Adoption rules stringent

Adoption rules stringent

SINGAPORE - It took two attempts over about two months for Ms Veronica Chung to successfully adopt a dog from animal welfare group Causes For Animals Singapore.

The 32-year-old housewife went through a two-week foster period with two dogs, which were siblings, but found them too much to handle because of their aggressive behaviour.

So she and her husband, Mr Terence Lee, 34, who works in the finance industry, had to return them to the shelter after eight days. The couple's second attempt, with just one dog, worked out better.

Besides the trial period, Causes For Animals Singapore requires adopters to fill in a questionnaire, have a bonding session with the pet and allow home visits.

Ms Chung says: "The process wasn't a burden to me. It is necessary for the process to be stringent to make sure that the animals are protected."

The steps that the couple went through is common practice with animal welfare organisations here.

Eight of them, including animal welfare groups Action For Singapore Dogs, Oasis Second Chance Animal Shelter and Save Our Street Dogs, screen potential adopters through an e-mail questionnaire, telephone conversation or face-to-face meeting.

They ask adopters about their lifestyle, such as the number of hours they spend away from home and how often they travel. A bonding session with the animal will then be arranged. Some organisations will make mandatory visits to the adopter's home, followed by a one- to three- month trial period with the pet in the home.

It is little wonder then that some people such as Mr Edward Yeo, 48, a property agent, bought a rabbit from a pet shop instead. He considered adopting one, but changed his mind when he found out that the House Rabbit Society requires people to go through a one- to three-month probation period.

Mr Yeo says: "It is important to make sure that their rabbits go to good homes, but the process is a bit long and I wanted a short-cut." Some pet owners, such as Ms Low Li Zhen, 25, who works in an investment firm, find that adoption requirements can be "a bit intrusive". She has two dogs which were bought from shops.

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