Dogs—for many of us, man’s furry best friends are an organic part of family life. After a long, gruelling day at the office, who wouldn’t want someone to greet them at the door, tail wagging, mouth wide open in excitement and joy? Yes, dogs are just about the perfect antidote for a terrible day.
Sadly, the joy they bring us isn’t always returned in kind. Some dogs get unceremoniously abandoned on the streets, as though they were yesterday’s newspaper. Without a loving environment to call home, we can only imagine what a life they must have. I mean, how would any of us turn out if we were so crassly dumped on the streets?
We need to help these animals as we do abandoned children. And for all willing to pick up this gauntlet, look no further than Furever Yours.
Furever Yours is a brand-new pilot programme operated in partnership between Singapore Zoo and SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) , and it intends to provide just the help required. Placing shelter dogs squarely centre stage, this programme aims to find new, permanent homes for our furry friends who have been at the SPCA shelter for some time.
I know—we’ve all heard horror stories on the news about dogs being put through unconscionable training programs in attempts to ‘rehabilitate’ them. But, relax, they’re in good hands!
The dogs in the programme will receive training, fostering, and adoption support from the brains behind Singapore Zoo’s Animal Friends show. Their needs will be a key guiding principle to implement a tailormade care and training regime for each dog.
Now, let me introduce Bruce—after all, the proof is in the pudding (or paw-dding—no? Good call.).
In May 2016, Bruce was found on the streets with nothing more than a choke chain. Having likely been abandoned, he was rescued by SPCA. Dogs like Bruce have an arduous time finding new homes because they’re seen as unfriendly and untrainable. However, since joining the Animal Friends Show in 2019, he has learned new behaviours that have enriched his life, easing him into veterinary care. The once reserved and cautious dog has now revealed his more curious and sociable sides. If you’re lucky, you may see him enjoying buggy rides and walks around the zoo.
Bruce, and other dogs like him, undergo entirely voluntary positive enforcement training. In this, they earn rewards which makes their training fun and enriching. This nurtures a loving and friendly disposition in dogs like Bruce, which have experienced specific trauma and abandonment. The result is that they become much more likely to be adopted by a new family capable of showing the care and love they deserve.
In highlighting the intelligence of these animals, their close bonds with humans, and promoting responsible pet ownership, the Animal Friends Show strongly advocates pet adoption over pet shopping. And through this programme with the SPCA, Singapore Zoo hopes to grow awareness for shelter animals.
If you’re interested in welcoming Bruce into your home, you can find out more about doing so here! SPCA is also doing its part to ensure that their other lovable furballs can be cared for, you can support them by heading over to their website, or staying tuned to their social media on Facebook and Instagram.
Visuals courtesy of Wildlife Reserves Singapore.