This piece of news has been a long time coming for many dog lovers in Singapore. For some time now, HDB homeowners are only permitted to adopt or rear canines that are classified as a toy dog or its cross (that stands at 40cm at the shoulders and weighs 10kg or less).
However, under a new one-year pilot expansion, members of the public can now adopt retired sniffer dogs from military, police and civil defence units and rehome them in Housing Board flats, the authorities said in a joint statement released on Monday (Aug 13).
The new pilot expansion is under Project Adore, which was launched in 2012 with the intent of assessing the acceptance of mixed-breed dogs in HDB estates with proper safeguards in place. Sniffer dog breeds include labradors, English springers, cocker spaniels and pointers.
The public will be able to adopt retired dogs from the Singapore Police Force and Singapore Civil Defence Force K-9 units and the SAF Military Working Dog Unit.
Previously, under another one-year pilot launched in June 2017, dog handlers from the units were allowed to adopt and rehome the retired canines in their flats. The scheme has helped to rehome 14 sniffer dogs. This pilot will be made permanent from Wednesday.
Many more people will now be allowed to do the same and provide a new home for retired dogs in their flats under the new initiative, in a bid to widen the pool of potential adopters.
This pilot expansion will be subject to the same conditions in place for Project Adore. These include the screening of potential adopters, a framework to encourage community acceptance of the dogs such as setting up mediation channels for disputes, and measures to prevent abandonment of the dogs through microchipping.
Project Adore has been well-received since its launch, the joint statement by the Ministries of National Development, Home Affairs and Defence said.
It added that observations showed that residents of HDB estates are receptive to larger breeds of dogs living in their midst so long as owners exhibit responsible behaviour and there were proper channels in place for dispute mediation.
Article by Jan Lee, originally appeared in The Straits Times.