Bigger local mixed-breed dogs can be rehomed in HDB flats under revised criteria

Bigger local mixed-breed dogs can be rehomed in HDB flats under revised criteria

More local mixed-breed dogs can now be rehomed in HDB flats after a revision in in the dog size limits, NParks said on Sunday (Mar 1). The revised criteria will allow for about 20 per cent more local mixed-breed dogs to be rehomed in HDB flats each year. Kelly Wong with more.

SINGAPORE: More local mixed-breed dogs can now be rehomed in HDB flats after a revision in in the dog size limits, NParks said on Sunday (Mar 1). 

There will be a 10 per cent increase in height limit, from 50cm to 55cm, for local mixed-breed dogs, the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) announced. The weight limit, previously set at 15kg, will also be removed as a criterion for rehoming, said AVS.

The revised criteria will allow for about 20 per cent more local mixed-breed dogs to be rehomed in HDB flats each year, NParks said.

READ: 21 dogs successfully adopted and rehomed under Project ADORE

READ: Rehoming retired sniffer dogs: 13 dogs adopted by handlers in pilot scheme

The expansion in the Project ADORE programme will be a two-year pilot led by AVS and supported by the Housing and Development Board (HDB).

Every year, an average of about 250 local mixed-breed dogs are rehomed under Project ADORE, which stands for Project on Adoption and Rehoming of dogs.

It was started in the 2012 with the aim of rehoming mid-sized mixed-breed dogs in HDB flats and reducing the number of strays.

With the revision in size limits, AVS expects that about 50 more mixed-breed dogs can be rehomed to HDB flats per year.

"With these new criteria, AVS will continue to monitor the programme closely to ensure that there are no disamenities to the community," said NParks, adding that the same stringent conditions for Animal Welfare Groups (AWGs) and adopters under Project ADORE still apply.

This includes the screening of potential adopters, a framework to encourage community acceptance of the dogs - including having mediation channels for disputes - and dog obedience training. 

All adopters will be required to comply with the ownership conditions and the Code of Responsible Behaviour as overseen by AVS, it said.

“Together with our Animal Welfare Group (AWG) partners, we had launched Project ADORE to allow local mixed-breed dogs to be rehomed in HDB flats," said Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Home Affairs and National Development Sun Xueling.

"Our AWG partners ensured that stringent adoption conditions are met. Residents have thus far been receptive to the presence of these rehomed dogs in their neighbourhoods.

"Given the good progress in the past eight years, we have now reviewed the criteria for Project ADORE to allow more dogs to be rehomed."

Ms Sun said that the authorities would continue to work closely with partners to ensure that proper safeguards are in place, and that responsible pet ownership is practiced.

A Project ADORE-K9 pilot scheme where retired sniffer dogs from the K9 units of the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF), Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF), and Singapore Police Force (SPF) can be adopted by members of the public has been extended for two years. 

READ: HDB flat dwellers allowed to adopt retired sniffer dogs under pilot programme

READ: Man's best friend - and colleague: The service dogs of the Police K-9 Unit

Dogs rehomed under Project ADORE are assessed for suitability for rehoming, and rehomed through AVS' partners. Adopters are screened, and the dogs' temperaments assessed to determine suitability. The adopters also have to complete a mandatory obedience training programme with their dogs. 

Following this process, ADORE AWG partners will provide post adoption support through adoption counsellors should any issues arise after the adoption.

Source: CNA/ic(mi)

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