Meeting free-roaming dogs
Meeting free-roaming dogs
Free-roaming dogs live in the open and do not have homes. They may be seen roving in packs, foraging for food, and looking for shelter. Most free-roaming dogs are scared of humans, and usually stay out of your way. However, some may approach and sniff you.
Trap-Neuter-Rehome/Release-Manage (TNRM) programme for free-roaming dogs
Mr Desmond Lee, Minister for Social and Family Development and Second Minister for National Development, launched the five-year Trap-Neuter-Rehome/Release-Manage (TNRM) programme on 10 November 2018. The TNRM programme is a collaboration between Animal Veterinary Service (AVS) (formerly known as the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore), Animal Welfare Groups (AWGs), veterinarians and other relevant stakeholders.
The TNRM programme is a humane, science-based approach to managing the free-roaming dog population where the top priority is to rehome them. Under this programme, free-roaming dogs will be sterilised after capture, and subsequently rehomed. Those that cannot be rehomed will be released at suitable locations to live out their lives naturally.
The target for this programme is to sterilise more than 70% of the free-roaming dog population in Singapore within five years. We will support AWGs’ costs for pre and post-surgical boarding, vaccination, and sterilisation of TNRM programme dogs.
We have been partnering stakeholders, as well as interested individuals and organisations, to educate the public on managing free-roaming dog encounters. Members of the public can also play a part by sharing our TNRM programme with those close to them. Pet owners can do their part by microchipping and licensing their pet dogs to ensure traceability.
We have published the Handbook on Feeding Free-Roaming Dogs Responsibly. This handbook hopes to promote awareness on responsible feeding of free-roaming dogs, and address public health concerns in order to bring about peaceful co-existence between humans and animals. Feeders play an important role in the TNRM process. They help to identify dogs for capture, bring these dogs to the participating AWGs who will subsequently manage sterilised dogs that are released back into the environment.
Project ADORE – Project on ADOption and REhoming of dogs was launched in April 2012 with the aim of rehoming mid-sized mixed-breed dogs in HDB flats (up to 15kg in weight and 50cm in height). It is led by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS), a cluster under the National Parks Board (NParks), and supported by the Housing and Development Board and the following five AVS’ rehoming partners:
- Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)
- Causes for Animals (CAS)
- Exclusively Mongrels (EM)
- Mercylight Animal Rescue & Sanctuary Limited (MARS)
- Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
Project ADORE was first piloted by the Ministry of National Development (MND) and became a permanent scheme in May 2014 for local mixed-breed dogs.
AVS has launched a two-year pilot expansion of Project ADORE, where the height limit has been increased from 50cm to 55cm. The weight of the dog has also been removed as a criterion for rehoming. This was announced in March 2020.
How to adopt a Project ADORE dog?
Project ADORE rehoming partners screen the adopters and assess the dogs’ temperament to determine suitability. All adopters have to comply with the ownership conditions and the Code of Responsible Behaviour, which requires adopters to complete a mandatory obedience training (six sessions) with their dogs. This is to ensure that their dogs do not cause nuisances to the neighbours.
Interested adopters are allowed only one dog per flat and have to follow stringent ownership conditions, including the sterilisation, routine vaccination and micro-chipping of the adopted dog. New owners must also apply for a dog licence for the adopted dog.
Project ADORE rehoming partners will provide post adoption support through adoption counsellors should any issues arise after the adoption.
In June 2017, Project ADORE was expanded to allow for the rehoming of retired sniffer dogs by existing and recent K9 officers in HDB flats, under a one-year pilot. This pilot expansion was co-led by the MND, the Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA) and the Ministry of Defence (MINDEF), with the support of HDB, then-AVA and AWG partners under Project ADORE.
The scheme was well-received and made permanent in August 2018. Thereafter, the scheme was expanded to also allow the public to adopt the retired sniffer dogs, widening the pool of potential adopters for retired sniffer dogs beyond K9 officers. This pilot scheme has been extended for another two years.
The four allowable sniffer dog breeds are – (i) Labrador, (ii) English Springer, (iii) Cocker Spaniel and (iv) Pointer. The same conditions in place for Project ADORE will also apply to the pilot expansion.