We receive an average of 80 to 90 reports of alleged cruelty to animals every month. As we do not have enforcement powers under the Animals & Birds Act, serious cases that warrant further action are referred to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA) or the police.
We have a reward policy in place for cases of extreme abuse when there is a need to look for witnesses. The monetary reward for providing information was put in place in hopes of leading to the apprehension and prosecution of the perpetrator/s.
THINK TWICE BEFORE ABANDONING A PET - IT IS ILLEGAL TO DO SO
Under the Animals and Birds (Amendment) Act 2014, anyone who is found guilty of cruelty to animals, including abandonment of any animal, can be imprisoned for up to 18 months, fined up to $15,000, or both.
This provision was included to deter irresponsible pet owners from discarding their pets.
Unfortunately, there are still many owners who abandon their pets in spite of there being laws in place. Many of the reported cases we receive are about pet neglect.
Cases of neglect include:
- small domestic animals housed in cages with wired flooring, fed inadequate diets and/or left in a corridor without human company for most of the day,
- cats and dogs caged or tied up for long periods and/or in dirty conditions. Owners often say they have no time to clean the cages or are seldom home. The novelty of having a pet has obviously worn off. Veterinary care is not even considered by some.
Excuses often cited for such cases of neglect are that the animal is "destroying the house", "cannot be toilet trained" or is "too active". Neglecting the animal becomes a convenient way out for the owner, and the animal ends up spending most of their time confined and overlooked. There are currently no laws in Singapore addressing these issues. However, animals deserve our respect and should not be subjected to prolonged periods where their freedom to move about is denied and their well-being is neglected.
Our Inspectors visit the premises in question to verify cruelty reports before proceeding to counsel the owners. We refer more serious cases that require enforcement action by the authorities to the Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority (AVA).