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S'pore-made app gives rescued dogs a second chance at life

AsiaOne | Jessica Lin | Friday, Jul 24, 2015

Bravo (left) and Blossom are just two of the dogs sheltered at Blk 2 Furever Canines.

Photo: AsiaOne/Jessica Lin

Considering getting a pet dog but don't know where to start looking?

Local social networking app Petfie has teamed up with dog shelter Blk 2 Furver Canines to give rescued dogs a chance to start their lives anew.

The iPhone mobile app, which was launched in July last year for pet lovers to network with each other, now features profiles of rescued dogs in need of a loving permanent home.

Petfie's founders Jerome Chan, 27, Kenneth Loo, 34, and Benjamin Kong, 28, say they hope to provide a one-stop platform for all animal-related social services in Singapore.

At the launch of the collaboration on Thursday, a Blk 2 Furever Canines spokesperson said that they have created profiles for five rescued dogs on Petfie, hoping to introduce them to dog lovers and potential adopters.

"Dogs are unable to express themselves to seek help. Street dogs experience stigma as most people assume they are 'wild and dirty', and are not as handsome as pets purchased from shops," Mandy, founder of Blk 2 Furever Canines, says.

Eric Lim, 28, has been a volunteer at the shelter for two years. He told AsiaOne that apart from misconceptions about stray dogs, one of the biggest obstacles the shelter faces is that many mixed-breed rescued dogs do not comply with HDB standards because of their larger size and weight.

While they are slightly larger in size, the rescued dogs at Blk 2 Furever Canines are far from aggressive. Some dogs are more active and friendly, and take the initiative to approach human visitors for a belly rub. There are also a number that are curious but shy and timid, and take more time to muster enough courage to be pet by people they have never met before.

Eric says that most of the dogs sheltered at Blk 2 Furever Canines were the cross-bred offspring of pedigree dogs abandoned by owners in Singapore. He considers these rescued dogs a special breed - the "Singapore special".

Dinky, a handsome brown dog which resembles a smaller-sized german shepherd, has been at the shelter since he was a puppy. Dinky proves himself as the leader of the pack at the shelter, but is also gentle and loves getting belly rubs from volunteers who visit three times a week.

Another dog, Bravo, is dressed in beautiful black and white fur. The white parts of his fur are speckled with black dots, giving him an interesting stylish look. Bravo was found at three months old when he was living at a petrol kiosk in Jurong. Though large in size, shelter volunteers report that he has been gentle and affectionate with human beings.

 
 

Both Dinky and Bravo are among the first five dogs to be featured on Blk 2 Furever Canine's Petfie account.

While these five dogs have won the hearts of many visitors, they have not found a home because they do not meet HDB requirements. As many people who live in private housing prefer to buy pedigree dogs from the pet shop, it has been difficult to find Dinky and Bravo a place they can call home.

By featuring them on Petfie, the shelter hopes to appeal to pet lovers who do not live in HDB flats to consider adopting a rescued "Singapore special" dog and providing it with a family.

Jerome said that he aims to include upgraded app features to allow pet lovers to search for dogs by adoption status in future.

An Android version of the app will be launched in about a month's time.

ljessica@sph.com.sg

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