After almost five decades, the Singapore government has finally lifted its strict national ban on keeping big dogs in public apartments, so veteran military canines stand a better chance of getting adopted.
Every year, over 10 sniffer dogs are retired due to old age or health problems that stop them from sniffing out drugs, bombs, and criminals.
But the rules make it hard to adopt them, because they’re often labradors, English springers or cocker spaniels – breeds too big to be allowed in public housing flats where most people live in Singapore.
The government has explained that this rule keeps the peace between neighbours in small, dense housing blocks, where complaints of dogs barking, pooping in corridors and attacking children date back to 1972.
Several years ago, the rule was relaxed to allow medium-sized local mongrels into public flats.
Now, these well-trained former military dogs will be also exempted from the ban, in the hope they find loving homes.
The exemption is being tested for a year to see how people react.