East Coast Park could soon house facilities for the public to interact with animals

Singapore’s largest dog adoption drive organised by the National Geographic Channel at East Coast Park last year. Facilities where joggers and families can interact with animals at the park are likely to be developed, said Manpower Minister Tan Chu
Singapore’s largest dog adoption drive organised by the National Geographic Channel at East Coast Park last year. Facilities where joggers and families can interact with animals at the park are likely to be developed, said Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on Sunday. -- PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE: A space where dogs, cats and rabbits can roam freely while families or joggers interact with the animals and possibly take them home.

Such facilities are likely to be developed at East Coast Park to encourage people to adopt instead of buy pets as well as learn how to co-exist with animals in our midst, said Manpower Minister Tan Chuan-Jin on the sidelines of a charity carwash at The Grandstand on Sunday.

"East Coast is a great family area and we are trying to see whether we can have dog runs in the area and get different welfare groups to come together and promote greater awareness of animal welfare issues," said Mr Tan, who is also the MP for Marine Parade GRC.

As part of a larger push to encourage people to adopt animals, he said that his grassroots leaders are also in discussion with Cat Welfare Society to extend the pilot project in Chong Pang where residents are allowed to keep cats in HDB flats to Marine Parade.

Mr Louis Ng, chief executive of wildlife rescue group Animal Concerns Research and Education Society, said the new animal adoption centre is not meant to just increase the animal adoption rate in Singapore.

"It is an area where we can learn about animal behaviour and increase our tolerance of these animals in our community," he said. Details such as the timeframe and possible site for the project are not yet known.

"So if you see dogs or cats in the community but you are scared of them, here's an area where you can go and our volunteers will be there to assist you in overcoming your fears."