Lower fees for 4th dog, if it is adopted

Dog lovers who live in private homes are being offered a reduced licence fee if they take on a fourth pooch - as long as it has been adopted.

Currently, they have to pay $15 a year for their first three sterilised dogs, regardless of whether they are adopted, and $180 for any subsequent ones.

However, from Tuesday, the Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) will only charge $15 a year if owners take on a fourth dog, as long as it fulfils certain criteria.

Subsequent dogs will still be charged at $180.

The pet must be adopted from one of AVA's nine rehoming partners such as Action for Singapore Dogs, Save Our Street Dogs and the Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.

It must also be sterilised, obedience-trained and healthy.

Owners must have good control over the dog and if it becomes a nuisance, it will have to be relocated.

The AVA's move aims to support animal welfare groups and their efforts in rehoming canines.

Minister of State for National Development Desmond Lee announced it yesterday at a Republic Polytechnic event which aimed to raise awareness about responsible pet ownership.

"By taking in strays, adopters save them from potential death and injury, and give them a much better life," he said.

"I hope this will encourage more adopters to take in stray mongrels and help alleviate the stray dog situation in Singapore."

Melissa Lin