This is the headline in The Straits Times and it is news every dog lover, especially lovers of Singapore Specials, will welcome.


Singapore Specials (an affectionate moniker) are mixed-breed dogs on the streets, typically larger than other breeds. A project on the adoption and rehoming of dogs, led by the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS) has successfully helped change the laws on the criteria for dogs as pets in Housing Board apartments. Previously only dogs up to 15kg and under 50 cms in height were permitted in HDB flats. This has changed. Local canines up to 55 kms in height can now find homes in HDB apartments, and there is no weight limit.


There is a national push to improve animal welfare and enhance dog adoption rates here. NParks manages The Animal Lodge, a facility in Sungei Tengah, that houses 11 animal shelters with about 700 dogs between them.


Should you decide to open your home and heart to a dog from a shelter, here are some tips that will help the transition.


  • reinforce good behaviour with toys and treats
  • treat them kindly and gently
  • maintain a good support network
  • stay in touch with shelter staff who are likely to be more familiar with the dog’s behavioural traits
  • if you need to avail the services of a shelter to home your dog temporarily (if you are travelling for example), try and limit it to less than 2 weeks as sleep deprivation might set in (noise, lack of sleep) and the dog could begin suffering from shelter stress, affecting its behaviour and emotional health


This post’s content is adapted (with thanks) from the 11 October 2021 issue of The Straits Times.