Desmond believes that pet adoption can bring new life to both the dog and its new owner.
He has played a police officer, a lawyer, and most recently an army sergeant, but behind his tough guy image, Desmond Tan actually has a soft spot for animals, particularly towards dogs.
While Desmond had purchased his first dog, Hoshi, in January 2010, he now promotes adoption from animal shelters.
The gym-buff said: “I heard many stories of how animals are abandoned, abused, and how breeding dogs are used just to breed. These stories strengthened my belief in the movement for adoption.”
In 2016, he started a campaign called The Blue Socks with his army friend’s grooming house, June’s Pethouse, to promote animal adoption and support animal shelters in Singapore. The name was inspired by a picture Desmond saw of a dog wearing blue socks, and the mascot has features of both his dogs.
Desmond, who will next appear in Mediacorp’s When Duty Calls, said: “People always think animals in the shelters are very hard to train because they’re old and unwanted, or because they have an aggressive nature. But it’s not true. If you really go to an animal shelter, some of them are the sweetest things on earth.”
He added passionately: “We (thought of holding a) before-and-after pageant, to let people know how the dogs look before being adopted, and how beautiful they are after they are re-homed.”
On Sept 11 last year, The Blue Socks organised a movie screening at Orchard Cineleisure, where part of the funds was donated to Voices For Animals (VFA), the animal shelter where Desmond adopted Udon.
What are some of The Blue Socks’ future plans?
Inspired by the Taiwanese Twelve Nights (十二夜), Desmond hopes to create an animal film that tackles issues of animal adoption and abuse.
He said: “Being in the media industry, knowing the power of media, I hope that I can do something related to my work and help the animals. That’s the only way we can touch, educate and convince people to change their perspectives.”
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