Ready to welcome a dog to the family? Consider adopting a unique "Singapore Special” rather than a buying a puppy from a pet shop.

Unlike in many other countries, in Singapore it is possible to purchase a puppy from a commercial pet shop. Although these puppies may appear healthy, it is important to note that it is not best practice to exhibit an animal for sale without clearly informing buyers where it has come from. Unfortunately, the majority of pet shops do not give potential buyers the opportunity to view the puppies’ parents. As a result many consumers unknowingly buy a puppy which has been bred in a puppy mill in substandard conditions.

Puppy mills breed dogs on a commercial scale and give precedence to profit over the well-being of the dogs. The sale of puppies from pet shops creates a supply and demand cycle and puppy mills, despite being unethical, remain in business.

What alternatives are there to buying a puppy from a pet shop? There are many dedicated, non-profit animal shelters in Singapore which have puppies and dogs available for adoption. Adopting from a shelter not only gives a dog a second chance at life, it also supports the charity and their initiatives to help animals. Furthermore, local cross-breed dogs (also known as Singapore Specials) are less likely to have heredity defects than pure-bred dogs. Adopting a dog is also an affordable alternative to buying a dog from a pet shop. Adoption packages typically range from $180 to $300 for an adult dog and include vaccinations, sterilisation, deworming and microchipping.

Below are the details of four registered charities which support adopters throughout the rehoming process:

Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)

The SPCA’s mission is to promote kindness and prevent cruelty to animals through education, advocacy and action. All shelter dogs at SPCA have been profiled as part of the Adopter-Adoptee Matching Program which enables prospective adopters to find a companion suitable for their family and lifestyle.

Causes for Animals Singapore (CAS)

CAS was founded in June 2013 to ensure that every shelter in Singapore has the funds and resources they need to provide for the animals in their care. CAS has a Puppy Club in which puppies rescued from the streets are available for adoption.

Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)

Established in December 2000, ASD’s mission is to improve the welfare of stray and abandoned dogs in Singapore through rescuing, fostering and re-homing, advocating sterilization as a means of controlling the stray population, heightening public awareness and highlighting the virtues of local dogs. ASD has an Adoption and Rescue Centre (ARC) which houses 54 dogs in addition to a network of foster homes.

Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD)

SOSD’s mission is to enhance the welfare of animals, alleviate their suffering and reduce the number of lost, injured and unwanted animals, through rescue, education and advocacy. SOSD houses rehabilitated street dogs suitable for adoption.

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Josephine Simmonds
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