SINGAPORE - Do not buy a dog on impulse this Chinese New Year, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) urged the public on Monday (Feb 12).
In its statement released four days before the first day of the Year of the Dog, SPCA said it was concerned that there may be impulse purchases of dogs this season.
"Following the last Year of the Dog in 2006, there was an increase in the number of dogs taken in by SPCA, and in suspected abandonment cases," said the society.
SPCA had taken in 3,002 dogs - including surrendered pets, abandoned dogs, lost, sick or injured dogs - in 2007. That figure had been 2,727 in 2006.
There was also a spike of more than 200 lost dogs that went unclaimed, that were suspected abandonment cases in 2007.
There were 738 such dogs that year, up from 518 the year before.
SPCA said pets "should not be acquired just because it is auspicious to do so".
"Without having carefully considered the responsibilities involved and without adequate preparation, the chance of the novelty wearing off and subsequently relinquishing the animal, is much higher," it said.
"While dogs can add much meaning to our lives, one must be ready for the lifetime commitment."
SPCA urged potential pet owners to take the time to learn more about the pet they want to get, and proceed only when the entire family is ready.
SPCA's executive director Jaipal Singh Gill shared the options available for those who want to do good for dogs this festive season.
They can adopt a dog, join SPCA's Sponsor-A-Dog programme, volunteer with an animal welfare organisation, or make a contribution to SPCA's animal protection work by gifting a "red packet" to its animals.