The Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) has cautioned potential dog owners from making impulse buys this coming Chinese New Year, as 2018 is the Year of the Dog on the Chinese zodiac.
The SPCA raised its concerns in a media release issued on Monday (Feb 12), as it cited increases in the number of dogs taken in by the organisation, and in suspected abandonment cases, following the last Year of the Dog in 2006.
Twelve years ago, the organisation took in 2,727 dogs, with the number increasing to 3,002 the next year. It took in 2,970 dogs in 2008. In comparison, the SPCA took in a total of 532 dogs from July 2016 to June 2017.
Similarly, the figure for unclaimed lost dogs, which were suspected to be abandoned, increased over the same period (2006 to 2008) from 518, to 738 and 715.
The SPCA said in its statement that pets should not be acquired because it is auspicious to do so. Urging potential pet owners to consider the lifetime commitment required to own a dog, the SPCA said they should only proceed when the entire family is ready for the new addition.
SPCA executive director Jaipal Singh Gill noted that people can choose to adopt, join the SPCA’s Sponsor-A-Dog programme, volunteer with an animal welfare organisation, or spread the animal welfare message.
He added: “With the Year of the Dog approaching, it’s a good time to reflect on how we can do better for man’s best friend.”
Ms Xue Er, co-owner of boutique pet shop Dollhouse Pets, said they will reject potential customers who appear to be buying dogs on impulse, or for their children. “If they don’t know what they want, they won’t look after the dog when they get busy,” she said.
Dog Avenue owner Pearl Goh said she has not seen any increase in interest from potential buyers, or in the purchase of dogs so far. Similarly, a worker at House of Pups, who did not wish to be named, said that there is less demand for puppies now as the “economy is not so good”.
A worker at Ericsson Pet Farm, who wanted to be known as David, said more people bought dogs or puppies from them during the last Year of the Dog in 2006. The pet farm, which is moving from Pasir Ris Farmway to Sungei Tengah this year, has seen a dip in business as they have been preparing for the move, said Mr David.