Animal welfare groups get dedicated retail space to hold adoption drives

Animal welfare groups get dedicated retail space to hold adoption drives
The Animal 1st Centre (AFC) will begin operations on Oct 26. Photo: Don Wong
Published: 9:06 PM, October 24, 2013
Updated: 2:20 PM, October 25, 2013

SINGAPORE — In a bid to increase the profile of shelter animals and give them a higher chance of getting adopted, five animal welfare groups and retailer Pet Lovers Centre (PLC) have started a pilot programme to hold adoption drives in a dedicated retail space.

The new 113 sq ft Adopt 1st! Centre (AFC) is located within PLC’s Kembangan outlet at 498 Changi Road, and begins operations this Saturday (Oct 26).

The five animal welfare groups involved are: Animal Lovers League (ALL), Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD), Causes for Animals (CAS), Cat Welfare Society (CWS) and Save Our Street Dogs (SOSD).

Only one animal welfare group can occupy the AFC at any one time, and the project will kick off with ALL.

“Until now, the idea of using retail space to reach out to prospective adopters was something unthinkable for us, but thanks to the setting up of AFC, we can now harbour new hope for all these animals,” said ALL volunteer, Ada.

“As Singaporeans tend to revolve their leisure around shopping, the AFC will hopefully give the animals more opportunities of presenting themselves for adoption,” said Mr Ng Whye Hoe, Managing Director of PLC.

Mr Ng added that animal shelters are located at the “most isolated” parts of Singapore, making it hard for prospective adopters to meet the animals. “This usually means that unless people are willing to make a trip to these shelters, the abandoned animals seldom get a chance to get up close and personal with prospective adopters,” he said.

SOSD fundraising officer Andy Cheng said: “This is probably the first of its kind in the animal welfare scene in Singapore whereby a pet retailer has another arm that encourages pet adoption.”

Other than this project, CWS also partners with PLC to hold monthly cat adoption drives in the retailer’s Pet Safari stores. Now in its third year, more than 200 cats have been adopted.