Singapore welcomes ‘larger’ dogs in public housing

Singapore's Project ADORE, which aims to promote the rehoming and adoption of the country's street dogs, has been expanded to include larger dogs.

Adhitya Andanu | Pexels
Adhitya Andanu | Pexels

Singaporean dog lovers are applauding their government's recent move that lets them keep larger, local mixed-breed dogs in their public housing apartments.

Under Project ADORE (ADOption and REhoming of dogs), which was formalized in 2012 and made permanent in 2014 after starting as a pilot program, the Singapore Animal and Veterinary Service and the Home Development Board (HDB) extended special accommodation to local mixed-breed dogs more commonly known as “Singapore Specials.” The program covers Singapore Specials that are up for adoption from specific organizations: Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Singapore, Action for Singapore Dogs, Save Our Street Dogs, Exclusively Mongrels and Causes for Animals.

Program expansion and requirements

Previously, Project ADORE allowed dogs that are no more than 50cm tall and weigh up to 15kg to stay with HDB residents. The new rule has changed the height limit to 55cm tall and removed the weight limit. Despite this development dog ownership remains highly regulated by the state, which keeps a list of specific dog breeds allowed in public housing. Also, the state's one-dog-per-apartment policy remains due to space limitations.

Local dogs who get adopted under Project ADORE must be registered annually, sterilized, regularly vaccinated and microchipped. Owners who fail to meet these requirements can be levied hefty fines. New owners must also apply for a dog license for the adopted dog, and the dog must take obedience training courses at the point of adoption.

Pet market opportunities

About 80% of the nearly 6 million Singaporeans live in HDB flats. Having the larger Singapore Special dogs to live with them presents a new market opportunity for pet food and pet care providers in the country. The Animal and Veterinary Service estimates that about 50 more mixed-breed dogs can be rehomed to HBD flats per year. On average, 250 local mixed-breed dogs are currently rehomed annually through the program.

Market analyst Statista estimates Singapore's pet food segment revenues will reach US$111 million in 2020, growing at 2.8% annually between 2019 and 2023. Dogs account for 52% of the pet food pie.

Singapore Specials are almost as popular as Golden Retrievers and are much beloved by their owners, many of whom are members of the Singapore Specials Club.

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