 2017, the AVA successfully prosecuted eight cases of pet abandonment. It’s illegal and first time offenders can be fined up to $10,000 and/or be jailed up to 12 months.
Let’s hope that we won’t see abandoned Komodo dragons roaming the streets the next time the Year of the Dragon rolls around.
Top image from Pixabay.