WE WANT TO MOVE MOVE TO BETTER BETTER PLACE!!! BEST IF WE CAN SEE SNOW SNOW! WE DON'T LIKE IT HERE WHEN PPLE ARE NO LIKIN OUR KIND!!!
Has Singapore gone to the dogs?
Dog ownership has risen, with some owners being accused of 'insensitive' behaviour towards others
By Shuli Sudderuddin
IT WAS JUST A DAY OF FUN for this owner and her dogs at Sentosa last month. But in the past two months, the Forum pages of The Straits Times have published at least eight letters about unleashed dogs on Sentosa, with many saying the canines are a danger, especially after an unleashed Siberian husky attacked a three-year-old girl in September. -- ST PHOTO: DESMOND LIM
EVERY dog has his day and for Bobo and Mia, that day is Saturday when they enjoy a splash-about at Sentosa's Tanjong Beach with their owner Lai Soon Leung.
The business manager unleashes the schnauzers before their swim despite a law that says dogs should be leashed in public.
Mr Lai, 43, shrugged and said: 'It's important for dogs to enjoy some freedom. My wife and I keep an eye on them and make sure they don't disturb anyone.'
That attitude has left some people barking mad, and others accusing pet owners of being irresponsible. The issue has become a bone of contention recently, partly sparked by an incident in September when an unleashed Siberian husky attacked a three-year-old girl at Tanjong Beach.
Matilda Sail required surgery on a partially torn ear and suffered other scratches and bruises.
In the past two months, the Forum pages of The Straits Times have published at least eight letters about unleashed dogs on Sentosa or dogs sitting on chairs at eateries.
Mr Stephan Dï¿½rrenberg complained on Oct 7 about 10 unleashed dogs on Tanjong Beach.
And on Nov 25, business development manager Ng Kwong Yee criticised the 'unhygienic' practice of letting dogs sit on coffee-shop chairs.
Even condominiums have not been spared the debate.
In October, residents of Richmond Park in Bideford Road shot down a management committee proposal that dogs should be put in trolley cages if taken outside.
Committee chairman David Chan said a Muslim cleaner had quit because pet owners failed to clean up after their dogs.
The angst over dogs in public spaces can also be put down to the fact that there are more dogs now, with the number of dog licences rising from 42,700 in 2004 to about 53,000.
And growing affluence means owners pamper their dogs more. Ms Eirene Phua, the owner of a two-year-old shih tzu, said: 'Pets have become a lifestyle. It is so common to see dogs and owners in public places nowadays.'
Owners know they could be fined up to $5,000 if they unleash their dogs in public but many feel some leeway should be given so pooches have space to run in Singapore's concrete jungle. Last year, AVA fined 150 dog owners for not leashing their pets.
Then there is the question of being sensitive to other cultures.
Ms Siti, a 21-year-old interior designer, says: 'My mother and I are scared dogs will run up to sniff us. It's also really insensitive when dog owners wash their dogs in open shower stations meant for humans.'
Owners have also been flouting a law that bars animals from establishments without licences for pets. The Sunday Times found three dogs seated on chairs in Holland Village at lunchtime last Saturday.
Businessman Frankie Chin seated his schnauzer in the alfresco section of Ya Kun Kaya Toast. The pooch, Bobby, also dines on an egg yolk placed in its own dog dish each time it visits.
Mr Chin, 51, said Bobby's feet were clean as it had been wearing shoes before being seated. But Mr Chin avoids halal eateries as he is mindful of Muslim sensitivities.
But 40-year-old banker Chris Chew, who owns a retriever, said putting a dog on a coffee-shop chair is inconsiderate.
Owners who flout the no-pets rule at establishments can be fined up to $2,000.
Forum letter writer Ng Kwong Yee thinks this is not enough. He wrote in demanding that the law also disallow pets within a certain distance of eateries. He said: 'I have nothing against pets but certain health and hygiene standards must be maintained.'
I think we're much cleaner than most people's butts. Most kids too. My Mom is afraid of kids. She has touched only prolly 1-2 babies in her entire life & never carried a baby before. I think mayb babies & rowdy kids should be leashed too.
(Mom: its pretty sad that a country has such bias views against animals because of other races & MANY petty complaints & how the media escalates the negative side of dogs. This is sad. VERY SAD. For they do not realize the importance of dogs (animals) & the values they teach to humans & how big a part they play in society (eg, rescue works, therapy works etc). I pity those who've NEVER had a dog before & those who HATE dogs. For they're missin out 1 of the most impt thing in life - to experience a dog's love & loyalty.)
"If you don't have a dog, at least 1, there is not necessarily anything wrong with you, but there may be something wrong with your life"
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