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COM255 - Responsible Pet Ownership
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COM255 - Responsible Pet Ownership

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  • Our group decided to advocate responsible pet ownership through the Rent-a-Dog programme, with the aim of reducing the number of abandoned dogs in Singapore. The Rent-a-Dog programme is catered to expose potential pet owners to the commitment and responsibilities of owning a dog, and advise and educate them about being a pet owner before they decide to adopt or buy one.
  • Each year, an alarming number of pets are abandoned by their owners. In 2009, the Singapore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) reportedly took in approximately 2,500 dogs and more than 4,400 animals including cats and other domestic animals. Although healthy, only a small number of dogs get adopted and many have to be put to sleep due to a lack of space and resources.
  • For years, non-profit organisations like the SPCA and the Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD) have tried to drive home the message that being a pet owner comes with life-long responsibilities – similar to that of deciding whether or not to have a child.
  • In 2007, Channel News Asia interviewed Mr Ricky Yeo, the President of the ASD, who observed: “The trend that we’re seeing is that people don’t really bother as long as the dogs are cutesy and nice, and if it serves their purpose, its fine. But once there are problems and trouble like skin problems, injuries and all that, they basically just want to get rid of [their pets].”
  • The Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA) website states a “lack of knowledge” as the key contributing factor to the irresponsible behaviour of pet owners. People often buy pets on impulse without careful consideration of the commitment and responsibilities involved. When issues such as “family objections, time and financial constraints crop up, some owners inevitably choose the easy way out by abandoning their pets” .
  • Our group decided to come up with the Rent-a-Dog Programme. This programme seeks to get to the root of the problem of the increasing number of abandoned dogs, by educating the public to be responsible pet owners. Through a structured programme aided by experts and professionals like veterinarians and dog groomers, we aim to make potential dog owners fully knowledgeable of the emotional, physical and financial commitments of owning a dog and hence, make them think twice before deciding to get a pet.
  • Pet rental is not a new concept. It has been adopted by countries like Japan, Australia, and the US. There are also pet rental services in Singapore, the most prominent being Easy Dogz, started by Mr Herbert Lim in June 2008. Pet rental services are becoming increasingly popular. In Japan, for example, pet rental services have expanded from 17 companies in the year 2000, to 134 today . However, there is a major difference between these pet rental services and our Rent-a-Pet Programme. While pet rental services in Japan, Australia and even Singapore’s Easy Dogz are focused on the commercial aspects of pet rental, the Rent-a-Pet programme is interested in the educational aspects of it. Hence, we use the word ‘programme’ instead of ‘service’.
  • Our ultimate goal is to heighten public awareness on the responsibilities and life-long commitment involved in pet ownership through education, and to encourage pet adoption at the end of the day.
  • The Rent-a-Dog Programme is a partnership with the Action for Singapore Dogs. It is targeted at families, especially children and teenagers who are interested in owning a dog but are unsure if they are up for the job commitment wise.
  • It allows members to rent a dog on a regular basis, and weekly workshops are held to educate members on the basics of being a pet owner.
  • Promotes responsible pet ownership by allowing pet owners to discover if they have what it takes to own a dog. Provides training for potential dog owners and hands on experience on grooming a dog. Having tried before committing, they would also be less likely to return or abandoned the dogs they own
  • People could abuse the programme and rent dogs randomly as and when they feel like it without the intention to commit. Treat the dogs as renting any other accessory . To overcome this problem, all dog renters h ave to sign up for membership and be interviewed to assess whether they have the true desire to be a pet owner, as well as the qualities to be a responsible one. Their renting habits would also be monitored to spot those dog hopping.
  • Some animal lovers have raised the concern about the psychological well being of the dog compromised. They argue that it is emotionally distressing for the dogs when they get moved from home to another. The possibility of a dog bonding with one of the renters so strongly that it is damaged emotionally when returned is a concern. Therefore, only those dogs with suitable temperament e.g. highly sociable will be selected . T he number of members that rent a particular dog would also be limited.
  • Since the dogs in the shelter are either strays or abandoned dogs, people might not feel assured of the breed and health etc of the dogs. To assure them, all d ogs would undergo check ups to ensure that they do not suffer from any major disease. Provide the dogs with special training before renting them out to ensure that the dogs would not attack strangers.

