S'pore animal shelters see 30 % more pets abandoned

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Alfie Kwa | April 29, 2022, 05:41 PM

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Animal shelters in Singapore have seen a 30 per cent increase in pet abandonment, CNA reported.

Some animal welfare groups have noticed this upward trend over the past six months, linking it to the loosening of Covid-19 restrictions.

Pet abandonment

Lianhe Zaobao previously reported that the number of foster applications increased 10 fold during the pandemic.

Before that, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) received an average of 10 to 15 foster applications per month. In comparison, they received about 120 to 150 during the circuit breaker.

Now that we are returning back to normalcy, where more Singaporeans are heading back to the office or are travelling overseas, some animal welfare groups noted that there's been a spike in pet abandonment instead, especially dogs.

Animal shelters cited that there have been about three to four dogs given up at animal shelters each week, CNA reported.

"Global trends have also revealed an increase in the abandonment of these ‘pandemic pets’ as people return to work. While the number of animals under the care of SPCA has been consistent in the last few months, suspected pet abandonment cases can be hard to trace, especially for cats that are often not micro-chipped," SPCA executive director Aarthi Sankar told Mothership.

Ricky Yeo, the founder of Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), told CNA that pet owners giving up their pets also gave other reasons like how their parents can't take care of the dogs or that the dog is sick.

Some even try to resell their pets.

Pet welfare

Suzie Gow, a volunteer at Chained Dog Awareness, told CNA that pet welfare, in general, has also taken a hit.

In some cases, owners may pass their pet to someone who does not know or bother to take care of the animal. This resulted in many dogs and cats being chained or stuck in cages for days on end.

This method of containing the dogs is a "matter of convenience" and an "easy option" to prevent the dogs from soiling the place when they are not around, said Gow.

Aarthi said:

"While we are confident that the vast majority of pet guardians will not abandon their pets, we are mindful of the rising trend and are concerned about the possibility of lockdown pets being abandoned as Covid-19 restrictions ease. The SPCA would like to remind the public that abandonment is a crime and is punishable by jail or fine. We also hope that penalties for abandonment will continue to be reviewed to ensure that they remain effective.

If you are a new pawrent or interested to get a dog, SPCA is running a puppy/dog training workshop on May 8.

Find out more here.


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Top images via SPCA/FB.