1. What are the animal welfare groups in Singapore doing about Puppy Mills?
The animal welfare groups in Singapore stand strongly against Puppy Mills on all possible levels. This includes raising the issue to the relevant authorities and pushing for legislation changes for better standards, as well as promoting public awareness and education. In a meeting with officials from the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) in the middle of 2010, representatives from key animal welfare groups presented a detailed proposal of recommendations on the issue. Click here for more info.
The SPCA also has received complaints regarding puppy mills from concerned individuals. The more common feedback include overcrowding (up to six puppies were cramped in cages), poor ventilation and dirty living conditions. The cases were referred to AVA to investigate with a plea to take strong deterrent action, or revoke the puppy mill’s farm license.
Most puppy mills in Singapore are not illegal, thus while local welfare groups disapprove of puppy mills, it is not within their capability to shut them down or raid them. The public’s strong support is also needed to end consumer demand for puppy mill puppies. You can do your part to end this inhumane industry by adopting your next pet from an animal shelter or rescue group, spreading the word as well as supporting efforts to improve puppy mill conditions.
2. Are there any laws in Singapore that regulate Puppy Mills?
Since January 2009, all pet farms in Singapore are to comply with additional farm licensing conditions introduced by the AVA for dog breeding and sale of puppies. The regulation covers areas such as the living and general health conditions of breeding animals in pet farms. AVA conducts periodic checks on these farms to ensure compliance with the regulation. Anyone who breaches AVA’s licensing conditions faces a fine of up to $5,000, and recalcitrant offenders may be charged in court.
3. How can I find out if pet shops are selling puppies from puppy mills?
Most pet shops are profit driven and thus their supplies of puppies are from puppy mills where dogs are mass bred and sold at low cost. You may request to be shown the paperwork identifying the puppy’s breeder and the exact location the puppy is from. If the pet shop refuses or is reluctant to do so, you may wish to look for a puppy elsewhere as the origin of the puppy is unknown.
Do remember that responsible breeders generally will not sell their dogs through a pet shop or in any other ways that do not allow an interview or meeting with you. Responsible breeders would want to ensure that the puppy is a good match for your family and that you will provide a responsible lifelong home. Check out these tips on purchasing a puppy.
4. Under what conditions can I report a puppy mill?
If you witness poor conditions, cruelty or neglect (e.g. unsanitary conditions, sick or injured animals not medically treated, inhumane treatment of animals, lack of food/water/shelter, etc.), you may report to the SPCA by dialing 6287 5355 or call the AVA at 6471 9996. We need you to be the voices for the animals. Only when more people speak up can standards improve.
5. I bought a puppy and she is sick, what can I do?
Consult a veterinarian immediately. Any delay in treatment could cost the puppy its life. Symptoms to look out for : inactive, no appetite, diarrhoea, vomiting. (It is advisable to take your puppy for a general physical check up – even if it looks healthy – within a day or two of purchase). A list of clinics can be found here.
You should report any illness/death to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) which regulates commercial breeding facilities.
6. How about cats and rabbits? Are there such mills that breed them as well?
While the number of these facilities is relatively low compared to that of puppy mills’, they do exist. Cats and rabbits in these breeding farms suffer a similar fate as the dogs in puppy mills. If you would like to know more, you can contact the CWS and HRSS.
7. Is it true that all shelter dogs have temperament issues?
It is a misconception that most shelter dogs are surrendered because they are ‘bad’. Instead, many are victims of owners who realised that they do not have the time, knowledge or patience to keep a dog. Many shelter dogs were once the cute doggy in the window of a pet shop, but were given up by their owners for the reasons stated above.
8. Can I find purebred dogs in shelters?
Yes. At SPCA alone, the number of surrendered and lost pedigree dogs unclaimed, totalled 1,369 in 2009. Many of these dogs are put up for adoption. There are pedigree dogs in the ASD and ALL shelters too.
9. Where can I adopt a dog?
You can visit any of these shelters listed here.