Singapore, 18 February 2012 – Despite Saturday mid-afternoon showers, the mood at Singapore’s largest dog-adoption drive remained at an all-time high when more than 2,500 people and over 200 dogs flocked to the beaches of East Coast Park at the National Geographic Channel Free Pet Shop.
The two-day dog adoption drive, organized by National Geographic Channel, featured 80 local mixed breed dogs for adoption. This first-of-its-kind collaboration across the pet industry, saw more than 50 volunteers and 20 representatives from the pet industry, joining hands with dog shelters, namely; Action for Singapore Dogs, Animal Lovers League, Noah’s Ark and Gentle Paws, to champion the noble adoption cause together.
Enthusiastic queries on adoption procedures and requests kept the volunteers of the four animal shelters busy for hours, as the list of keen adopters and contributors snaked past 80, a record high for all four shelters in their adoption drives. Volunteers from each shelter were greatly encouraged by an average of 20 genuine adopters, who promised follow-up visits to the individual shelters after today’s event.
15 of the 200 mixed-breed dogs were stars for the day at the first-ever ‘Singapore Special Dog Show’, shining the spotlight on only local mixed-breed dogs, demonstrating the message that mixed-breeds can be as beautiful as pure-breed dogs, if not more. Gushed 39-year old Ms Jane Mok, whose four-year old dog corgi-crossbreed Santi, won the first prize, said, “It is great that National Geographic Channel has teamed up with so many different partners to organize a platform to showcase such an adoption drive, dispelling the common misconception that mixed-breeds are ugly and dirty. The competing dogs of the Singapore Special Dog Show are amazingly good-looking. I would have had difficulty choosing a winner out of all of them if I were part of the judging panel!”
Dog owners also had a field day with their furry companions as pet food distributor Nestle Purina and dog bakery The Barkery, distributed free samplings of dog kibbles and freshly-baked dog treats to the happy four-legged companions. Happy dog owners as well as potential adopters eagerly lapped up valuable insights of good pet ownership when veterinarians and dog obedience consultants shared quick tips on pet health and human-dog interactions.
Adding to the carnival of activities were roving games with prizes, voucher giveaways and a photo contest at the Nikon photo booth. Curious dogs sniffed at one another as owners exchanged greetings and stories. As dog-owner, 31-year-old Ms. Charlotte, put it, “This event provided the perfect welcoming place for all types of dogs and animal lovers to meet instantaneously. The fringe activities, such as complimentary canine massage and grooming sessions, also added great fun and variety to both humans and their canine companions throughout the whole day!”
18-year-old dog adopter and Gentle Paws shelter volunteer, Zac Low Jun Jie, commented, “The number of people who have and are opening their hearts to mixed-breeds have increased over the years. It is inspiring to observe their perceptions change and this has motivated us to continue doing what we have started out to do – and that is to rescue and find loving homes for these dogs.”
Commented Ekta Taneja, 29, a teacher and interested adopter, “This is a brilliant initiative that unites every aspect of the pet industry, creating a community of animal lovers who advocate this adoption cause. I often meet with pug owners on weekends and am looking to adopt another dog here, even it if is not a pug. My family has come to a decision that we will adopt even handicapped dogs as long as we are capable of providing it with a loving home.”
Local celebrities including Fly Entertainment artistes Pamelyn Chee, Jimmy Taenaka, Jacqueline Chow, Mindee Ong and Chua En Lai, animal lovers Randall Tan and Melody Chen, as well as radio personalities Rod Monteiro from 91.3FM and The Muttons from 98.7FM, also showed up at the event to lend their support to the adoption cause.
The National Geographic Channel Free Pet Shop, will continue the adoption drive at East Coast Park (near Carpark D1) on Sunday 19 February, 12pm – 6pm. Updates and details can be found on www.facebook.com/natgeofreepetshop.