Singapore, 11 May 2012 - The National Parks Board (NParks) and the Animal Welfare Groups are appealing for organisations and members of the public to sponsor, foster or adopt four stray dogs rounded up at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West.
On 2 May 2012, NParks and the Animal Welfare Groups, comprising the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA), Action for Singapore Dogs and Save Our Street Dogs, embarked on a joint exercise to round-up stray dogs at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West.
Over the past six months, NParks received more than 30 complaints from the public concerning the stray dogs, which numbered about 20, and moved around in packs of between six and ten. The complaints ranged from aggressive barking, howling in the middle of the night, and chasing park users and residents.
Previous exercises to round-up the stray dogs were unsuccessful, due to the challenging terrain and thick forest in Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West. In some instances, NParks found evidence that their dog traps had been tampered with, as well as signs that the dogs were being fed by members of the public. Feeding stray dogs in parks is illegal, and offenders will be fined up to $5000.
As the stray dogs posed a growing safety risk to park users, especially senior citizens and children, NParks collaborated with the Animal Welfare Groups to round-up these dogs humanely, and re-home as many of them as possible.
As part of the exercise, a dog enclosure, measuring 25m by 25m, was built in the park. Over the course of eight nights, food and water were left in the enclosure to attract the stray dogs. The enclosure's gates were left open for the dogs to enter and exit it freely. In the early morning of 9 and 10 May, the gates to the enclosure were closed to contain the dogs. The dogs were then transported to the SPCA for assessment and health checks.
As the stray dogs need time to get used to interacting with humans before they are deemed suitable for adoption, the Animal Welfare Groups are appealing to the public to sponsor the long-term rehabilitation of these dogs. Ms Corinne Fong, Executive Director of SPCA, explained, "As these dogs have not had the benefit of human contact, we need to give them time to settle in and be comfortable around humans. Our animal care officers will be the first humans these dogs will encounter round the clock. At the moment, the first female dog is quiet and appears pensive; the three others are very skittish and defensive. We also see that these dogs have some skin problems which we will treat. As space at the Animal Welfare Groups is limited and will be a concern to us, we seek the public's support to give these dogs a new lease of life by registering with us as a sponsor, fosterer or adopter."
Mr Tay Boon Sin, Assistant Director of NParks, said, "The round-up of four stray dogs at Ang Mo Kio Town Garden West is a positive step in enhancing the safety of park users and residents. We have forged a strong partnership with the Animal Welfare Groups, and we will continue to work closely together to relocate the rest of the dogs. We would like to remind the public to exercise caution when encountering stray dogs. It is also illegal to feed stray dogs in our parks. We will not hesitate to take action against feeders or those who attempt to frustrate our efforts to round-up the stray dogs."