Findings from new study on characteristics of Singaporean strays support pet repatriation efforts
SINGAPORE – A pilot study that characterizes the behavioral traits of stray dogs has been carried out by the Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS), as part of its efforts to bring the stray dog population under control by rehoming them.
Through the development of an ethogram targeting stray dogs in Singapore, evidence suggests that these dogs are more likely to be fearful and temperamental, with a tendency to flee when approached.
Dr. Audrey Chen, director of the Center for Animal Rehabilitation at AVS, told the Straits Times at a meeting on April 5 that such behavior is likely a survival instinct that is a valuable adaptation of life in the wild. for generations.
She added: “Humans need to understand that these dogs may behave differently than a golden retriever and you’ll need to be prepared to adapt to that if you choose to adopt one.”
However, the vet said these behavioral differences vary, even between purebred breeds.
For example, border collies bred for a specific purpose like herding would tend to exhibit certain behaviors useful for herding sheep.
More importantly, before acquiring a dog, potential owners should do proper research on the different breeds, taking into account their biological and behavioral needs, to know which one is suitable for their lifestyle, expectations and level. of commitment.
Likewise, potential adopters of “Singapore specials,” as strays are called, should keep the traits noted by the study in mind when deciding whether or not to adopt these dogs.
Dr Chen said: “People should do enough research and prepare for what they are signing up for before adopting a pet.”
The results of the study, which involved more than 100 dogs under the Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) program, also guided the scientific rehabilitation of stray dogs at a dedicated facility.
Under the TNRM program, stray dogs are trapped and sterilized before being placed in a shelter or home, or released into the wild, where they are monitored after being microchipped.
The Animal Rehabilitation Center, which opened on March 31, is currently rehabilitating eight dogs from the TNRM program to make them more fit for rehoming.