Sixteen of the 21 puppies seized at the Woodlands Checkpoint in November last year , have been adopted. Among the adopters, are Ms Stephanie Koh, 24, and her fiance Lance Lee, 26, who brought a pomeranian called Domo, home last month.
A spokesman for the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) said that the seized puppies were very young and had suffered immense stress during the smuggling process. Despite AVA officers showering the puppies with special care at the Sembawang Animal Quarantine Station, two puppies died.
When offered for adoption in March this year, more than 320 people expressed their interest. About 60 applicants were then selected for the adoption interviews, which were conducted in collaboration with the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) in April. The most suitable applicants were selected and notified in June.
AVA is now working with SPCA on finding suitable homes for the remaining three puppies. A sales representative, Koh Cheow Chuan, who was hoping to earn $1,050 by smuggling in 21 puppies from Malaysia was sentenced to 10 weeks' in jail on Monday. Since 2011, 60 dogs have been seized by the authorities from smugglers. None tested positive for rabies. Prior to being adopted, these animals were given full vaccinations, sterilised, microchipped and licensed.
Ms Koh, a marketing and design executive said that she paid a total of about $750 to SPCA and AVA to adopt Domo.
She and Mr Lee, a property agent, had kept several dogs previously.
She said: "Initially, Domo had its tail down most of the time and appeared frightened of people. "Now it is wagging its tail more often. It's becoming happy."