Never forgetting that strays are ‘citizens’ too, The Animal & Veterinary Service in Singapore leads the way in humane rescue and rehab initiatives in the region.
Leading the way in humane animal rescue efforts in the region, Singapore now has the country’s first-ever rehabilitation centre dedicated to helping neglected strays experience a better quality of life.
Opened by The Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) on March 31, 2022, the centre will adopt a science-based approach aimed at lowering the number of strays in the city by providing behavioural training, proper medical care, and nutrition to help them become well-balanced pets.
Spanning over 1,500 square meters, the Center for Animal Rehabilitation will give incoming stray animals a calm and spacious environment as they are rehabilitated with trained animal care providers.
The well-designed center has areas that mimic the appearance of a typical Singaporean home, such as a living room and dining area. You’ll find various household items strewn around these mock living spaces to help acclimatise the rescues so they don’t get overwhelmed when they eventually move into their forever homes.
The center also has various spaces for skills and obedience training, as well as compartmentalized kennels for dogs that are built with soundproofing to reduce noise-induced stress for some of the more sensitive inhabitants. These kennels are also built in a way that they don’t face each other, and have privacy blinds so that the dogs can feel safe and secure as they try to adjust to their new surroundings.
The facility will also support the country’s Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) program, which was created to help sterilize and rehome stray dogs in a “humane science-based approach.”
AVS has provided various animal welfare groups with funding for the purpose of catching, sterilizing, vaccinating, and microchipping stray dogs over the years, and they aim to sterilize more than 70 percent of Singapore’s stray dog population by 2023.
AVS HAS SUCCESSFULLY REHABILITATED OVER 70 DOGS SINCE 2019 UNDER THEIR PROJECT REHAB INITIATIVE
“While previously fearful of people and/or showing aggressive behavior, these dogs now demonstrate positive behavior towards humans and are able to live comfortable in a home setting, which increases their chances of being reformed,” AVS said.
All of this is achieved via a research-based approach, which AVS will continue to use to study rehabilitation methods, shelter management, and animal welfare.
During the center’s opening ceremony, Singapore’s Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How said that lowering the number of stray dogs on the streets would lower the potential public safety risks, as well as allay many concerns regarding the welfare of said animals.
“By continually strengthening our community animal management and care capabilities, we can ensure better health and welfare for these animals,” he said, and noted that the public complaints regarding stray dogs has dropped by 60 percent since the start of the TNRM program in 2018.
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