We live in a flat

The Singapore Dog Lifestyle Blog

Singapore dog hdb-approved mongrel aka Singapore special

Singapore Dog Donna is officially HDB-Approved :D

We adopted Donna from Gentle Paws and Friends way before we heard of the Adore program that gets mongrel dogs HDB-approved. We weren’t looking specifically for a mongrel at the time but we didn’t see an HDB (Housing Development Board)-approved small breed dog that we wanted to adopt at the SPCA.

singapore dog donna

An early picture of Donna when we first adopted her. She was fatter with the same friendly smile. :P

We eventually met Donna and adopted her. It took some time and difficulty, but we finally have got her HDB-approved and a legal companion pet in the flat! 

Getting Donna to be HDB-approved was not without difficulty

We did all the right things.

  • Checked with Gentle Paws to ensure that she is of a size that is within the limits for HDB-approval so we can have her in our flat. (50cm tall, up to 15kg in weight)
  • Read up extensively on positive training, and enrolled her in an obedience course with a respectable trainer who believes in effective force-free training. You can see our trainer’s qualifications here.

But for the longest time, our sweet Donna remained a squatter in the flat because:

  • She was not adopted from a shelter that was part of the Adore Program.
  • She was not trained by an Adore-approved trainer.

Gentle Paws was supportive of us getting Donna HDB-approved, but the avenue they suggested did not work out. It wasn’t the fault of Gentle Paws, the third party I was speaking with did not recognise Donna’s trainer who was not part of the Adore program.

I have worked extensively with Donna in the past 3.5 years. Everyone who met her – neighbours, IG friends, etc – had only good things to say about her. She is both human, child and dog-friendly. Donna not only passed her Obedience Course tests, she also passed the test with Therapy Dogs Singapore. She has been a therapy dog visiting seniors, children and patients with mental and/or physical disabilities and has done good work with them.

That she was not recognised for her efforts and good work because of who she trained with was disappointing to me.

I refused to send Donna for unnecessary sessions of obedience training again when she  didn’t need it. She is already 7. The time and money would be better spent on further enrichment like agility (we did a basic course in agility) and dog-dancing lessons that we are currently enrolled in.

And because of my stubbornness not to move on this matter, Donna remained not HDB-approved. I was OK with that, but it didn’t mean I was happy about it.


Donna would not have been HDB-approved without the help of kind friends and volunteers from SOSD

Then, we happened to bump into Donna’s agility trainer, Shanice (an Adore-recognised trainer) at the park and we got to talking about my whole unhappiness about the matter and how the world is so unfair to poor Donna, who always tries so hard to be good and is very good.

So the long and short of it is, Shanice took pity on me and put me in contact with SOSD (Save our Street Dogs). SOSD is one of the dog shelters that is part of Adore, a program that allows adoption of mongrel dogs into households living in HDB flats. SOSD exceeded my expectations in terms of their responsiveness and overall support in getting Donna re-adopted with them and HDB-approved.

SOSD took the time and effort to meet with Donna and subsequently to manage the conversation with AVA for Donna to be re-adopted with SOSD under the Adore Program. I can only be impressed by them since the people working on this for Donna are volunteers who used their personal time to help her. It was all so smooth it blew my socks off!

So Donna is offically an HDB-approved Adore dog since 19 April 2016.

HDB-approved singapore dog project adore

Many, many thanks to SOSD and Shanice (Supernova) for your help and support!!

To learn more about Project Adore and how you can adopt a mongrel without going through all the fuss that we had, I recommend you check out the adoptable dogs at SOSD!
About SOSD Project Adore program 
– HDB-approved dogs with SOSD

There are many volunteers helping dogs in shelters smaller than SOSD who are not part of the Adore program. It doesn’t mean you can’t adopt their dogs, because they are good dogs too. Donna is after all, one such example, from Gentle Paws.

But based on my experience, I do recommend you plan to sign up for Basic Obedience Course with Shanice (Supernova), the only positive trainer I know of on the Adore trainer list. She is definitely instrumental in helping Donna on the path of getting HDB-approved for us.

HDB-Approved singapore dog project adore

Excerpt of conditions a regular adopter of SOSD dogs is subject to:HDB-Approved singapore dog project adore



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  1. Rules, regulation, red tape-how I hate them.

  2. Angelia Long

    It had been a difficult journey, but you never gave up and because of your sweet Donna, you have touched many lives, & in return, you have met good people who touched yours too.

    I thank the Lord for you guys, and as usual; I am gona be greedy and pray for more like you!

  3. Way to stick with it and not give up!
    Donna is such a good citizen; I’m glad this is finally recognized in another way.

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