Want to add some furry friends to your life here?
Deciding what pet to adopt depends on a few factors, such as which animal the adopter has an affinity for, the adopter’s lifestyle, and the amount of time available for caring for a pet, said Dr Siew Tuck Wah, president of animal welfare group SOSD.
He said: “In general, small animals such as fish and hamsters will require less time, and are easier than dogs and cats. For dogs and cats, you will require more time and effort – dogs, in particular, require patience and companionship.”
Those with no prior pet ownership experience can also consider volunteering with the animal welfare group first to get an idea of what it entails, suggests Dr Jaipal Singh Gill, executive director of the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA).
“(Interested adopters) can volunteer with us first, so that our staff can demonstrate to them the ropes of responsible pet ownership and care. “In addition, they also get a realistic feel and hands on experience on the extent of care that is required in keeping a pet,” he said.
Those considering adopting a pet should also consider their lifespans as adopting a pet is a life-long commitment. So remember: cats and dogs can live up to 20 years, while rabbits can live up to 10.
If owning a pet is a rewarding experience, then successfully rehabilitating a pet with “baggage” is even more so. But the training process will not be a bed of roses. Patience is key, and remember that rehabilitation takes time.
Potential owners are advised to learn more about the history of the pet first so that they can decide on what kind of ‘approach’ to take when handling the pet. For instance, dogs which went through traumatic conditions or experienced violence would need to be handled with more care.
Getting a pet is also a team effort, said Voices For Animals (VFA) president Derrick Tan. Potential adopters must ensure that members of his or her household are also aware of the responsibilities of getting a pet, which include grooming, exercise and feeding requirements, as well as health care and visits to the vet – which may not come cheap.
Vet fees can vary, but usually start from about $1,000 for blood work and check ups, vaccination and tick protection for a year, said Mr Tan.
Adopting a pet from an animal welfare group provides the owner with a support network.
At the Cat Welfare Society, for example, interested adopters go through a screening process with the society’s fosterers – people who care for the cats temporarily until it finds a permanent home.
“(The screening process) usually includes a questionnaire and a home visit. It is not uncommon for adopters and fosterers to develop a friendship that is also a support network for cat owners and caregivers,” said Ms Veron Lau, a representative from the Cat Welfare Society.
Cat Welfare Society, as well as other animal welfare groups such as SOSD and VFA, conduct regular adoption drives. For more details on when these drives are held, visit their respective Facebook pages.
For those interested in rabbits, find out more at the House Rabbits Society Singapore.
The SPCA has a shelter at 50 Sungei Tengah Road which potential adopters can also visit to get acquainted with the animals which they would like to adopt.
By Audrey Tan, The Straits Times, January 13, 2017 / Updated by Muneerah Bee, March 2019
More on The Finder:
Like our Facebook page for more updates!