Find the Pawfect Match for adoption by 'speed dating'

Find the Pawfect Match for adoption by 'speed dating'
A dog-grooming competition at the Pet Expo yesterday. The event, launched yesterday, features educational talks, workshops, contests, courses and pet gatherings.

This weekend, Mr Lionel Otsuka will be going on a "speed date" with several dogs at the Pet Expo.

The 30-year-old IT consultant is one of 70 people who have signed up for Pawfect Match, a speed-dating adoption drive for dogs organised by the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) and seven animal welfare groups.

The 75 dogs in the adoption drive are from groups such as Animal Lovers League and SOSD, formerly known as Save Our Street Dogs. The groups will dish out advice on which dogs best fit the potential adopter's profile.

"It is a lot easier as someone helps us match the characteristics of the dog to our preferences," said Mr Otsuka.

The speed-dating event will be held today and tomorrow. Registered participants will be asked questions about themselves, such as if they have children and if they are ready to care for a dog.

During the date, participants are given 10 minutes to interact with up to three dogs. The group putting up the dogs for adoption will assess if the person is suitable. It will follow up with a home visit to assess its environment.

Said AVA chief executive Tan Poh Hong: "We hope this novel approach will raise awareness of adoption."

Mr Chris Ong, 30, is excited about the date as he has never owned a pet dog before. "I hope a special dog will steal my heart."

Minister of State for Trade and Industry and Mayor of the North East District Teo Ser Luck launched the Pet Expo yesterday.

He said the fun of speed dating would encourage more people to adopt pets. "It can help build a more caring society as a whole."

The Pet Expo, which runs till tomorrow, is being held at Singapore Expo Hall 8. Admission fee is $4, but it is free for children aged under 12.

This article was first published on Mar 21, 2015.
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