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Singapore Zoo and SPCA join hands to help shelter dogs find new homes through Animal Friends Show

SINGAPORE — To help long-time shelter dogs find permanent homes, Singapore Zoo has teamed up with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to foster, train and provide adoption support to such canines under a new pilot programme.

Bruce the dog is receiving training and care from Singapore Zoo until it finds a new home.

Bruce the dog is receiving training and care from Singapore Zoo until it finds a new home.

SINGAPORE — To help long-time shelter dogs find permanent homes, Singapore Zoo has teamed up with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) to foster, train and provide adoption support to such canines under a new pilot programme.

Under the programme, the zoo will take in one rescue dog from SPCA each time, the Wildlife Reserves Singapore (WRS) and SPCA said in a statement on Wednesday (Aug 11). 

The dogs will receive a personalised care and training programme, and be featured in the zoo’s Animal Friends Show, until they find suitable families to take them home. 

The show seeks to raise awareness on shelter animals and promote the message of responsible pet ownership through adoption rather than buying new pets, WRS and SPCA said.

The canines selected for the programme would be those that have been at the SPCA shelter for a long time and have had difficulties finding families to adopt them.

One canine that has undergone the programme is Bruce, a seven-year-old Singapore Special. It was rescued by SPCA in May 2016.

Bruce was found in the streets wearing a choke chain and was likely abandoned.

Since joining the zoo’s Animal Friends Show in August 2019, it has become a curious and friendly animal. It enjoys buggy rides and daily walks around the zoo, WRS and SPCA said.

While the target was to get Bruce ready for adoption as soon as possible, there were some delays due to Covid-19 restrictions.  

Over the last two years, it was given basic obedience training, which helped it to learn behaviours to enrich its life and ease into veterinary care procedures. 

Ms Gail Laule, WRS’ director of animal presentations, said: “The dogs are introduced to a gentler form of training called positive reinforcement, which is entirely voluntary. For cooperating in a variety of behaviours, they earn rewards that make training fun and enriching for both the dog and the trainer. 

“In nurturing a more loving and sociable demeanour in dogs like Bruce, which have experienced rejection and abandonment, we are confident that they can become adoptable.”

Adopters who are interested in meeting Bruce may visit http://www.spca.org.sg/bruce to find out more and begin the adoption process. 

As of Thursday (Aug 12), Bruce had received 11 adoption enquiries, SPCA said. 

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