S’pore opens the 1st animal rehabilitation center to help stray animals adapt to human homes – Mothership.SG
Singapore now has its very first facility dedicated to animal behavior rehabilitation.
the Animal rehabilitation center was inaugurated by the National Parks Board (NParks) Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS) on March 31 and marks a key milestone in AVS’ scientific efforts to manage Singapore’s stray animal population.
Adaptation to home settings
The center is approximately 1,522 m², reported CNA.
It features a visitor’s lounge with a fully furnished living and dining area designed to mimic a home environment to help strays adjust to pet life.
Dogs will be introduced to common household items such as furniture and appliances (eg, vacuum cleaner, TV) in a safe environment.
Dogs will also learn how to behave appropriately around the house, such as staying calm when visitors come to the door or around the dinner table.
This frame will help familiarize strays with the sight, smell and sound of a typical home and reduce their fear and anxiety when adopted.
Specially designed kennels with more privacy
The center also includes several activity rooms for obedience training, two dog parks and compartmentalized kennels with blinds.
Kennels are specially designed to allow the dog “to exercise choice and control over his living environment”.
They are built with special materials that reduce noise reverberation, are equipped with privacy blinds and do not face each other.
All of this provides dogs with privacy and a sense of security.
According to CNACCTVs will be installed in all kennels to allow AVS to monitor the dog’s behavior and progress without encroaching on their personal space.
The AVS indicates:
“Through training and exposure to the different environments and scenarios a dog may encounter as a pet in Singapore, the center and training program aims to help prepare the dog to adapt better to his future home and community.”
Rehouse as many trapped and neutered stray dogs as possible
The Center for Animal Rehabilitation supports the existing national Trap-Neuter-Release-Manage (TNRM) program and builds on the results of Project Rehab, a pilot canine rehabilitation program.
As part of the TNRM program, AVS’ priority is to rehouse as many trapped and sterilized stray dogs as possible.
Over 70 stray dogs have been successfully rehabilitated since Project Rehab began in November 2019.
Although many stray dogs are generally afraid of people, anxious or display aggressive behavior, the dogs show positive behavior towards humans and are able to live comfortably in a family setting after the rehabilitation process.
“It confirmed the need to focus on upstream training and behavior modification to help stray dogs successfully integrate as pets into homes and the wider community, thereby improving stray dog rehousing rates under the TNRM program,” AVS said.
The ideas of the Rehab project have therefore been used to develop a new rehabilitation program, which will be implemented in the Animal Rehabilitation Center.
AVS will also conduct research that will focus on rehabilitation interventions, shelter management and animal welfare in order to optimize and refine rehabilitation processes and techniques.
“This research will continue to inform our animal care decisions, with the ultimate goal of improving animal welfare in shelters and homes,” AVS added.
Additionally, AVS partners with the SPCA to refine the post-rehabilitation phase where rehabilitated strays leave AVS’ care and wait to be adopted into animal welfare group shelters.
Top photo by NParks/FB