An animal protection organisation took to Facebook on Thursday (7 January) to raise awareness about the dropping number of stray dogs in Singapore due to the implementation of Government’s Trap-Neuter-Release (TNR) programme.

Causes for Animal – Singapore (CAS) said in a post that the TNR programme has resulted in a drastic reduction of stray dogs at a site in Tuas, adding that these animals are more wary of humans.

“It is with a heavy heart we decided to write this post to create awareness of the plight of street dogs under the nationwide TNR programme,” the welfare group stated.

It added, “As part of the TNRM (Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage) programme, CAS has actively sterilised close to 70 dogs at a site in Tuas and rehomed about 60 of the dogs, hence, the population is now at a very low of 10.”

“The dogs that remain are a little more way of people, of which we hope to eventually work with and rehome.”

If that’s not all, CAS also noted that these strays are taken care by kind feeders who not only give them food, but also “look out for them, clean up after their meals, feed at the latest of hours so they avoid having the dogs gathered for meals when too many workers are around”.

The TNRM programme was rolled out in 2018 to better manage the stray dog population in the city-state. The five-year programme aimed at sterilising 70 percent of dogs in the country.

According to Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA), the programme involve humanely capturing stray dogs and sterilising them, with the goal to rehome as many of the sterilised animals as possible. For those who failed to be rehomed, they will be released at suitable locations to live out their lives naturally.

Separately, the organisation also highlighted Transport Minister’s Ong Ye Kung latest Facebook post, in which he mentioned that authorities have decided not to clean up stickers placed on a particular lamp post located in Tuas by cyclists.

This is because cyclists on round-island trips would make a pit stop at this particular lamp post and leave their favourite sticker on it, the Minister said.

“Many were sad to see these stickers go when street light maintenance contractors cleared them during a routine inspection. I have discussed with Land Transport Authority – We Keep Your World Moving, who in turned discussed with JTC. We decided to make an exception for this lamp post, given that it’s a far out location and a special spot to help cyclists find their way,” Mr Ong noted.

Responding on this, CAS stated that this exact lamp post was also home to three of their street dogs, who unfortunately have been impounded after complaints were made about a chasing/biting incident.

“Due to cyclist venturing there in large numbers of late, complaints were made of a dog chasing/biting incident which has since led to all 3 dogs being impounded by the Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) and their fate unknown, till we find space in our facility to take them in which we may not be able to do in time,” the organisation revealed.

It added that while it knows that some dogs might be dangerous but not all are the same, noting that it’s sad to see all the three dogs were impounded.

As such, CAS said that in order to prevent such an occurrence, it suggested to the authorities that signage be placed to warn people of dogs so they can avoid the area. Unfortunately, the authorities did not respond to the organisation.

“To prevent this, we had suggested putting up a simple sign stating there are street dogs there so be cautious and turn back 500m earlier to avoid any conflict but this was never responded to by the authorities,” it said.

The group also appealed to the public to think twice before they lodge a complaint about street dogs chasing them.

“They have NOWHERE to call HOME but the streets. We have tonnes of routes to take, we have a home to call our own. These dogs call the streets their HOME.

“Let’s learn to be more accepting of street animals when we can, especially in such isolated parts of Singapore where residential areas aren’t even in existence,” it concluded.

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