SINGAPORE – It is the holidays again and some might be thinking that a puppy will be a nice addition to the family.
But before considering this, rescue-dog owner Daniel Boey says: “Getting a dog is a lifetime commitment, not a whim and fancy, or a spur-of-the-moment decision to fill a temporary need.”
Mr Boey, who is also a fashion director and author, adds: “Wouldn’t it be more practical to get a dog when you have time to spend and bond with your new furry friend and introduce it to its new home away from the hustle and bustle of the festive season?”
The 57-year-old rescue-dog activist has just released his second book about dog adoption called We Adopted Too!, which includes tales by rescue-dog owners.
His first book on rescue dogs, We Adopted!, was released in 2019 and has sold 1,500 copies.
While he is an advocate for dog adoption, he adds: “If you get a pet for the right reason and are committed to giving the best life to it, and promise never to give it up when it is ill, when it grows old or when it’s no longer convenient for you, then it doesn’t matter whether you adopt or purchase.”
Mr Boey has two rescue dogs at the moment. He chose the adoption route because he says there are many dogs in need of a home and he did not want to add to the demand for dogs bred in puppy mills or by illegal home breeders.
“If you decide to purchase, please think about where the puppies came from. Many parent dogs (breeding dogs) live horrific lives under deplorable conditions in the puppy mills,” he adds.
He adopted Leia, a Weimaraner who was also an ex-breeding dog, in 2017. She was rescued from a puppy mill in Pasir Ris that had been shut down by the authorities that year.
“She immediately had to undergo two operations to help her with orthopaedic issues probably caused by rough breeding conditions at the mill,” adds Mr Boey.
Then in 2020, he adopted Luna, a miniature bull terrier. “She was an 11-month-old puppy that was bought during Covid-19 and given up soon after the kids went back to school,” he says.
The following year, he adopted Leopold, a 13-year-old Samoyed who was ill and whose owner had wanted it euthanised.
“I placed him with a foster carer initially because I was busy with Luna, but the foster carer was irresponsible and Leopold almost died, so I decided to formally adopt him,” he says, adding that Leopold died later that year “peacefully in his sleep with a smile on his face”.