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Understanding Pet Abandonment: A Call to Responsible Pet Ownership

In recent years, pet abandonment and the surrendering of animals have been on the rise in Singapore, leading to overcapacity in shelters across the country. This concerning trend was highlighted in a CNA Talking Point episode, which delved into the various reasons behind this phenomenon and the impact it has on both the animals and the shelters that house them. Through the eyes of Ace, a 4-year-old Singapore Special (local mongrel) who was surrendered by his owners and has spent the last six months in an animal shelter, the video provides a stark look at the reality faced by many pets and shelters today.

In the video CNA do a great job of highlighting the rise in pet abandonment and Surrendering and what life inside an Animal Shelter is for these pets.

There are many aspects which should be highlighted in addition to help reduce this issue. Most of which land at the education, understanding and commitment of those who are looking to bring a pet into their lives.

What Potential Dog Owners Should Consider

Before bringing a dog into your home, it is crucial to fully understand the responsibilities involved:

  1. Time Commitment: Dogs require daily exercise, mental stimulation, and social interaction.

  2. Financial Responsibility: Be prepared for regular expenses such as food, grooming, and veterinary care.

  3. Lifestyle Compatibility: Ensure that your lifestyle and living situation are suitable for a dog.

  4. Long-term Commitment: Dogs can live for 10-15 years or more. Are you ready for a long-term commitment?

To learn more about dog ownership you can listen to the Wagging Tales Podcast on Navigating Dog Ownership by clicking on the image below.

Steps to Take Before Rehoming a Dog

If you are considering rehoming your dog, it is essential to exhaust all possible options to resolve the issue first:

  1. Check the Dog’s Health: Ensure there are no underlying health issues causing problematic behavior.

  2. Human Education on Dogs: Educate yourself on dog behavior and training techniques.

  3. Management of the Dog: Implement management strategies to address specific issues (e.g., crate training, leash training).

  4. Mental and Physical Needs: Provide sufficient mental stimulation and physical exercise.

  5. Safety and Obedience Training: Invest in training to improve behavior and ensure safety.

  6. Behavioural Modification: Consult a behavior specialist to address specific behavioural problems.

  7. Seek Professional Advice: Talk to veterinarians, trainers, and behaviour consultants to explore all possible solutions.

If the reason for rehoming is a behavioural or training one. It is paramount to know that there are many things that can be done. Check out the video below to help with the understanding of how issues can be addressed.

The Impact of Surrendering Pets to Shelters

Surrendering a pet to a shelter should be a last resort. As illustrated in the CNA video, the quality of life for dogs in shelters can be significantly diminished. While shelters provide essential care, the emotional and psychological effects of being surrendered can be profound. It is a misconception that once a pet is out of sight, the problem is resolved. The reality is that these animals continue to suffer and deserve better.


The rise in pet abandonment and surrendering in Singapore is a pressing issue that requires immediate attention and action. Potential dog owners must thoroughly understand the responsibilities of pet ownership before bringing a dog into their homes. For those considering rehoming their pets, it is crucial to explore all avenues and seek professional help to resolve issues. By doing so, we can ensure that pets like Ace do not have to endure the hardships of life in a shelter and can instead live fulfilling and happy lives in loving homes.

By fostering responsible pet ownership and providing the necessary support and education, we can mitigate the rise in pet abandonment and ensure a better future for our furry friends.

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