COM255 - Responsible Pet Ownership COM255 - Responsible Pet Ownership Presentation Transcript

  • Cecilia Kow Serene Leow Seow Yen Nie
    • To promote responsible pet ownership through the Rent-a-Dog Programme, with the aim of reducing the number of abandoned dogs in Singapore
    • In 2009, the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA) reportedly took in approximately 2,500 dogs and more than 4,400 animals including cats and other domestic animals
    • Most are put to sleep due to a lack of space and resources
    • "Before you buy a dog, please make sure you can keep it for the rest of its life. It's a big responsibility. It's not unlike having a child."
    • - Deirdre Moss, Executive Officer of Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (SPCA)
    • "The trend we're seeing is that people don't really bother as long as they're cutesy and nice, and if it serves their purpose, it's fine. But once there're problems and trouble like skin problems, injuries and all that, they basically just want to get rid of [their pets]."
    • – Ricky Yeo, President of the Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)
    • "Often, lack of knowledge is the reason for the irresponsible behaviour of some pet owners."
    • " Many people […] do not consider the responsibilities that come with owning a pet. When reality sets in and issues such as family objections, time and financial constraints crop up, some owners inevitably choose the easy way out by abandoning their pets."
    • - Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore
  •  
    • Pet rental services have been adopted by countries such as Japan, Australia, and the United States of America
    • In Singapore, Easy Dogz, a pet rental service, was started by Mr Herbert Lim in 2008
    • However, most of these are focused on the commercial aspects of pet rental
    • To educate potential dog owners of the level of commitment and responsibilities involved in pet ownership
    • To encourage adoption of dogs
    • A partnership with the Action for Singapore Dogs (ASD)
    • Targeted at families, especially children and teenagers, who are interested in owning a dog but are unsure if they are up for the job commitment wise
    • Allows members to rent a dog on a regular basis
    • Education workshops aimed to teach members to care for their dogs
    • Dog grooming
    • Walking dogs
    Non-verbal communication with dogs
    • Roadshows
    • Postcards
    • Posters
    • Print advertisements
    • HDB dwellers, family units
    • To create awareness of the Rent-a-Dog programme
    • To reach out to the target audience
    • Heartland shopping malls
    • Demonstration of workshops
    • Giving out animal balloons
    • Dog show
    • Giving out postcards
  •  
  •  
    • The Straits Times
    • Lianhe Zaobao
  •  
    • Allows people to find out whether they have what it takes to be dog owners
    • Having tried before committing, they would also be less likely to return or abandoned the dogs they own
    • People may rent dogs impulsively and treat the dogs as a commodity  Renters have to sign up for membership  Look out for ‘dog hoppers’
    • Psychological well being of the dog might be compromised  Select dogs with suitable temperament e.g. highly sociable
    • The public might not feel assured of the breed and health etc of the dogs  Check up  Special training
  •  
    • Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. (2006). “Potential Pet Owners”. Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore . Retrieved from: http://www.ava.gov.sg/AnimalsPetSector/ResponsiblePetOwnership/BeingResponsiblePetOwner/PotentialPetOwners/index.htm
    • Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore. (2010, March 23). “Responsible Pet Ownership”. Agri-Food and Veterinary Authority of Singapore . Retrieved from: http://www.ava.gov.sg/AnimalsPetSector/ResponsiblePetOwnership
    • Chew, WL. (2007, April 16). “Thousands of dogs abandoned each year”. ChannelNewsAsia . Retrieved from: http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/singaporelocalnews/view/270640/1/.html
    • Demetriou, D. (2007, November 25). “A dog is just for the afternoon”. Telegraph.co.uk. Retrieved from: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldnews/1570492/A-dog-is-just-for-the-afternoon.html
    • Examiner.com. (2009). “Rent-A-Dog”. Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a Examiner.com . Retrieved from: http://www.examiner.com/x-7997-San-Jose-Dogs-Examiner~y2009m7d5-RentADog
    • FlexPetz. (2007). “FlexPetz”. FlexPetz . Retrieved from: http://www.flexpetz.com/fdolanding.html
    • PetSide.com. (2009, June 11). “Rent-A-Pet: Rental Service Godsend for Busy Pet Lovers”. NBC Universal Inc. Retrieved from: http://www.flexpetz.com/fdolanding.html
    • Singapore Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. (2009). “Help Us Save Lives”. Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals . Retrieved from: http://www.spca.org.sg/dump.html
    • The Fun Times Guide to Dogs. (2010). “Rent A Dog? The Pros & Cons of Renting Dogs”. TheFunTimesGuide.com . Retrieved from: http://dogs.thefuntimesguide.com/2009/05/rent_a_dog.php