A dog is a man’s best friend and you can see more and more HDB flat residents keeping dogs as pets, even some with pretty large dogs.
So if you are thinking of getting an Alsatian or Doberman, think again, cos there are rules to be followed.
In today’s article, we look at a guide to HDB’s rules with regards to keeping dogs and other pets.
Firstly, as long as you live in an HDB flat, you will be required to get your pet licensed by the NParks Animal & Veterinary Service (AVS).
If you are keeping a dog, you do not need to seek approval from the HDB, as long as the dog is in their list of approved breeds (see list below). It is against the law to keep an unauthorized pet in an HDB flat and the penalty is quite hefty, with fines of up to $4,000 for flouting HDB pet rules.
Approved dog breeds
HDB flat owners are allowed to own only 1 dog as compared to private property owners who can keep up to 3 dogs.
Below is the list of approved dog breeds by the HDB.
If your pet dog is of a mixed breed, it should have a maximum shoulder height of up to 55cm.
If you want to own a larger dog, there is a special initiative called Project ADORE which stands for “ADOption and REhoming of dogs”.
Project ADORE started in April 2012, as a pilot by the Ministry of National Development (MND), Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore (AVA)* and Housing and Development Board (HDB) to assess the acceptance of mixed-breed dogs in HDB estates.
Under Project ADORE, HDB flat owners can adopt local mixed breed dogs, known as Singapore Specials, which are up to 55 cm in height.
Responsible pet ownership
Getting a pet dog is not all fun and games. There are certain responsibilities as a pet owner.
At all times, especially nighttime, it is important to ensure that your dog does not cause any disturbance (loud barking). The last thing you want is a barking dog at night, waking up the neighbours and disturbing the whole block/neighbourhood.
When taking your pet dog out for a morning or evening stroll, be sure to leash it and keep it under control. You do not want it running about and causing hurt or frightening old folks or young children, and always, always clean up after your pet.
Cats and other pets
Currently, keeping cats as pets is not allowed in HDB flats.
According to the HDB website, cats are deemed to be generally difficult to contain within an HDB flat. When allowed to roam about indiscriminately, cats tend to shed fur and defecate or urinate in public areas, which is a no-no in today’s society.
There is also a fear that cats can cause disturbances when they make “caterwauling” sounds, which is a cross between a yowl, a howl, and a whine.
Small pets such as birds and fishes are generally permitted within HDB flats, as they are deemed to not cause any disturbances or inconveniences in the neighbourhood.
Below is the list of other pets that are allowed in HDB flats.
Birds, with the exception of house crow, white-vented or Javan myna, common myna, feral pigeon, and protected wildlife birds
Fish with the exception of piranhas and protected wildlife fishes
Green tree frogs (Litoria caerulea)
Land hermit crabs (Coenobita rugosus)
Malayan box turtles
Red-eared sliders (red-eared terrapins)
Besides cats, there are also certain animals that are not allowed to be kept in HDB flats.
This is to help in the prevention of possession and trading of illegal wildlife.
In 2018, 2 leopard cats were found in an HDB flat and subsequently returned back to the wild in Perak, Malaysia. The owner was caught and fined under the Endangered Species (Import and Export) Act (ESA).
Other instances of illegal wildlife found in HDB flats were “slow loris”, black-tailed prairie dogs, ornate horned frogs and yellow-footed tortoises.
Examples of banned animals:
If you have any questions or issues relating to keeping dogs in HDB flats, you can contact the following government agencies:
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