Found: 18 dogs possibly abandoned by one owner

An unusually high number of pedigree dogs were found abandoned in different parts of Singapore from March 23, 2016.
An unusually high number of pedigree dogs were found abandoned in different parts of Singapore from March 23, 2016.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/VOICES FOR ANIMALS
An unusually high number of pedigree dogs were found abandoned in different parts of Singapore from March 23, 2016.
An unusually high number of pedigree dogs were found abandoned in different parts of Singapore from March 23, 2016.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/VOICES FOR ANIMALS
An unusually high number of pedigree dogs were found abandoned in different parts of Singapore from March 23, 2016.
An unusually high number of pedigree dogs were found abandoned in different parts of Singapore from March 23, 2016.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/VOICES FOR ANIMALS
An unusually high number of pedigree dogs were found abandoned in different parts of Singapore from March 23, 2016.
An unusually high number of pedigree dogs were found abandoned in different parts of Singapore from March 23, 2016.PHOTO: FACEBOOK/VOICES FOR ANIMALS

Acting on tip-offs, animal welfare groups pick up the animals in different parts of the island

Eighteen dogs, many of which are pedigree breeds and suspected of being abandoned, were found within two days and could have been left behind by one owner, according to an animal welfare group.

Mr Derrick Tan, founder of Voices for Animals (VFA), told The Straits Times yesterday that his group managed to trace the suspected former owner of the dogs through "their networks".

In Facebook posts on Thursday night, Mr Tan said that VFA and other animal welfare groups had picked up 18 wandering dogs since Wednesday. Mr Tan, 35, also put up a video in which he talks about the pets' situation.

The dogs - mostly poodles, poodle cross-breeds and malteses - were found in Yishun, Tampines, Sengkang, Upper Serangoon and Petir Road. They smelled bad, had long nails and skin issues, said Mr Tan.

More than 15 volunteers from VFA and the Ocean Rescue group were up until 4am yesterday searching for the abandoned dogs, acting on tip-offs, Mr Tan said.

The dogs' suspected former owner eventually contacted Mr Tan and said that he had left 18 dogs in various parts of Singapore, hoping that they would be adopted.

Most of the dogs are now with VFA, the Singapore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) and the Animal Lovers League. Two are at a vet as one has scabies and the other has ringworms, Mr Tan said.

The SPCA has made a report to the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority (AVA) on the matter. AVA said it would work with animal welfare groups to investigate.

SPCA acting executive director Jaipal Singh Gill said his group has taken in eight small pedigree dogs since Wednesday - an "unusually high number".

Of the eight, six are male and have not been sterilised, while the two females show signs of being used for breeding, he said. Six of the dogs have microchips, which can be used to trace the owner, he added.

"Any person who has abandoned animals... needs to be brought to justice," said Dr Gill.

But he cautioned that not all animals found by the SPCA are necessarily abandoned by their owners. Some could have simply been lost and are eventually reunited with their owners.

Still, all the dogs in the latest case show signs of having the same owner. "The dogs are bright and alert but some have similar skin problems, are groomed in the same way, and all have long nails," he said.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 26, 2016, with the headline 'Found: 18 dogs possibly abandoned by one owner'. Print Edition | Subscribe