First dedicated facility for animal behavioural rehabilitation opens, aims to rehome as many stray animals as possible
Since November 2019, over 70 dogs have successfully rehabilitated.
The first dedicated facility for animal behavioural rehabilitation in Singapore opened on Mar 31, marking a key milestone for The Animal and Veterinary Service (AVS).
Called the Centre for Animal Rehabilitation (CAR), it is located at Lim Chu Kang. The CAR aims to rehome as many stray animals as possible.
The CAR supports the existing Trap-Release-Neuter-Manage (TNRM) programme, which has been managing the stray animal population in Singapore since November 2018, and builds on the results of Project Rehab, a pilot initiative meant to improve rehoming which has successfully rehabilitated more than 70 dogs since November 2019.
Using insights from Project Rehab, AVS has developed the criteria for training and behaviour modification and refined rehabilitation procedures to be implemented at the CAR.
At about 1,522 square metres, the centre is “spacious and calm to facilitate the animal’s gradual integration into pet life,” said AVS.
As the animals may feel nervous and anxious about being introduced to a new home environment, the visitors’ lounge mimics a living room for the animals to familiarise themselves with household items before they are adopted.
There are also clinical facilities such as treatment and isolation rooms to carry out minor medical procedures when necessary.
The compartmentalised kennels for the dogs allow them to “exercise choice and control over its living environment”.
CCTVs are put in place to allow caregivers to monitor the behaviour of the dogs.
There are also dog runs available for the dogs to exercise and walk around. These are connected to the outdoor kennels, making it easier to bring the dogs not comfortable with being leashed yet to outdoor spaces.
Stray cats, on the other hand, will stay in the cat rooms away from the kennels, where they will be able to play with cat-friendly equipment in a safe environment.
The cats will also be enrolled into a cat socialisation programme to enhance welfare through social enrichment and mental engagement.
AVS shared that there are training programmes, internship, and research opportunities to help promote animal behaviour and rehabilitation, with more details to be shared later.
It will also conduct research on animal behaviour rehabilitation at the centre, with a focus on rehabilitation interventions, shelter management, and animal welfare.
Visits to the facility are by appointment basis only.