New guidelines for adoption, rehoming of dogs

SINGAPORE: Clearly written adoption agreements and a pre-adoption screening process covering responsibilities and expectations when adopting a pet: these are some of the new policies aimed at standardizing practices in Singapore dog placement and adoption .

The guidelines, presented on Friday (January 14), were developed by the Rehoming and Adoption Workgroup, which is made up of veterinarians, dog trainers and members of animal welfare groups.

Established in October 2020, the working group is led by Minister of State for National Development Tan Kiat How and supported by the National Parks Board’s Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS).

Under the new guidelines, animal welfare groups are advised to create an adoption/placement policy that includes considerations as to when a dog should or should not be placed in a new home and conditions under which ownership of the dog will be transferred to a new owner should.

This will help ease the transition of animals adopted from these groups into their new homes and minimize stress for the dog, AVS said.

Animal welfare groups may also share a list of criteria for rejecting a dog’s adoption, such as: B. Reason to believe that the adoption will have an adverse impact on the welfare of the dog and concerns about the interactions between potential adopters and the dog.

The guidelines also recommend that these groups conduct pre-adoption screening and home inspections, in addition to sharing needs such as the dog’s health and behavioral conditions that should be considered by the adopter.

These groups should also have a written adoption agreement signed by both the adopter and the animal welfare group that includes information such as the adopter’s and dog’s personal details and statements from both parties.

The guidelines also urge animal welfare groups to develop their own policies regarding the return and housing of adopted dogs when they can no longer be cared for by the adopter, as well as regarding treatment and euthanasia.

The guidelines should provide adopters with “clear guidance on their obligations” to avoid misunderstandings between adopters and animal welfare groups, it said.

The working group also developed guidelines for dog trainers, behaviorists and pet owners to conduct “safe, relevant and effective” methods of dog training.

The guidelines recommend a “least intrusive, minimally aversive” approach to animal training and suggest that dog owners first address all of their pets’ behavioral and medical needs in consultation with a qualified dog trainer or vet before developing any training or rehabilitation plan.

A list of recommendations for identifying a qualified dog trainer is also provided in the guidelines, AVS noted.