How to Adopt a Dog in Singapore

Thinking of adding a new furry member into your family? These furry friends are waiting for a home too! Let Lifeguide tell you how to adopt a dog in Singapore!

Last weekend, we visited the aDOGtion drive organised by Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) at Sentosa Cove and had a chance to meet the adorable dogs and puppies!

How to adopt a dog with ASD
Adopting a dog is a commitment. Consider if you are ready to accept this responsibility before setting out to adopt. At ASD, you are also required to allow home visits about 3 weeks after the adoption to assess if any assistance is needed. Once you are sure and ready, follow these procedures below!

Pick out your new family member
Visit the Action for Singapore Dogs Website. Go to Adopt a Dog then Dogs for Adoption. Apply filters based on the your needs and preferences. Pick out a few dogs that you are interested in. Here are some dogs we met at the aDOGtion Drive on sunday!

Understanding adoption costs
The adoption package offered by ASD range from $230 to $350 depending on the gender, breed and age of your dog. Package includes 1 vaccination, 1 microchipping procedure, 1 health checkup and 1 sterilization procedure. A dog licence costs $15 annually. Bear in mind that these are just the cost for adoption procedures. Your dog will need to eat, play and stay healthy!

Send in your interests
Contact the friendly volunteers at ASD through the website contact page to register your interests in the selected dogs. An adoption counsellor will be in contact with you to discuss if the dogs’ temperament will fit in with your lifestyle. Once there is a match, you will then be required to fill up an Adoption Application Form for ASD to formally assess your application.

Meet your potential companion
Now here’s the real deal. You’ve got to click with your new housemate. Non-obligatory bonding sessions with the dog will be arranged for you and existing family member(s) at the ASD kennels or foster home.

ASD-Volunteer-how-to

The final decision
Once again, keeping a pet is a commitment. Take a few days to cool off then decide and discuss if you are really going for it.

Welcome your new family member!
And if you have decided to adopt, head down to the ASD center or foster home to sign the Adoption Agreement and pay the Adoption fee. Then, have your household ready for the welcome party!

How-to-adopt-at-ASD-Adoption-Drive

Project ADORE
Since the initialisation of Project ADORE in 2012, HDB residents are allowed to keep local cross breed dogs with height not over 50cm and 15kg in weight. Under this scheme, puppies under 7 months of age are not available for adoption as their adult size is still undetermined.

Project-Adore-HDB-approved-dog.jpg
This is Meiji. She is available for adoption by HDB residents under Project Adore

Quoting from ASD’s website:

Under Project ADORE, the adopter needs to:
1. Sign an adoption agreement with ASD and pay an adoption fee ($230 for males and $250 for females) which covers 1 vaccination, microchipping and sterilization.
2. Obtain a dog licence for the adopted dog which costs $15 annually (ASD will apply on behalf of the adopter)
3. Sign a Code of Responsible Behavior (CORB)4. Undergo compulsory Basic Obedience Training (at a cost of $250).

We got to speak with Adoption Counsellor, Wendy, who very kindly answered these common questions regarding dog adoption in Singapore.

If I am unsure if I will be a good pet owner or have what it takes to care for a dog, can I foster a dog first?
Every adoption process with ASD comes a 2-week homestay, during which, you will be able to decide if you can be a good owner to your pet. If you or the dog has unresolvable issues, ASD will take the dog back.
Fostering comes under volunteering. If you would like to foster a dog, you do not choose the dog although, of course, ASD will respect your decision to reject fostering the dog offered. Most dogs that require fostering are dogs that need domesticating like paper training. Hence, a fosterer will need to be extra patient. If you decide to adopt the dog you are fostering, ASD will be more than happy to process your application.

HDB-approve-puppy-local-breed

Can dogs be left alone at home? Will they destroy anything at home without supervision?
That will depend on the temperament of the dog. Dogs without separation anxiety are content to sleep while owners are out working and can be alone at home without causing any trouble. For starters, step out of your home for 1 or 2 hours leaving your dog in alone, see how your dog reacts to the situation, then gradually lengthen the hours to let your dog adapt if he or she can. If you are concerned about dogs with separation anxiety or will need to your dog to be home alone for long hours, let the adoption councillors at ASD know and they will be able to better match you with a dog.

How often do popular breeds like Golden Retriever/Husky/Corgi/Poodle/Jack Russell end up at the shelter?
Popular breeds do get given up at ASD once in a while. Due to limited space and resources available, ASD is more likely to turn down these highly sought-after pedigrees, choosing to let their owners find adoptees on their own and leaving valuable resources for dogs that need more help to find a forever home. Highly favourable breeds make up just about 5% of the total rescues at ASD.

How-to-dog-adopting

Can I request to be notified if a certain breed ends up at the shelter? Can I be put on a wait list for a certain type of dog breed?
The Dogs for Adoption page on ASD website is constantly updated with dogs available. Check out the pages yourself if you can afford to. If you are looking for popular and attractive pedigrees, they are, well, popular and attractive and are most likely to be adopted before an ASD volunteer can pull up your email to check on your preferences.

Can I make a trip down to shelters to see the dogs before I even decide if I want to adopt?
Yes. You are always welcome to schedule an appointment to visit the shelter to view the dogs. But as a good percentage of dogs for adoption are with their fosterers, you will not be viewing all the available dogs even if you head down to the kennels. Hence, as always, it may be better to check out the dogs for adoption page on ASD’s website, pick out a few dogs that you would like to meet so that the adoption councillors can make necessary arrangements with the fosterers.

How do I volunteer? Can I just turn up at the shelter when I am free to volunteer? Is there a certain number of hours I have to commit per week?
First off, how would you like to volunteer? Are you looking to walk the dogs, clean the kennels and spend some time with the dogs? If so, you will need to go through a 3-week orientation and commit your Saturday afternoons thereafter. There are plenty of other ways to volunteer for ASD, even on an ad hoc basis. Check out this page to find out how you can help. You can fill up the forms in the respective fields to express your interests, how you would like to volunteer and how much time or how many days you can commit. ASD can always do with a little help keeping the website updated or at the next adoption drive.

I want to foster a dog. How do become a fosterer?
Write in here. You will be asked to fill in a form so that ASD can assess which dog will be suitable for you and will be in contact when there is a match!

Singapore-HDB-approved-dogs.jpg

In summary, follow the steps below on how to adopt a dog in Singapore:

1. Pick out your new family member from adoption website
2. Understand adoption costs
3. Send in your interests
4. Meet your potential companion
5. Make the final decision
6. Bring the dog home

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